“It’s Organic...With Soy”, is another of Amy's works that blurs genre lines. This piece could really be described as a theatrical vocal piece set to film. It's an almost black-humoured piece exploring our modern-day eating habits. The piece begins with vowel extracts from the words “It’s Organic”. With the addition of artificial reverb in the recording process, a quasi Cathedral-like sound is produced that is densely layered and becomes rather hypnotic. The vowels slowly and ‘organically’ fuse with consonants to form coherent words, which then slowly transforms the piece into a rather extravagant display.
Most of the text was taken from the ingredient listings on the backs of food packaging. Fragmented statements such as “no artificial flavours” and “no traces of nuts” propel the piece into a wash of unrestrained social commentary. Gregorian chant and hymn-style fragments stirred throughout hint at the organic evolution of music, from vocal plainchant to avant-garde 21st Century composition (with some beat-boxing thrown in for good measure).
Nowadays, we seem to really care about what’s in our food. We ask questions like “Is it organic?”. “Is it really good for me?”. “Can we really trust labels?"...and what about music? Do we feel the same way about the music we consume? Do we care if it’s mass-produced? Do we care if it’s quality is poor? Do we care if it’s not ethical or green?
What is it that really makes good food or good music? Perhaps it's just the addition of a little fun…and possibly a splash of soy!
“It’s Organic...With Soy” was commissioned and performed by The Song Company as part of the MODART Young Composer’s Program, 2009. The piece was premiered at the Melbourne Recital Centre and used as part of the 'Melbourne Now' Exhibition at the National gallery of Victoria.