"Bakunawa: Opera Of The Seven Moons” by Micaela Tobin
The Filipinx Edition: Music & Sound • 42m
MICAELA TOBIN (White Boy Scream) is a soprano, sound artist, and teacher based in Los Angeles, CA who specializes in experimental voice and contemporary opera. As a sound artist with a background in opera, Micaela integrates voice and electronics within the genres of noise and drone music. Her work incorporates ritualized gesture and amplified object-symbolism and explores her diasporic identity as a first-generation Filipina-American. Micaela’s vocal practice is based in building connections between the physical voice as a means of empowering one’s ‘inner’ voice and challenging colonial stories and systems.
Composing primarily under the moniker "White Boy Scream,” Micaela dissects her operatic and extended vocal techniques through the use of electronics, oscillating between extreme textures of noise, drone, and operatic sound walls. Her most recent full length album, “BAKUNAWA” (Deathbomb Arc) includes elements of sonic ritual, ancient myth, and ancestral memory. Of the album, Steve Smith of The New Yorker Magazine asserts that “opera would do well to pay attention.” The album was ranked #9 Release of 2020 in The Wire Magazine. In May 2021, Micaela premiered the cinematic adaptation of the album through REDCAT, titled “BAKUNAWA: Opera of the Seven Moons.”
As an opera composer, Micaela premiered and earned a five-star review for her first original experimental opera, entitled "Unseal Unseam," at the world’s largest art festival, the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, in summer 2016; the work was described as “hypnotic” and “paralyzingly beautiful,” by New Classic LA after its U.S. debut in October 2017. Her most recent opera, “Belarion: A Space Opera” which premiered at the American Legion Center in Pasadena, CA in February 2019, is about the magickal practices of JPL founder Jack Parsons.
As a performer, Micaela played the principal role of Coyote in the critically acclaimed opera, SWEET LAND (dir. Yuval Sharon &; Canuppa Luger; Comp. Raven Chacon &; Du Yun). She also performed with The Industry in their groundbreaking opera, "Hopscotch, a mobile opera for 24 cars (dir. Yuval Sharon)"; She has also toured with hip-hop experimentalists clipping. on their 2017 tour with The Flaming Lips. Micaela also appeared as a principal vocalist in the premiere of Ron Athey and Sean Griffith’s automatic opera, “Gifts the Spirit” and as a soprano soloist alongside Annette Bening in the play "Medea" at UCLALive.
Micaela is currently a voice teacher on faculty at the California Institute for the Arts and teaches through her private studio, HOWL SPACE, in Los Angeles, CA.
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