2045: The Year Man Becomes Immortal? at St James’s Piccadilly
Toni Castells – 2045: The Year Man Becomes Immortal? (world première)
“2045: The Year Man Becomes Immortal” was an article published in Time Magazine in 2011 by Lev Grossman. The article features Ray Kurzweil, Director of Engineering at Google Inc., who describes how we are approaching a moment when computers will become intelligent, and not just intelligent but more intelligent than humans. When that happens, humanity – our bodies, our minds, our civilization – will be completely and irreversibly transformed. Kurzweil believes that this moment is not only inevitable but imminent. According to his calculations, the end of human civilization as we know it is about 30 years away. This article and a deeper exploration on Kurzweil’s work became the foundation for this eponymous musical work where the composer explores his own reflections on life, death and afterlife and on whether technology is really going to save humanity.
Featuring the composer’s trademark blend of operatic and classical traditions with downtempo electronica and sound art, “2045: The Year Man Becomes Immortal?” is 55min. long and is structured in 5 sections mirroring the five stages of a fruit tree, a classic metaphor for the cyclic nature of life. The first three sections explore the process from life to death, the last two open to door to immortality. These two blocks are exactly separated at the Golden Ratio at 34min. All the timings of the individual segments and subsegments of the piece follow nature’s omnipresent Fibonacci Sequence.
Toni Castells – Slaves of Time
Meeta Raval Soprano
Alexandra Kennedy Soprano
Oliver Gerrish Countertenor
Helios Voices Chamber Choir
Mark Sproson Musical Director of Helios Voices
Martin Cousin Piano
Katherine Jenkinson Cello
Ruth Rogers Violin
Olivia Duque Cor Anglais
Martin Stephens Electric Bass
Mike de Groot Electronics
Toni Castells Keyboards, acoustic guitar and Percussion.
Toni Castells is a Spanish-born British composer based currently in London. Composer, multi-instrumentalist, engineer, producer and academic, electro-acoustic polymath Toni Castells defies definition. His sonic worlds transpire an inherited precocious classical training with an inventive use of modern technologies to create unique and distinctive soundscapes that have been compared to Morricone and Satie. His live performances have been hailed as ‘life-changing’. British soprano Meeta Raval,
Finalist in the BBC Cardiff Singer of the World Competition in 2011 and who made her Royal Opera début in 2015 as Girl (Rise and Fall of the City of Mahagonny), joins an eclectic chamber ensemble fronted by the Aquinas Piano Trio, one of England’s leading ensembles.