My Secret Heart
commissioned by: Streetwise Opera
premiere: Royal Festival Hall, London – December – 2008
collaborators: visuals – Flat-e. sound design – Davis Sheppard
instrumentation: choir, cello, viola, electronics
format: surround sound audio/visual installation
awards: Royal Philharmonic Society Award -2009, British Composers Award – 2009, National Lottery Arts Award – finalist – 2010
My Secret Heart is a commission by Streetwise Opera of a music and film installation written by electronic composer and Warp artist Mira Calix, video artists Flat-e and sound designer Dave Sheppard. They worked with around 100 Streetwise performers from across the UK to create a unique work that is being shown around the world.
The piece is inspired by the Allegri’s 17th-century choral work Miserere Mei, a piece so protected by the Vatican that they put an embargo on it. Mira Calix and Flat-e have used the theme of secrecy to explore movements and singing with Streetwise’s participants to create this new century-leaping work.
Mira used the original composition and text as inspiration for a new hour long recording and live score. She spent 6 weeks workshopping and eventually recording the 100 strong choir individually in order to create an 8 speaker diffusion composition.
The piece exists as an immersive installation on a purpose-built 360 degree screen with surround sound and as a 7-minute film. The installation was premiered live at the Royal Festival Hall in Dec 2008 including a staging featuring a cast of 100. The work then toured to galleries, festivals and cinemas across the world including Beijing, Yokahama, Paris, New York, San Francisco from 2008 -2011 in both installation and film broadcast reaching an audience of over 250,000.