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Weekly Playlist: Kate Soper

We continue our new Weekly Playlist series this week by featuring the work of Kate Soper, whose work often explores the sonic, narrative, and instrumental possibilities of the human voice. Soper's work is brimming with possibilities, and although her recent project The Romance of the Rose has been put on hold by the COVID pandemic, she has been producing weekly "Unwritten Operas", speculative works that are exemplary of her unbound imagination. 

1. We start with Soper's IPSA DIXIT, which Alex Ross has called a "philosophy-opera." Translating roughly as "she, herself, said it," IPSA DIXIT is an evening-length work that contains many of Soper's foundational works from the 2010–2016, all of which can be performed individually or as a complete cycle. 

2. Cipher, a 2011 work which forms the sixth movement of IPSA DIXIT, is often performed as a standalone piece. Originally composed for Soper herself and the violniist Josh Modney, Cipher is a fantastic example of Soper's interest in the narrative, instrumental, and sonic possibilities for the human voice. Soper has also made an instructional video with tips and techniques for the performance of this unique work. 

3. Here Be Sirens, Soper's "brainy, baffling, consistently astounding" 2013 opera for three sopranos and piano. Also available in a shorter suite, this work "presents the daily life of three sirens, who kill time on their island as they await an endless procession of doomed sailors."

4. Wolf (2010) is one of Soper's instrumental works, for two pianists, serving as what she calls "a vivisection of the piano," commissioned by Yarn/Wire in 2010.

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