I was delighted to be commissioned by Riot Ensemble during 2020-21 to create a solo work for their Zeitgeist series, funded by the Ernst von Siemens Music Foundation.
During 2020-21, touching our faces has become a forbidden act that endangers our health. However, research tells us that spontaneous facial self touch is a comforting mechanism, and that we can touch our own faces up to 50 times an hour without necessarily being aware that we are doing so (e.g. see Mueller et al 2019).
Forbidden presents simultaneously as an elegy to facial touch and a dangerous act of rebellion.
The work extends my exploration of video as score and notation. Here, the vocalist is informed of their pitches from the part of the face that is touched, and the camera focus guides vocal timbre.
I’m so grateful to soprano Sarah Dacey for her exquisite performance!