Be Here Now: RPI’s Neil Rolnick Performs “Mono” on Dec. 1 – A Musical Work About Hearing Loss [Berkshire on Stage]
Drawing on a personal experience of hearing loss, composer and Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute Professor Neil Rolnick will perform portions of his latest composition – titled “MONO” – an exploration of the nature and fragility of sensory perception, Dec. 1 at the Curtis R. Priem Experimental Media and Performing Arts Center (EMPAC) in nearby Troy, New York. For more information: http://events.rpi.edu/event/showEventMore.rdo.
Rolnick began work on MONO in 2008, in the wake of a sudden loss of hearing in his left ear. Tapping the Internet for stories similar to his own, Rolnick was “inundated” with reflections on the changes wrought by a sensory loss that was significant, but not definitively debilitating.
The film of an earlier iteration of the work is embedded above, and is already fascinating. Although it is still a work in progress there has been significant expansion and enrichment since that video was shot – Rolnick has completed and will perform seven of the 12 pieces in the series at the Dec. 1 concert. – The piece combines video, spoken text, four singers, and six instruments. It is a unique pieces since MONO explores the loss of perceptual ability and the subsequent changes in how we relate to the world in response to that loss.