Liberation Through Hearing
We are proud to present the overture from “Liberation Through Hearing” - an interactive
opera, based on software architecture in 2-D computer games. It is an audio-visual large-
scale piece that combines a dramatic story, taking place in digital media, with game-like
In this saga, the player is paving the protagonist’s way and controls a morphing avatar
during its journey as it encounters diverse imaginary creations.
However, unlike in most
computer games, in this opera there is no scoring, no winners or losers. It is a game without
a game where one can only endlessly wander in a two-dimensional space while creating the
The opera’s libretto is rooted in the “Bardo Todel”, also known as “The Tibetean Book Of
The Dead”. The book is a foundational text of Tibetan Buddhism. It describes, and guides
one through the Bardo,a realm where the deceased’s consciousness journeys during the
interval between death and the next rebirth.
Hearing is of great importance in the Tibetean Buddhism, where the auditory vortex is the
last to remain active in the human body, after all other senses fail.
Therefore, the deceased
is guided through the Bardo through hearing. Choosing an opera to follow the spirit of the
book seemed the natural option.
Writing a computer-game-opera offers an alternative to staged ones.
While the classic opera
requires an opera house with its rotating stage, trapdoors, enormous lighting grids,
chandeliers, and balconies to construct an elaborate artificial world vision that also happens
to be exorbitantly expensive, computer game operas require only a computer. Therefore, this
opera can expand the boundaries of operas and push the limits of the genre to new
The creative freedom of virtual operas is not limited by constricting considerations such as
costs, viability and profitability. This work leverages the digital media to exhibit a unique
interactive opera, where the story, music and visual language incorporate the player as a
musical performer, the main character (or hero), and audience. The diverse musical layers,
and their combination with actions put the users in the midst of the drama and at the same
time, positions them as necessary players in the musical piece.
The overture presents:
Voices -Michal Oppenheim Landau; Piano, quoting Henry Cowell (loop) - Dganit Elyakim;
Game Design and Development - Yotam Noy; Sound (recordings): Nadav Melamed; Sound
(mix): Dror Schiemann
Shunyata are: Shahar Sarig & Dganit Elyakim
Supported by Ministry of Culture and Sports, Rabinovich Foundation, Yotzrim