“Kerogen Voices” (one of the few working titles; others include Earthquakes for City People, or Squeezing It Out) is a musical about man-made earthquakes caused by oil and gas extraction and the high-pressure injection into the earth’s crust.
The First Domain - The Scientific
In the process of extracting resources to satisfy energy-dependant human populations, large volumes of fluid are forced into the ground, which is precisely the cause for man-made earthquakes. As a general rule, the probability of strong induced earthquakes correlates with the volume of fluid injected. Therefore, whoever is involved in the activity knows that the longer the water is injected, the more likely it is that noticeable quakes will happen.
The earth with its subterraneous fossil guts is a giant sentient body, patient, but agitated. Kerogen, contained in its guts, can be imagined as a subterraneous monster trapped underneath, waiting to come out. Yet its release has its own consequences. The current human choice is between a warm shaken house with cracks- powered by the extracted kerogen,- or .... actually, no real other alternative - none in the wealthy west wants to go back to living in a cold unheated house.
And so we squeeze. To the last drop.
The Second Domain - the Dreams, the Visions, the Myth.
The underground and what happens down there has been associated with the unknown world for the history of mankind. So we dived into this darkness. At first, it was the Dutch mythology that we researched and included into the work: elves, fairies, gnomes, talking oak trees, monsters and creatures residing in the lowlands.
It is the second domain which we are trying to bring together with the scientific to tackle the topic.
And so, we imagine this work as a musical.
The strongest emphasis in this composition is placed on the sound, onto musicality of the multiple voices present in the work. The voices (of science, of myth, of Earth and of elves) are in dialogue, they coexist. They are suspended in immersive soundscapes of the elementary fluxes. Densely layered streams of text, live vocals, and an soundscape invite the audience to listen to the movement and signals of the earth and to imagine the land and its subterraneous fossil guts as giant sentient body, patient, but agitated.
© Ruth Borg