Category: Blogcast

Our 2019 Commissioned + Resident Artists and Van Lier Fellows

Roulette is proud to announce our 2019 Commissioned and Resident artists – trumpeter Jaimie Branch, bassist Shayna Dulberger, saxophonist and composer María Grand, saxophonist Travis LaPlante, musician and installation artist Cecilia Lopez, interdisciplinary artist, composer, and pianist Mary Prescott, vibraphonist Joel Ross, composer, musician and theatre artist Anjna Swaminathan, composer Alex Weiser, and electronic music composer Val Jeanty — and our 2019 Van Lier Fellows: composer and bassist Nick Dunston and vocalist, percussionist, and composer Anaïs Maviel.


[COMMISSION] Jaimie Branch

A mainstay of the Chicago jazz scene and recent active addition to the New York scene, Jaimie Branch is an avant-garde trumpeter known for her “ghostly sounds,” says The New York Times, and for “sucker punching” crowds straight from the jump off, says Time Out. Her classical training and “unique voice capable of transforming every ensemble of which she is a part” (Jazz Right Now) has contributed to a wide range of projects not only in jazz but also punk, noise, indie rock, electronic and hip-hop. Branch’s prolific as-of-yet underexposed work as a composer and a producer, as well as a sideman for the likes of William Parker, Matana Roberts, TV on the Radio and Spoon, is all on display in her debut record Fly or Die – a dynamic 35-minute ride that dares listeners to open their minds to music that knows no genre, no gender, no limits.

[RESIDENCY] Shayna Dulberger
Thursday, March 7, 2019

Shayna Dulberger has been living and performing in the NYC area since 2003. You can catch her slapping upright bass in her old timey band Nifty Knuckles, rocking out on electric bass in band Chaser and exploring textures and found sounds on tape collages in noise project HOT DATE. Dulberger has appeared on over a dozen recordings mostly in the free jazz genre. She has performed in ensembles led by William Parker, Ras Moshe, Bill Cole, Charles Gayle, Jonathan Moritz and Chris Welcome. She plays electric bass on Cellular Chaos’s record Diamond Teeth Clenched (Skin Graft). Dulberger (b. 1983) is from Mahopac, NY. She attended Manhattan School of Music Preparatory Division in High School and was awarded a Bachelor of Music from Mason Gross School of The Arts Conservatory, Rutgers University where she majored in Jazz Performance. Aside from performing she currently teaches at Brooklyn Conservatory.

[VAN LIER FELLOW] Nick Dunston
Wednesday, January 30, 2019

Nick Dunston is a Brooklyn-based composer, bassist, and scholar. His performances have spanned a variety of venues and festivals across countries in North America and Europe. While not tethered to any one community, his work often finds itself in between the spaces of jazz, Black American music, 20th century western classical music, experimental music, No wave, and in many cases, cross-disciplinary collaborations. He’s performed professionally with artists such as Tyshawn Sorey, Vijay Iyer, Marc Ribot, Imani Uzuri, Anthony Coleman, Amirtha Kidambi, Dave Douglas, Matt Wilson, Jeff Lederer, Jeff “Tain” Watts, Darius Jones, and more. As a composer, he’s written for and collaborated for a wide range of artists, from solo instrumentalists, to his own bands, to chamber orchestras, performance artists. He’s been commissioned by entities such as the New York Public Library of Performing Arts, the Joffrey Ballet School, The Witches, violist Joanna Mattrey, the ESMAE Jazz and Chamber Orchestras, and more. His currently leads two bands: “Atlantic Extraction” and “Truffle Pig”, and is a co-leader of “Feral Children” (with Noah Becker and Lesley Mok) and “Aurelia Trio” (with Theo Walentiny and Connor Parks). As a writer, he’s contributed monthly to Hot House jazz magazine since 2016.

[RESIDENCY] Maria Grand
Thursday, March 21, 2019
Tuesday, May 28, 2019

María Grand is a saxophonist, composer, educator, and vocalist. She moved to New York City in 2011. She has since become an important member of the city’s creative music scene, performing extensively in projects including musicians such as Nicole Mitchell, Vijay Iyer, Craig Taborn, Mary Halvorson, Jen Shyu, Fay Victor, Joel Ross, Steve Lehman, Aaron Parks, Miles Okazaki, etc. María writes and performs her original compositions with her ensemble, DiaTribe; her debut EP “TetraWind” was picked as “one of the 2017’s best debuts” by the NYC Jazz Record and her full-length album Magdalena was praised by major publications such as the New York Times, Downbeat, JazzTimes, JazzIz, and others. The New York Times calls her “an engrossing young tenor saxophonist with a zesty attack and a solid tonal range”, while Vijay Iyer says she is “a fantastic young saxophonist, virtuosic, conceptually daring, with a lush tone, a powerful vision, and a deepening emotional resonance.” María is a recipient of the 2017 Jazz Gallery Residency Commission and the 2018 Roulette Jerome Foundation Commission. As an activist in the performing arts, María is a founding member of anti-discrimination group the We Have Voice Collective. She is a member of the Doug Hammond quintet, has toured with Antoine Roney, and performs regularly with her own ensemble, as well as with RAJAS, led by Carnatic musician Rajna Swaminathan, and Ouroboros, led by Grammy Award winner alto saxophonist Román Filiú. She has toured Europe, the United States, and South America, playing in venues and festivals such as the Village Vanguard in NYC, La Villette Jazz Festival in Paris, Saafelden Jazz Festival in Austria, Millennium Park in Chicago, the Blue Whale in LA, IloJazz in Guadeloupe (FR), and many others.

