Kamala Sankaram & Rob Handel – Looking at You (2021)
FLAC (tracks) 24bit/96kHz | Time – 01:25:35 minutes | 1,74 GB | Genre: Classical
Studio Masters, Official Digital Download | Digital Booklet, Front Cover | © Bright Shiny Things
Looking at You is an immersive techno-noir music theater piece by Kamala Sankaram and Rob Handel that confronts the issue of privacy in our digitized society. The highly charged narrative, directed by Kristin Marting, is a story of love and espionage. It fuses Edward Snowden with Casablanca, driven by a dynamic score inspired by dance music, crime jazz, and operatic arias. Set inside a corporate headquarters and integrating data mined from the audience in real time, Looking at You lays bare urgent questions of our time.
The global architecture of the Internet is a double-edged sword. On the one hand, it facilitates access to knowledge, economic growth, and freedom of expression. On the other, it erodes our right to individual privacy. LOOKING AT YOU questions how loss of privacy could transform us as a global culture and confronts the audience with the fact that their personal information is available to anyone who cares to search for it. Additionally, the piece explores the issues of women in the tech industry, surveillance of communities of color, and the chilling effect of surveillance on free speech. At its heart, this project is an activist piece, addressing issues that confront every class and demographic worldwide and include representation of groups frequently underrepresented. Aesthetically, it has also been essential to bring different musical perspectives together in service to the story. While opera and EDM might not seem like an obvious fit, they are both musical genres with a strong sense of tradition and place, and situate the narrative in specific cultures. Thus, our show is diverse in terms of the dramatic arc itself, the characters who drive the narrative, and the musical world.
Spectators are seated at tables with built-in touchscreens in a Silicon Hills company headquarters that encompasses a coffee shop, saloon, health club and roof garden. Once you click on a standard user agreement, information from your digital footprint – information you have shared publicly on the internet – begins to be folded into the lyrics and visual content of the show. As the drama of high romance amidst government and corporate surveillance unfolds around you, your screen reassembles into a series of a singing faces: your face, the faces of your tablemates, the faces of your loved ones. The drama reimagines the morally complex love story of CASABLANCA in our age of total surveillance. When Dorothy lands her dream job as chief software engineer at a social media behemoth in Silicon Hills, she doesn’t expect her past will come crashing in as her ex-boyfriend Ethan becomes the world’s most famous whistleblower. Pursued by the U.S. government and at the mercy of whoever harbors him, Ethan’s only hope is to delete his fragile physical existence and upload his consciousness permanently to the cloud – but for that he needs the help of the woman he abandoned without explanation in order to expose a secret worldwide surveillance structure. Will Dorothy choose to save Ethan or to hold on to her shiny life by turning him in?
Kristin Marting (director) has constructed 28 stage works, including original hybrids, opera theater and music theater, reimaginings of novels and short stories, and classic plays. She has directed over 19 works at HERE, where she serves as the founding artistic director.
Kamala Sankaram (composer) has received commissions from Washington National Opera, Houston Grand Opera, Beth Morrison Projects, the PROTOTYPE Festival, Opera on Tap, Opera Memphis, and the Brooklyn Youth Chorus, among others.
Rob Handel (librettist and playwright) has worked on collaborations with composer Kamala Sankaram including Enchantress (American Lyric Theatre, Opera Ithaca), Bombay Rickey, and PROTOTYPE Festival at HERE; and T^ete `a T^ete in London.
1. Opening Sequence: This is where the winners end up (05:18)
2. Opening Sequence: Dorothy (02:50)
3. Opening Sequence: Thirteen Eyes (03:31)
4. Ethan (03:21)
5. Scrolling Back (04:00)
6. First Day at Work (03:33)
7. Fuck You Dorothy (03:29)
8. Transit (03:57)
9. Bike (03:36)
10. Ghosting (02:26)
11. Flashback (07:52)
12. I Hate the Media (00:39)
13. Geek Trio (Nothing to Hide) (04:21)
14. Exterminator (03:12)
15. Burn it to the Ground (04:15)
16. The Agents (02:02)
17. Interrogation (04:29)
18. Executive Office (05:22)
19. The Algorithm Learns (04:38)
20. Off the Rails (03:32)
21. Product Launch (07:42)
22. Epilogue (Something to Hide) (01:30)