Laura Cocks – Flute
Mara Mayer – Clarinet
Maya Bennardo – Violin
Thea Mesirow – Cello
Sugar Vendil – Piano
Marilu Donovan – Harp
Charlotte Mundy – Voice
Gabrielle Herbst – Voice
Performed by The Nouveau Classical Project
Written for two voices and two loop pedals, electronics, harp, violin, cello, flute, piano and clarinet, Vulnerability is an opera that explores themes of personal and collective vulnerability, anxiety, fear and struggle – investigating self-care and interpersonal relationships within our current sociopolitical climate. Progressing through a dreamlike non-narrative tableaux with close harmonization, textural rhythms, melismatic vocals, electronics and cross-genre pollination, the work looks at inward struggles and connecting outwards.
The Nouveau Classical Project (NCP) is a New York-based, all-women contemporary classical music ensemble that is “bringing a refreshing edge to the widely conservative genre” (VICE). It began by collaborating with fashion designers for its concerts and has expanded to creating multidisciplinary performances. Its mission is to engage new audiences and show that classical music is a living, breathing art form. To provide opportunities for composers, NCP holds annual Calls for Scores, Calls for Proposals, and commissions new work via the NCP Commissioning Fund. The collaborative nature of its work also allows the ensemble to create opportunities for artists from a variety of disciplines. NCP has performed at exciting venues such as Brooklyn Academy of Music (BAM) Fisher, (le) poisson rouge, Galapagos Art Space, Korea Gallery, Symphony Space, The Center for Fiction, White Box, and Issue Project Room as part of MATA’s Interval series. Fashion shows include CFDA winner Pamela Love, Project Runway winner Gretchen Jones, Kempner Collection, Ecco Domani winner Novis, Tanya Taylor, and more. Its projects are supported by the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA), the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, New York State Council on the Arts (NYSCA), and other generous foundations and individual donors.
Gabrielle Herbst (b. 1986) is a composer and vocalist residing in Brooklyn. She has premiered her compositions at Roulette, The Stone, Cabinet Magazine’s Exhibition Space, Issue Project Room and HERE Arts Center. Recipient of the 2011 Artist Residency at Robert Wilson’s Watermill Center in partnership with New York Theater Workshop, Herbst received commissions from Roulette and the Jerome Foundation, Sugar Vendil and the Nouveau Classical Project, Duo Noir and Experiments in Opera atIssue Project Room. She is a 2012 Con Edison Composer-in-Residence through Exploring the Metropolis, Inc. as well as a 2013 Composer-in-Residence at Atlantic Center for the Arts. As a featured vocalist she has performed with Valgeir Sigursson, Zeena Parkins, Missy Mazzoli, Elliott Sharp, Da Capo Chamber Players, Contemporaneous, Allie Avital Tsypin at The Kitchen, and Marina Rosenfeld’s Teenage Lontano in the 2008 Whitney Biennial. She has studied composition with Joan Tower, Martin Bresnick, Marina Rosenfeld and Zeena Parkins, voice with Ilka LoMonaco, and clarinet with David Krakauer. Gabrielle Herbst’s formal training began at an early age, studying Balinese dance and gamelan in Indonesia while learning both the clarinet and piano. She continued her training at Bard College where she studied voice and composition. Her work has been showcased at Robert Wilson’s Watermill Center, as well as Roulette, who in 2014 commissioned and premiered her first opera, Bodiless. Herbst’s experience writing for chamber orchestra and mixed instrumentation inspired her to develop a repertoire of short-form, vocal-centric compositions under the name GABI. These were driven by solitary explorations in early 2013 with a dual-track loop pedal. The nine songs composed for her debut album, Sympathy (Software Recording Co), embrace the vast potential of the human voice as instrument, story, and landscape. In 2015 she toured Sympathy in Europe and North America including David Byrne’s Meltdown Festival in London and the Pop Kultur Festival in Berlin, the Andy Warhol Museum, Pittsburgh, The Rest is Noise at the Muziekgebouw, Amsterdam, The Great Escape, Brighton, UK, Start the Bus, Bristol, UK, Marfa Myths Festival, Marfa, TX, Official showcase at SXSW, Austin, TX, The Wick presented by Pitchfork and the Tinnitus Music Festival, Club Los Globos, Los Angeles, DNA Lounge, San Fransicsco, CA, and Le Poisson Rouge, NYC, to name a few. Recent touring has included Casa Del Popolo presented by Pop Montreal, Quebec, the Slingshot Festival in Athens, GA, the New Media Art and Sound Summit in Austin, TX, and a series at Roulette curated by Meredith Monk. She is a current Artist-in-Residence at Roulette.
This residency and performance is made possible, in part, by the Jerome Foundation. The Jerome Foundation, a long-time supporter of young composers, was a mainstay in Roulette’s early development and continues to help us fulfill our mission by presenting ambitious work by promising artists. Each year, the Jerome Foundation supports five artist residencies and four commissions at Roulette.
This performance is presented through GENERATE.