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UAL Research Online

Star-shaped Biscuit

Toop, David (2012) Star-shaped Biscuit. [Art/Design Item]

Type of Research: Art/Design Item
Creators: Toop, David

Star-shaped Biscuit is an opera (composition and libretto) for three singers, five multi-instrumentalists and digital sound composition.

The opera takes its title from a surrealist object. It emerged from initial research on writer and dandy Raymond Roussel, whose star-shaped box containing a fragment of a biscuit was acquired by Dora Maar, the opera’s protagonist. The development of the opera’s three characters was based on research into the lives, art and writing of photographer, painter and poet, Dora Maar, adventurer William Seabrook and novelist Vernon Lee.

Toop investigated the technique of libretto writing selecting short extracts from existing texts by a wide variety of writers to convey fragmented memories and concurrent histories. A performance version of the work grew from a methodology using digital sound composition as a template for directed improvisation. The use of a digital sound composition as a basis for improvisation offered a unique technical approach to issues of notation in opera.

The opera was first performed as a ‘Faster Than Sound’ project, Aldeburgh Music 2012. Toop’s essay, ‘Star-shaped Biscuit: haunting, spells, a drowned world’ 2012, extends his research into strategies of using digital technology as a compositional template for improvisation.

Your affiliations with UAL: Colleges > London College of Communication
Date: 2012
Funders: Jerwood Opera Writing Fellowship, Aldeburgh Music
Related Websites: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lgoZSJKybbY, http://www.fasterthansound.com/star-shaped-biscuit/
Related Websites:
Measurements or Duration of item: 90 minutes
Date Deposited: 23 Jan 2014 12:53
Last Modified: 23 Jan 2014 12:53
Item ID: 6379
URI: https://ualresearchonline.arts.ac.uk/id/eprint/6379

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