Seyðisfjörður iceland january 28th 2016


 1. The Animal:

The lower caste consists of primordial creatures verging upon pure animality and difficult to distinguish from it as such. Conscious of all performers, anticipating the movements of the entire operatic ecology and demonstrating an awareness of all aspects of the spectacle including the audience but without any ability of communicating verbally. The Animal's expressions are composed on collaged animal sounds, but also non-linguistic forms of communication: gestures, ultrasonic, etc.

 REF: Owl screetch, insect chatter, sub- and super- sonic animal languages like dolphins, whales, bats, etc, grunts and growls of mammals, aleatoric bird sounds, etc.


 2. The Breather:

A human character mocking the form of a devout and thoroughly ascetic monk extremist, whom attempts no harm to any other living thing and orients every action towards a supreme compassion for the other. To this extent the breather is almost invisible and usually disregarded by most other members of the caste cosmology. If The Breather ever speaks it is in metaphysical reversals, Zen sex jokes, or nihilistic proverbs. The Breather's "voice" is more amplified than most, maintaining an audible presence in ever scene of the opera even when not visible on stage, as a constant breath which rises and falls according to it's own score, written to compliment or antagonize the mise-en-scene.


 3. The Glossolalic Whisperer:

Inspired as a hybrid of certain "tongued" stereotypes such as the Southern Baptist preacher, a Hebrew mystic incanting the scriptures of the Kabbalah, and the Peruvian shaman singing a group through an Ayahuasca ceremony, the Glossolalic Whisperer speaks in a non-sensical language that is understood by no other character, though a few may attempt to intuit it's meaning through their own lens. The language notation is based on deconstructive algorithms and chance operations, sometimes numerical (removing every 7th word), sometimes astrological or transcendental (removing all "harmful" omens from a text), sometimes quite pataphysical (no words with the letter E) or synthetically pataphysical (just removing all the E's from a text with a "find & replace" function), etc. The Glossolalic Whisperer - as implied by the name - only speaks at the level of a whisper, though sometimes there are radical exclamatory moments akin to observed spiritual ecstasy in various cultures.


 4. The Rational Objectionist/Objectivist:

A true Renaissance man, very masculine and egoistic indeed. The Rational Ob/Ob uses the scientifically calculated, philosophically considered, psychologically scrutinized, thoroughly theoretical and decidedly dissembodied perspective to describe the surroundings and themselves in rigorous mechanical detail. All questions are formed as hypothesis to test various effects, all answers are reasoned to be infallible truths (until logically proven otherwise), and all other characters are regarded as (mostly) inferior intellects wavering between degrees of sentience from completely dumb and numb life not worth considering to certifiably schizophrenic. The Rationalist often address himself in the third person, pursuing exercises in passionless reflexivity and clinical objectivity which result in a perpetual existential crisis of his own making. Very receptive to the animal movements, though usually misinterpreting their meaning, and seeming to take great inspiration from the musings of the Physiological Voice, The Rationalist is constantly making war with almost every character including himself.


 5. The Mystical Objectivist:

Perhaps a true initiate of the occult arts, a wizard capable of unspeakable magic, or just a lonely nut-job that took too many mythological tall tales to heart, The Mystical Objectivist defines his knowns based on what he feels. Constantly fumbling with strange esoteric devices of divination, assorted healing stones, and heavy books with indecipherable heiroglyphics, this character somehow seems to turn every question or statement back into a demonstration of the infallability of his own premonition. The Mystic occasionally takes notice of the plants and animals, incorporating them into the allure of his colorful language which quite often takes on the characteristics of The Breather, The Glossolalic Whisperer, and the Parapsychic Voice, though - like the Rationalist - this mystic seems tormented by his inability to conjure a semblance of the supreme reality in the worldly materials surrounding him and quickly regresses to a state of darkness.


 6. The Anthropologist and Amateur Ethnomusicologist:

A casual intellectual from a non-prestigious university that experimented with some psychedelic drugs at a rock concert in his youth, traveled through South America while preparing post-graduate work, and now holds a comfortable tenured position at the local community college. While often speaking in an annoyingly theatrical stoner voice, the Anthropologist usual has very clearly articulated and sensitive insights on most situations, though always failing to pursue the propositions far enough to generate any new knowledge or wisdom. A decidedly educated though obviously negligent, mentally unkempt, and privileged male feminist, this character seems to get along with everyone else well enough to not cause any friction, but slowly begins to reveal a neurotically obsessional voyeurism for all others that steers his focus away from postmodern scientific or cultural-contextualized politically-correct mystical ideas towards a kind of fetishistic material-based intellectualism that paints him as a universal enemy to the other characters due to his neutrality.


 7. The Affected Voice: embodied emotional vocabulary, the feel of the body

 8. The Parapsychic Voice: mental senses, extending outside of the body

 9. The Physiological Voice: tactile senses, the body meat itself


 10. The Narrator:

Perhaps the voice of God or Nothing at all, this character is never seen as a body but is often materialized in various forms throughout the production as a general "responsiveness" (according to a general description of life), as color, sound, abstract form, etc.