Swiftly Flow the Years

The genre of the traveler's tale is one with a longstanding history. One of its most identifiable tropes is that it often takes a long time to narrate. This is certainly true of World of Awe, Yael Kanarek's multi-media narrative on which she's been working for over five years. Her story revolves around a protagonist scouring a parallel world for lost treasure--another ancient trope. Over time, the tale has led the audience on their own sojourn for the crumbs of sub-plots that 'lament over the absence of a lover' or humorously declare 'loyalty to a floppy disk.' World of Awe has taken a range of forms, online and in physical space. The project began as a journal, written in English, Hebrew, and Arabic, expanded with a series of desert landscapes mapping the terrain to the traveler's quest, and even mutated into an email-based series of love letters. Next week, Kanarek and her collaborators will release 'Bit by Bit/ Cell by Cell,' an album of 'songs for voice and Atari 800XL' inspired by narratives from the original journal and described as an 'enigmatic Postmodern opera.' With each new twist, Kanarek pushes boundaries and, in the parlance of the Atari gamer, takes things to a 'new level.' Log on to her site to see what's beyond the next dusty hill. - Marisa Olson