The Knife have collaborated with Mt. Sims and Planningtorock on a studio version of the opera Tomorrow, In A Year on March 1.

The music was commissioned by Danish performance group Hotel Pro Forma for their opera based on Charles Darwin and his work On The Origin of Species. The Knife collaborated decided to collaborate with techno producer Mt. Sims and arty songstress Planningtorock, and undertook an extensive programme of research before embarking on the project.

The gene trees of passionate Darwinian and celebrity god-basher Richard Dawkins provided the basis of some of the musical composition, and synthetic sounds are integrated with field recordings (made by The Knife’s Olaf Dreijer in the Amazon) on pieces which draw inspiration from subjects as diverse as bird learning and Darwin’s loving letters about his daughter Anne.

The composers worked separately to the choreographer, costume designer and set designer, only coming together three and a half months before the premiere of Tomorrow, In A Year in Copenhagen on September 2, 2009.  Additional performances are confirmed for Athens (Jan 8-9, 2010), Stockholm (Jan 29 – Feb 1) and Munster (June 5), with more to be announced.

Olof Dreijer says: “At first it was very difficult as we really didn’t know anything about opera.  We’d never been to one. I didn’t even know what the word libretto meant. But after some studying, and just getting used to opera’s essence of pretentious and dramatic gestures, I found that there is a lot to learn and play with. In fact, our ignorance gave us a positive respectless approach to making opera. It took me about a year to become emotionally moved by an opera singer and now I really do. I really like the basic theatrical values of opera and the easy way it brings forward a narrative. We’ve approached this before in The Knife but never in such a clear way.”

The track ‘Colouring of Pigeons’, featuring vocals from Karin Dreijer Andersson – Olaf’s sister and partner in The Knife, and these days a successful solo artist as Fever Ray – is available to stream below and at, and available to download upon signing up to the band’s mailing list.

“The title is taken from Charles Darwin’s studies of pigeons, a breakthrough of his examinations, coming home after The Beagle trip,” explains Karin. “It is when when he started to discover the genetics transfered within generations. It is a track maximizing the results of his studies.  I thought of the ‘diversity of everything’ something we have discussed a lot with Hotel Pro Forma, and a non-hierarchical way of seeing things. All the small details he studied and made notes of, like a pile of ants, an ants hill. Also a feeling of seeing things for the first time, overwhelming and shaken, but not afraid.”

Tomorrow, In A Year will be released by Rabid/Brille on March 1,


CD 1
01. Intro
02. Epochs
03. Geology
04. Upheaved
05. Minerals
06. Ebb Tide Explorer
07. Variation of Birds
08. Letter to Henslow
09. Schoal Swarm Orchestra

CD 2
01. Annie’s Box
02. Tumult
03. Colouring of Pigeons
04. Seeds
05. Tomorrow in a Year
06. The Height of Summer
Bonus track
07. Annie’s Box (alt. vocal)



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