The seventh in a series of compositions for solo instruments and electronics, Talkback VII “Polaroid” is a dialog between a singer and her prerecorded voice. It is based on the eponymous poem by Nick Flynn, which examines a famous exchange between Gertrude Stein and Pablo Picasso:
He paints her face from memory.
But it doesn’t look anything like me, she argues.
Perhaps not, he says—but it will.
Talkback, just like in online media, is a response to something more substantial: western tradition, the canon. It is smaller but often as significant as it is a sincere manifestation of the zeitgeist. Real-time interaction between the singer and her electronic incarnation, similar to forms of contemporary communication—posting, tweeting, blogging, etc.— is filtered, yet very real.