timberbrit: tragic circus

15 Dec

I spent the majority of my afternoon yesterday watching videos from the semi-staged production of Timberbrit, an opera by Jacob Cooper that tells the fictional story of Britney Spears’s final hours, in which Justin Timberlake comes to win her back / save her.

Here’s why I’m interested: the opera is constructed from the music of Spears and Timberlake, single lines time-stretched until they lose all resemblance to the original song. Behind the wavering vocals is original music that ranges from free jazz to shoegaze.

The conceit might bore or annoy you, but I can’t escape the ache in the music. Slowed down, the songs become the soundtrack for the tragedy that is popular music. And Britney Spears.

Watch the music video for “Worst Fantasy” below and you’ll see what I mean. The real footage they included almost makes me weep.

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