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What if our minds could live forever? Recent advances in artificial intelligence and neuroscience mean that we will soon be able to map our memories and experiences, and to use these data to build a digital consciousness identical with our own. These ‘whole brain emulations’ will be able to carry on indefinitely after our deaths, as a kind of virtual resurrection. But where do our identities really reside? In our minds, our bodies, or our relationships? And how far do the data of our lives determine our fate?
The opera “Upload” tells the story of a daughter and her father who, when confronted by his inevitable death, has his thoughts and memories “uploaded” to achieve an eternal digital consciousness. The deeply emotional work poses age-old philosophical questions—about fate, identity, the cost of immortality, and the ethics of technological advancement—that take on new significance against a backdrop of present-day and near-future technologies.
“Upload” was premiered in July 2021 at the Bregenzer Festspiele in Austria, and was commissioned by Dutch National Opera, Opera Cologne, Park Avenue Armory New York, Bregenzer Festspiele, doubleA foundation, and Ensemble Musikfabrik.
Engineering and edit: Guido Tichelman / Azazello
Mixing: Michel van der Aa
Produced by: Dutch National Opera and Michel van der Aa
Recorded: March 20-22, 2021 at Dutch National Opera
Album released: January 8, 2023
Label code: LC 24323 – Disquiet Media
Cover art album: Marco Borggreve