"Recreational Science" is a one-woman opera written for Kate Conklin by Javier Navarrete, with text by Victor Nubla.
It's a list of discoveries, curiosities and scientific innovation between the 18th and mid-20th centuries with the central character of "Science", herself, as guide and narrator both relaying and experiencing the euphoria and despair of the scientific process.More...
About the Project
"Recreational Science" is a journey of triumphs and blunders of scientific innovation between the 18th and mid-20th centuries. The central character of "Science", herself, serves as guide and narrator. A monologue for soprano, one multi-instrumental player and laptop, it will ultimately be a fully-staged performance approximately 80 minutes in length. The pieces range in emotion from darkly comedic to orgasmic to horrific and utilize operatic, Bulgarian, extended vocal techniques and eventually pre-recorded vocals and live vocal processing.
Javier Navarrete, Oscar-nominated composer for the film "Pan's Labyrinth", conceived and composed the piece specifically for Kate Conklin. The subject is factual and surreal: a list of discoveries and curiosities about applied science with an underlying critique on human faith in technological progress. The text is by Victor Nubla, used with permission.
The interplay between innovation, creativity and expression are explored throughout the piece as the narrator both relays and experiences the euphoria and despair of the scientific process.
About Kate Conklin
Kate Conklin is a soprano and a leading interpreter of the highly ornamented vocal music of Bulgaria. She was the vocalist for Cirque du Soleil's resident water show "O" for two years. She returned to LA in 2006 to sing for films and new works and to direct the highly acclaimed Bulgarian Vocal Ensembles at California Institute of the Arts, where she also served as a member of the voice faculty.
Kate teaches Voice, Alexander Technique and lectures on the neurobiology of performance practice. She specializes in working with high-level performers whose work demands both excellent technique and profound artistry. Kate has worked extensively with elite performers from musical, athletic and theatrical arenas including members of the LA Phil, LA Master Chorale and Cirque du Soleil. She has taught and guest lectured at The California State Summer School for the Arts, The Oakwood School, CalArts, Pomona College, LA Music Academy, USC and UCLA. .
Kate was awarded a Fulbright Scholarship to Bulgaria in 2002. There she rehearsed and performed as a member of the The Academic Folk Choir of the Plovdiv Academy of Music, developing her work in regional solo repertoire, choral literature, conducting and pedagogy. She also received the LifeWorks Foundation Research Grant for Early American Folk Music in 2003 in Nashville.
About Javier Navarrete
Javier Navarrete was born in 1956 in Teruel (Spain).
Most of his musical work is in the form of scores for feature ﬁlms. In 2007, he received an Oscar Nomination for his music for Guillermo del Toroʼs ʻPanʼs Labyrinthʼ. In 2008 he was awarded a Grammy for Pan's Labyrinth in Best Compilation Soundtrack Album for a Motion Picture, Television or Other Visual Media. His other film scores include Mirrors, Inkheart. and the upcoming HBO film, Hemingway & Gellhorn.
After studying with Chilean composer Gabriel Brncic, he became involved in avant-garde performances and electronic music research. In the 1980ʼs he had a duet of keyboards with internationally known composer Alberto Iglesias (well-known for his scores for the films of Pedro Almodóvar.) In 1986 he wrote music his ﬁrst ﬁlm, a horror cult movie called ʻIn a glass cage.' He has since composed for many ballet companies in Spain and for the multimedia events Universal Exposition of Sevilla and The Olympic Games in Barcelona 1992. Javier has worked in collaboration with the group Dead Can Dance, and had a sporadic and pleasant collaboration with mythic singer Iggy Pop.
After moving to Los Angeles in 2007, he has collaborated with The Catgut Trio for the premiere of ʻThe Wooden Bridge on the Ider Riverʼ and most recently with Kate Conklin in the production of the musical play ʻRecreational Science.'
About Victor Nubla
Victor Nubla is one of the original members of the laboratory group MACROMASSA, founded in 1976, experimenting with electronic modifications of the wind instruments and voice through the advanced or unknown ways of rock, jazz, industrial music, noise or minimal. More than 40 recordings and 100 concerts are the product of those years. His solo work starts in 1980, founding the Laboratorio de Musica Desconocida (Unknown Music Laboratory) and working in improvisation, electronic experiments, soundscape, installations and music for cinema, video, theatre and contemporary dance. Victor has published about twenty books of fiction, essay and poetry.