Yamantaka//Sonic Titan :: Opera 33

text by Yamantanka // Sonic Titan‘s Ruby Kato Attwood

Part 1 – “33”

Yamantaka // Sonic Titan collective creates an original 33-minute ‘Noh Wave’ rock cantata, based in the reality of the YT//ST “Neverflat” mythscape and performed at the historic Rialto Theatre. Contemporary and archetypal cultural images from China, Japan, colonial North America and the Mohawk Nation blend together in an absurdist and macabre comedic rock opera, dark and goofy all at once. Backstage at “Club 27,” the oneiric dance-club setting, techno sutras pulsate into the nether regions of the sky realm. Here we meet SisterBrother, an aging drag queen who has discovered the path of enlightenment, and longs to leave her position as Mother of “Club 27.” Power symbols* haunt this karmic runway as SisterBrother’s jealous protégée Diva Data’s murderous plot unfolds.

Multimedia elements flesh out the simplistic storyline with written text and image, while the stage choreography is staid and stark, referencing the style of Noh, and revealing the dadaist quality of club dancing and social ladder climbing.

In drag tradition, the cast members will lip synch to the live musical set by Yamantaka//Sonic Titan’s band. Performed in time counting each second at 60bpm, exactly 1800 seconds of music and 180 seconds of text are split evenly between the three acts. Each act comprises 10 minutes of music and 1 minute of text – summing the spiritual, historical and masonic prime number, “33”. Throughout the performance, numbers 27 and 33 appear and re-appear, illuminating the samsaric and mythic rivalries of Jesus vs. Judas and Buddha vs. Devadatta.

*the human hand and its 27 bones, dead rock stars; the crucifixion of Jesus at 33 corresponding to the 33 bones in the human spine, 1,800 seconds, 180 seconds of text / 180 repetitions of the heart mantra, resurrection, enlightenment…

Part 2 “ 渦” *uzu = vortex, whirlpool, eddy

Transformed into Spider, a raging vocalist fecund with creative power, SisterBrother awakens from her nightmare and enters a dream world, finding herself on stage with Yamantaka//Sonic Titan, the most popular band in the universe. The culmination of fame, desire, melodramatic image and narcissistic mystique leads to nowhere, just another reality supplanting her previous thread of illusory existence and obsession with enlightenment. The 30-minute multimedia rock set featuring music from YT//ST’s upcoming full-length album will send the audience spiralling through a wormhole.