Concept: Yael Kanarek & Yoav Gal
Music composition: Yoav Gal
Narrative: Yael Kanarek
Vocals: Sarah Rivkin
Support: Harvestworks artist-in-residence program 2001


Music for World of Awe is a collaboration between media artist Yael Kanarek and composer Yoav Gal for World of Awe.

World of Awe is a New Media project conceived by Kanarek in 1995. It is based in a narrative of a traveler searching for a lost treasure. Salvaged from a laptop, a traveler's journal reveals a personal exploration of the deserted places of memory and the imagination, drawing parallels between our mind and technology. The project is online at

Kanarek's interest in the audio potential of World of Awe began around 1997 with experiments using a simple sound-editing program to layer manipulated voice tracks. Gal developed this initial strategy to create a rich and complex musical language. As a result the work brings the traditions of Opera and the practice and theory of New Media into negotiation.

Gal’s musical composition is mainly focused on New Opera. In his thought the term 'opera' has a broad definition. It is used to describe a medium where mythical, timeless, and sub-conscience drama is depicted through the union of music and image. The stage is the traditional setting for the art form, however, exploring alternate spaces is key in his work.

In World of Awe one finds all the essential elements for music drama. The otherworldly landscape, the personal journey of the traveler and the poetry in the letters to beloved. Beyond the attraction that these elements hold, the virtual, multi-media life of World of Awe offers a perfect environment for Gal in which to make a musical statement.

Music for World of Awe is created in the digital space and with digital tools. The sound-editing software is the primary instrument. Many of the features available for digital sound editing were originally intended for the 'fixing' of 'deficiencies' in human performance. Correcting pitch, eliminating unwanted noise etc. In Music for World of Awe, these digital capabilities are used to the extant that they liberate the produced sound (vocal or otherwise) from its source, treating it as an independent audio-digital substance. Thus the single soprano voice becomes a portal to multiple voices portraying the traveler whose true voice is unknown.

The voice of soprano Sarah Rivkin is the main source of sound in Music for World of Awe. It is used in a wide variety of ways from natural to highly processed singing. Rivkin is a Classically trained singer whose experience has ranged from opera, chamber music and art song to musical theater and contemporary music.

Listening recommendations
  • High bandwidth preffered (DSL/Cable +)
  • Good speakers or headphones
  • To World of Awe