Inspired by the most illustrious work of the late author, Iain Banks, with a libretto by David Pountney, Ben Frost’s opera debut creates both a soundscape to narrate, and a visual realm to depict, the unsettling world of Banks’ infamous protagonist: the murderous teenager, Frank.
Banks’ characters, on the remote Scottish island where the story is based, are given a new setting, a new emotional significance, and new memories through Frost’s direction.
His opera brings the novel into the 21stcentury, accompanied by amplified strings, electronics, and dark visuals, drawing emotions and presenting a challenge to each new audience.
Born in 1980 in Melbourne, Australia, Ben Frost relocated to Reykjavík Iceland in 2005 and working together with close friends Valgeir Sigurðsson and Nico Muhly, formed the Bedroom Community record label/collective.
His albums, including Steel Wound (2003), Theory of Machines (2007) and BY THE THROAT (2009) and A U R O R A (2014) fuse intensely structured sound art with militant post-classical electronic music, shape-shifting physical power with immersive melody, concentrated minimalism with fierce, rupturing metal.
In 2010 he was chosen by Brian Eno as part of the Rolex Mentor and Protegé program for a year of collaboration, one of the outcomes of which was Sólaris; a re-scoring of the Tarkovsky classic for Poland’s Sinfonietta Cracovia. Eno and Frost continue to work together on a range of projects.
Frost regularly works with other musicians and artists; in the production of studio albums such as Tim Hecker’s Ravedeath 1972 and Virgins, SWANS The Seer, Colin Stetson’s New History Warfare, and on various Bedroom Community releases.
On the stage Frost has produced scores for Choreographers including Wayne McGregor/Random Dance, Akram Khan, and german Director Falk Richter. In film, he composed the score for the Palme d ́Or nominated Sleeping Beauty by Julia Leigh, and Djúpið by Icelandic Director Baltasar Kormákur (with Daníel Bjarnason, for which the pair won the Icelandic film award for best score in 2013).
And in the visual arts, where, with artist Richard Mosse, Frost travelled deep beyond the frontlines of war-torn Eastern Congo to produce The Enclave; a multi-channel video and sound installation that premiered at the Venice Biennale in 2013.
These various collaborations and alliances underline Frost’s continuing fascination with finding ways of juxtaposing music, rhythm, technology, the body, performance, text, art -beauty and violence- combining and coalescing the roles and procedures of various artistic disciplines in one place.
Ben Frost: The Wasp Factory
Tuesday, 17th June + Wednesday, 18th June 2014 | 20:30 CET
HAU 1 | Stresemannstr. 29 | 10963 Berlin/Kreuzberg