[NYSCA COMMISSION] Val Jeanty

Being born and raised in Haiti until the age of 12 has exposed me to this merging in sound structures and has left an impression on the way I hear and create musical compositions. Living and creating in New York city for over a decade has granted me access to advanced study and knowledge of electronic sound composition. This knowledge in sound merging and design inspired me to create a new genre called Afro-Electronica, which is the incorporation of Haitian traditional ritual music with electronic instruments, the past and the future.” Jeanty issued her first album in 2000 thanks to a Van Lier Fellowship and has exhibited at the Village Vanguard and in Italy. Jeanty grew up in Haiti but moved to the United States in 1986, after the departure of Jean-Claude Duvalier. Jeanty’s installations have been showcased in New York City at the Whitney Museum, the Museum of Modern Art, the Brooklyn Academy of Music, the Village Vanguard and internationally at Saalfelden Music Festival in Austria, Stanser Musiktage in Switzerland, Jazz à la Villette in France, and the Biennale Di Venezia in Italy. In the documentary film The United States of Hoodoo, she speaks about the relationship between sound and spirituality. In 2002, she was chosen by poet Tracie Morris as the sound engineer for her poetry installation at the 2002 Whitney Biennial. In 2011, she was commissioned by Wesleyan University’s Center for the arts to collaborate with Dr.Gina Athena Ulysse on Fascinating! Her resilience – a multimedia performance which explores the various meanings assigned to the word resilience in western conceptualizations of Haitians post-earthquake. In 2014, she collaborated with afro-Cuban bassist de:Yosvany Terry on his album “New Throned King” (5Passion), contributing samplings of vodou ceremonies. She was also the sound designer for the off-off-Broadway production Facing Our Truth: 10-Minute Plays on Trayvon, Race and Privilege presented by the National Black Theater.

[RESIDENCY] Travis LaPlante
Monday, May 21, 2019

Travis Laplante is a saxophonist, composer, and qigong practitioner. Laplante leads Battle Trance, the acclaimed tenor saxophone quartet as well as Subtle Degrees, his newest project with drummer Gerald Cleaver. He is also known for his solo saxophone work and his longstanding ensemble Little Women. Laplante has recently performed and/or recorded with Trevor Dunn, Ches Smith, Peter Evans, So Percussion, Michael Formanek, Buke and Gase, Ingrid Laubrock, Darius Jones, Mat Maneri, and Matt Mitchell, among others. He has toured his music extensively and has appeared at many major international festivals throughout the US, Canada, and Europe. As a qigong student of master Robert Peng, Laplante has undergone traditional intensive training. His focus in recent years, under the tutelage of Laura Stelmok, has been on Taoist alchemical medicine and the cultivation of the heart. Laplante is passionate about the intersection of music and medicine. He and his wife are the founders of Sword Hands, a qigong and acupuncture healing practice.

[RESIDENCY] Cecilia Lopez
Monday, March 18, 2019
Thursday, June 20, 2019

Cecilia Lopez is a composer, musician and installation artist from Buenos Aires, Argentina. Her work explores the boundaries between composition and improvisation, as well as the resonance properties of diverse materials through the creation of non- conventional sound devices and systems. She holds and M.F.A from Bard College and an M.A. in composition from Wesleyan University. Her work has been performed at Museo de Arte Moderno de Buenos Aires, Festival Internacional Tsonami de Buenos Aires, Floating Points Festival at Issue Project Room (New York), Ostrava Days Festival (Czech Republic), MATA Festival (New York), Experimental Intermedia (New York) Kunsternes Hus (Oslo) and Contemporary Art Center (Vilnius). She was a Civitella Ranieri fellow in 2015. Collaborations include projects with Carmen Baliero, Carrie Schneider and Lars Laumann among others. www.cecilia-lopez.com

