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Tirtha: An Architectural Opera

by Jarz0

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The Ghats 03:03
Arrival 03:23
The Temple 02:18
The Weighing 04:14
Letting Go 03:48
Henry 05:39
Sky 03:58
Cocooning 03:46
The Boat 03:31


Each song accompanies a video. WATCH HERE: www.officeofuncertaintyresearch.org/tirtha-opera


The Office of (Un)certainty Research presents: Tirtha: An Architectural Opera

The operatic tradition, in the West, thrills in presenting and re-presenting, the well-worn drama, with exaggerated auditory and visual delight. With Tirtha, OUR aspires to present architecture with the same auditory and visual delight, thereby inaugurating a new tradition for architectural representation. By adding narrative, music and spectacle to it, Tirtha seeks to transform the dull architectural custom of the ‘rendering’ and the ‘fly-through’ into a performance art.

Architecture, in itself, in its forms, structure, orders and progressions, has narrative and theatre already deeply embedded in it. This is well known within the discipline. The objective of architectural opera is to bring the drama of architecture into the public realm in the form of a performing art.

Unlike cinema or theatre, that focuses on the run and nuance of narrative sequence, opera delights in the spectacle of emotion and scenography. Operating in the same registers, an architectural opera seeks to greatly embellish narrative to embellish and make shine the drama and beauty of architecture.


In 2019 Washington became the first US state to allow human composting as a burial method.


The Epistemology

The basic epistemic conceit of the project is "....something becomes something else....". The laws of physics suggest, indeed require, that everything in the universe, 'dead' or 'alive' is made of the same sub-atomic particles and forces and is subject to all the same laws, without exception. This suggests therefore that birth and death, while indisputably significant 'events' in this complex sub-atomic particle configuration we call life, are in fact little more, and nothing less, than reconfigurations of sub-atomic particles and forces, a process that is enacted in the universe in a myriad different ways, everywhere. Life on planet earth is no doubt a very special event; even so, it is part of the infinite diversity of particularly re-configuration - "...something becomes something else..." again and again, that is fundamental to the processes of the universe.

Tirtha is a Sanskrit word that means "crossing place, ford." In India, there are dozens of these places, some of which have become pilgrimage sites. In this project the temple is at the core of the tirtha, but ‘the crossing’ is a drawn-out spatial and temporal process that encompasses the whole site and its program. In that sense the tirtha is embedded in a type of ‘temenos’ or sacred area, the intensity of which is thickened over time and use.

Read more at www.officeofuncertaintyresearch.org/tirtha-recomposting-temple-complex


released December 18, 2020


All songs written and produced by Elias Jarzombek

"Henry" briefly adapts "Kol Nidre" and features piano by Mark Jarzombek and a sample of "After Image" by Obstacle..

"Something Else" features vocals by Mark and Nancy Jarzombek


Cover: Amelia Jarvinen and Michelle Hook


Thank you to the people of Freesound


Some songs were composed in part using Shape Your Music (shapeyourmusic.dev)


Thank you for listening


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