The Two Sided Boy
The Two Sided Boy is an interactive web opera, currently in development, by Elizabeth Swift and the performance company, VOID.

The work focuses on fraught contradictions and absurd complications between the online and real existence of a teenage boy. It is constructed from sound samples, including sung arias, parts for cello and ensemble, spoken text and effects sampled from game soundtracks and social media sites.

The viewer’s role is to put together this fragmented work through the process of their participation.

In the scene presented here the viewer finds the boy, Max, alone in his room and lost in his computer. In cyberspace Max is running hard and time is running out; in real life he has to deal with his mum Lucy, who wants him out of the room.

The tempo and sequence in which the viewer clicks on different hyper-linked elements on the webpage determines the duration and complexity of the sound texture. The operatic dynamic of Max and Lucy’s exchange are juxtaposed with, and then submerged by, clashing counterpoints produced by the viewer’s participation. A performance emerges whose machanic operation is a product of a collaborative exchange between the viewer, the composer and the digital programme.

the Two Sided Boy

Recent projects by VOID include Babble, an opera in Second Life commissioned for the Upstage Festival of Cyberformance, and presented in 12 countries. Liz also writes and publishes on intermedial performance and has recently completed her PhD on theatre and interactive media.

The team developing The Two Sided Boy also includes: Freya Ireland composer, Gillian Yates soprano, Rowan Ireland counter tenor, Peter Sayers design and photography, and Peter Ireland programming.