Soft tongues: a bioacoustic opera
Premiered May 26 2023, Studio D, Goldcorp Centre for the Arts
The tongue of the frog is of the softest known biological materials on this planet. It is this softness that yields the stickiness needed to pluck a fly from mid air, slough skin in perpetual acts of self-consumption, and stretch voice in promulgating chorusing networks. Joined by bioacousticians, Jami’s field recorder, and an amphibious choir, Soft tongues invites full swamp submersion as a small audience listens episodically through the shapeshifting life (and afterlife) cycle of the frog. The forty-five minute performance moves between solo singing, monolog, field recordings, choral singing, dance, and video projection in an interdisciplinary outgrowth of a 2022 bioacoustic field residency undertaken in collaboration with the Amphibian Natural History Lab at the University of Campinas, Brazil. Soft tongues interrogates the relational, adhesive, and compounding qualities of voice, and the listening that tethers it.
Soft tongues was composed, directed, and performed by Jami Reimer alongside collaborating ensemble Marita Michaelis, Sarah van Gaalen, Czarina Augustines, Eve Middleton-Meyers, Niloufar Samadi, Olympia Tomasta, and Ali Mcdougall. Movement direction by Salome Nieto. Lighting design by Alexandra Caprara. Video editing and design by Mena El Shazly with editing support from Kaila Bhullar. Technical direction and stage managmeent from Bernice Paet with additional stage management from Maddy Woodley
Soft tongues is ready to tour as a solo or ensemble performance.
Full performance documentation can be found here