Scent Opera (2009)
Keyboard, Synth, & Tape, 17'
The Scent Opera, a strange olfactory & music collaboration that dates back to 2009, is the first release on Bedroom Community’s HVALREKI digital-series. Written by Nico Muhly & Valgeir Sigurðsson for Green Aria: A Scent Opera. ‘An opera for your nose’ by Stewart Matthew and perfumer Christophe Laudamiel. Premiered at New York’s Guggenheim Museum in August 2009, this is the first time the recording has been released.
The opera’s premise is that a sequence of smells guides us through a oblique parable about industrialisation, through short episodic bursts of information. Some smells are dirty, like the rubber of a train in Paris, and others are classically blended harmonically well-rounded scents. Occasionally, a clean, neutral, pure sound arrives as a little flute-scented garden which should have the effect of clearing the chaos of the surrounding music (and, indeed, smells).
Nadia Sirota and Helgi Hrafn Jónsson join us as two of the essential voices that bind the narrative together. The multivalent collaboration yielded many surprising results: a 14-minute score that is funny, aggressive, shape-shifting, electronic, acoustic, and strange.