Is it possible for a person to change? UK musician Steph Singer’s new immersive work ‘New Symmetry’ is ‘part album, part podcast, and part pep-talk’ and asks this very question. It includes a breathing facilitator, a raw and plant-based food certified chef and author, illustrations and animations, and Steph’s new music. To experience the full immersive nature of the work, there is a recipe to create at home during the online performance.
But how did we arrive here? They say necessity is the mother of invention. ‘New Symmetry’ is partly shaped by the restrictions – or possibilities – that arise when attempting to create new work and reach an audience in a pandemic. Before Covid-19 fully hit Europe, Steph Singer was the third and final musician taking part in our Musicians in Residence Russia programme as part of the wider UK-Russia Year of Music. She was based in the city of Ekaterinburg developing ideas by working collaboratively with local musicians and creatives. As Covid-19 cases rose in Russia, her residency was cut short in March 2020; she returned to the UK but was eager to make the most of what she had learnt and the ideas that had begun to take root during her time in Ekaterinburg. The result is ‘New Symmetry’ – a futuristic, surreal piece inspired by Laurie Anderson, Russian polyphonic choral music, and 1970s concepts of the future. It seeks to inspire people to open themselves up, to look at their emotional patterns and rhythms and to see what happens when they embrace the idea that the world is changing constantly – every cell is in flux. Participants include chef and author Alina Kuznetsova and the breathing facilitator Natalya Levchenko from Russia.