Jen Shyu — Voice
Kiera Duffy — Voice
Caroline Shaw — Voice
The second night of the Resonant Bodies Festival opens with composer/performer Jen Shyu presenting her solo work Nine Doors; operatic superstar Kiera Duffy will make her RBF debut, presenting a variety of pieces curated for the Festival; and Pulitzer Prize-winner Caroline Shaw (of Roomful of Teeth) will perform works of her own composition.
Resonant Bodies Festival was founded to catalyze the creation of new vocal music, to expand the audience for new vocal music, and to challenge and transform the role of the vocal recitalist. Since its inception in 2013, RBF has been greeted with sustained critical acclaim and the delight of audiences and vocalists alike. For three nights every September in New York City, nine vocalists are given curatorial carte blanche over a forty-five minute set. This freedom—rarely granted to vocalists in the contemporary music world—gives each show a “happy zealousness, where the singers’ enthusiasm for their repertoire [is] contagious” (Sequenza 21). Thanks to a generous grant from the Ellis L. Phillips Foundation, RBF had its Australian debut at the Melbourne Recital Centre on May 17, 2017, which was greeted with much enthusiasm from the international vocal music community. Since then, RBF has expanded to include festivals in Chicago and Sydney, with an LA festival slated for 2019. In addition to the festivals, RBF reaches 25,000+ listeners around the globe through MRMR, the Festival’s extensive collection of online resources. MRMR includes: professional audio, video, and photo documentation of each Festival; Resonant Bodies Podcast, which features in-depth interviews with vocalists year-round; and the Contemporary Vocal Music Database, an open, crowdsourced, searchable index of 20th and 21st century vocal works with links to musical scores, as well as audio and video recordings. The Database aids composers in promoting their works to a larger audience, and assists vocalists in their search for new and meaningful repertoire.
Jen Shyu is a groundbreaking, multilingual vocalist, composer, producer, multi-instrumentalist, dancer, 2016 Doris Duke Artist, and was voted 2017 Downbeat Critics Poll Rising Star Female Vocalist. Born in Peoria, Illinois, to Taiwanese and East Timorese immigrant parents, Shyu is widely regarded for her virtuosic singing and riveting stage presence, carving out her own beyond-category space in the art world. She has performed with saxophonist and 2014 MacArthur Fellow Steve Coleman since 2003 and has collaborated with such musical innovators as Nicole Mitchell, Anthony Braxton, Wadada Leo Smith, Vijay Iyer, Bobby Previte, Chris Potter, Michael Formanek and David Binney. Shyu has performed her own music on prestigious world stages such as Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, Brooklyn Academy of Music, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, National Theater of Korea, and at festivals worldwide. Shyu has produced seven albums as a leader, including the first female-led and vocalist-led album Pi Recordings has released, Synastry (Pi 2011), with co-bandleader and bassist Mark Dresser. Her critically acclaimed Sounds and Cries of the World (Pi 2015) landed on many best-of-2015 lists, including those of The New York Times, The Nation, and NPR. Her latest album Song of Silver Geese (Pi 2017) is receiving rave reviews and was also included on The New York Times’ Best Albums of 2017. Even with the acclaim she has received for her recordings, Shyu is just as renowned for her dynamic performances. Ben Ratliff wrote in The New York Times that her concerts are “the most arresting performances I’ve seen over the past five years. It’s not just the meticulous preparation of the work and the range of its reference, but its flexibility: She seems open, instinctual, almost fearless.”
Recipient of a 2016 Lincoln Center Emerging Artist Award, American soprano Kiera Duffy is recognized for her gleaming high soprano and insightful musicianship in a diverse repertoire ranging from Bach, Handel, and Mozart to the modern sounds of Carter, Feldman, and Mazzoli. A prolific concert artist, Ms. Duffy has appeared with the New York Philharmonic, Chicago Symphony, Berlin Philharmoinc (this season), London Symphony, Los Angeles Philharmonic, San Francisco Symphony, New World Symphony, Mitteldeutscher Rundfunk Orchester, Atlanta Symphony, National Symphony, Boston Baroque, Apollo’s Fire, Simon Bolivar Orchestra and Detroit Symphony. She has collaborated with many of the celebrated conductors of the 20th and 21st centuries, including Herbert Blomstedt, Pierre Boulez, Gustavo Dudamel, Alan Gilbert, Loren Maazel, Michael Tilson Thomas, Kristjan Järvi, James Levine, Seiji Ozawa, Donald Runnicles, Leonard Slatkin, and Robert Spano. In the fall of 2016, Ms. Duffy premiered the role of Bess McNeill in Missy Mazzoli’s new opera Breaking the Waves with Opera Philadelphia and the Prototype Festival in New York City. Her performance garnered widespread critical acclaim from such publications as the New York Times, Opera News, Wall Street Journal, and the Philadelphia Inquirer. WQXR in New York City declared hers the Top Female Operatic Performance of 2016. Duffy’s interpretations of modern and contemporary repertoire have garnered wide acclaim. She has performed often with the Los Angeles Philharmonic’s Green Umbrella Series in works of Schoenberg, Berio, Ligeti and Unsuk Chin; with the New York Philharmonic in compositions of Ligeti and Boulez; with the Metropolis Ensemble in works of Esa-Pekka Salonen, as well as reinterpretations of Berlioz by young composers Vivian Fung, Brad Balliett, Ryan Francis, Sayo Kosugi, Nicholas Britell and Caroline Shaw. As part of the 2012 American Mavericks series she toured David del Tredici’s Syzygy with members of the San Francisco Symphony and Michael Tilson Thomas.
Caroline Adelaide Shaw is a New-York-based musician. She is the youngest-ever winner of the Pulitzer Prize for Music, for her enigmatic composition Partita for 8 Voices. Her career defies categorization: she performs as a violin soloist, chamber musician, and as a vocalist in the Grammy-winning ensemble Roomful of Teeth. Recent commissions include works for Carnegie Hall, the Guggenheim Museum, the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra with Jonathan Biss, and mezzo-soprano Anne Sofie von Otter. She also frequently collaborates with Kanye West. Currently a doctoral candidate at Princeton, Caroline also studied at Rice and Yale. Caroline loves the color yellow, otters, Beethoven Op. 74, Mozart opera, the smell of rosemary, and the sound of a janky mandolin.
This performance is a co-production between Roulette and Resonant Bodies Festival.