Opal will be a major multi-media work merging music and video projections of Australian opals in collaboration with video artists Robert A. Smith (opal imagery) and Alex Mitchell (video production). Opal will be a multi-movement work for amplified piano, electronics and video projections of opals in various forms (black, white, crystal, boulder, matrix). Opal seeks to create, musically, how the interplay of light is reflected in opals highlighting their mesmeric colours and patterns. Rather than displaying visual imagery on a screen as a background to music, multiple projectors will cast images onto surrounding interior/exterior surfaces of a given space. An exploration of processed sounds textures from the piano will be fused to the imagery creating a fully immersive sensory experience. Opal will be performed partly in ‘real-time’ using synchronised audio-video images controlled via VUO/Mad Mapper software. Opal seeks to find a new aesthetic by merging music with video drawing audiences into the wonders of Australia’s National gemstone. Opal will be informative both scientifically and artistically 1) revealing the nature of opals 2) finding a new aesthetic combining visual and musical art forms to create an immersive sensory experience.
Little artistic work has been created using opals in the context of multi-media art-music. The complexity and amazing variety of opal patterns, especially at magnification are really unknown in both scientific and artistic circles. The aim is to merge ‘visual projection’ with ‘art-music’ so that each discipline will be ‘stand alone’ without compromising their individual artistic quality. Found primarily (93%) in Australia, precious opals are amorphous mineraloids classed as in black, white, crystal and boulder. On a molecular level, the arrangement of silica spheres are of uniform size settled into a disturbed grid pattern. Opal aims to be informative, creating deeper awareness of Australian opals by revealing (and dispelling) the esoteric superstitions and myths surrounding the opal.
Composition/Performer/Artistic director: Ashley Hribar
Instrumentation: piano, synthesizer/midi
Audio tech: piano amplification + electronics > surround-sound audio and projector systems
Video tech: Alex Mitchell (Australia) projection + lap top/s
Opal will be premiered at the Australian Opal Centre (N.S.W) in 2023, across Australia, Germany and beyond. Confirmations from several hosts have been established.