[VAN LIER FELLOW] Anaïs Maviel
Tuesday, February 5, 2019

Anaïs Maviel is a vocalist, percussionist, composer, music director and community facilitator. Her work focuses on the function of music as essential to settling common grounds, addressing Relation, and creating utopian future. Inspired by Edouard Glissant’s reflections on Creolization, she has associated her practice with the inextricable currents that move spaces and people between times and lands. The contemporary context of re-formulation of self, reality and social structures led her to question the use of language, and to explore its vibratory essence in music. Involved at the crossroads of mediums – music, visual art, dance, theater and performance art – she has been an in-demand creative force for artists such as William Parker, Steffani Jemison, Daria Faïn, Larkin Grimm, Shelley Hirsch, Mara Rosenbloom, Melanie Maar & La Bomba de Tiempo – to give a sense of her eclectic company. As a leader she is dedicated to substantial creations from solo to large ensembles, music direction for cross-disciplinary works, and to expanding the power of music as a healing & transformative act. She performs extensively in New York, as well as in North, Central & South America and Europe. Her solo debut hOULe, out on Gold Bolus Recordings, received international acclaim and she recently released an eponymous album with carnivalesque duo DIASPORA. With a Masters Degree in Aesthetics (Literature, Arts & Contemporary Though – Paris VII Diderot University), she focused her scholarly works on Afrocentric paradigms of Creative Music as utopian alternative politics. Anaïs Maviel pursues essay and poetic writings as part of her artistic inquiry and published a recent article in French magazine Revue et Corrigée, interviewed by bassist and collaborator Maxim Petit about the stakes of multiculturalism in contemporary music.

[COMMISSION] Mary Prescott
TBA

Mary Prescott is an interdisciplinary artist, composer and pianist who explores the foundations and facets of identity and social conditions through experiential performance. An Artist-in-Residence at the Hudson Opera House (NY), Areté Venue and Gallery (NYC), and Arts Letters and Numbers (NY), Prescott’s work includes the interdisciplinary performance pieces Atlasomnia, Mother Me, and He Disappeared into Complete Silence (with saxophonist Darius Jones); the immersive multimedia chamber opera, ALICE; the online sound journal, Where We Go When; Hook & Eye, improvised performance with visual artist Angela Costanzo Paris; and film music for Thereska Gregor’s Nocecrepa, and Salzburg Experimental Academy of Dance. Prescott performs at independent, experimental and traditional stages internationally, appearing in the NYC Electroacoustic Music Festival, Women Composers Festival of Hartford, Constellation’s Frequency Series in Chicago, Women Between Arts at The New School in New York, the Josip Kasman Music Festival in Croatia, Baiona Piano Festival in Spain, Carnegie Hall, National Sawdust and others. She is featured in Ophra Yerushalmi’s documentary film, Prelude to DebussyA New York Foundation for the Arts Emerging Leader, Prescott is a Co-Founder of the Lyra Music Festival & Workshop at Smith College, where she served as Artistic Director and lead faculty for several years. Other faculty appointments include the Goppisberger Music Festival in Switzerland, the Louisiana Chamber Music Institute, Larchmont Music Academy, and Great Neck Music Conservatory. Prescott holds degrees from The University of Minnesota – Twin Cities (Bachelor of Music), and the Manhattan School of Music (Master of Music).

 

[COMMISSION] Joel M. Ross
Wednesday, May 22, 2019

Chicago native Joel Ross is a “bright young vibraphonist on his own rocket-like trajectory.” (Nate Chinen, The New York Times). Joel has performed with many of jazz’s most lauded artists including Ambrose Akinmusire, Christian McBride, Gerald Clayton, Louis Hayes, Melissa Aldana, Wynton Marsalis and Herbie Hancock, among others. He is an integral part of fellow Chicago native Marquis Hill’s Blacktet, and is increasingly active as a bandleader and composer with numerous groups under his name. He is currently based in New York City.

[COMMISSION] Anjna Swaminathan
Sunday, April 28, 2019

Anja Swaminathan is a versatile composer, musician and theatre artist. A disciple of the late violin maestro Parur Sri M.S. Gopalakrishnan and Mysore Sri H.K. Narasimhamurthy, she performs regularly in Carnatic, Hindustani and creative music settings. In the summer of 2014, Anjna was a participant at the celebrated Banff International Workshop in Jazz and Creative Music in Alberta, Canada, where she worked closely with eminent jazz and creative musicians and led workshops on the fundamentals of Carnatic improvisation and listening. She has since performed with and been encouraged by established musicians in New York’s thriving creative music scene including Jen Shyu, Imani Uzuri, Vijay Iyer, Tyshawn Sorey, Amir ElSaffar, Stephan Crump, Graham Haynes, Mat Maneri, Miles Okazaki and others. In 2015, Anjna came under the tutelage of renowned vocalist and scholar, T.M. Krishna for her training in Carnatic music, and vocalist Samarth Nagarkar for her training in Hindustani music and accompaniment. She frequently engages with the burgeoning community of Indian classical musicians in New York and New Jersey, and is an active member of the Brooklyn Raga Massive, a growing artist-managed collective of musicians, performers and educators with a firm grounding in raga-based music and a mission to create a diverse, community-oriented artistic practice. In 2018, Anjna was a composer fellow in the Gabriela Lena Frank Creative Academy of Music, where she worked closely with esteemed composer and mentor Gabriela Lena Frank to study Western classical music notation and premiere her first ever string quartet, written for and performed by the acclaimed Del Sol String Quartet.  As a theatre artist, writer and dramaturg with interests in the intersection of race, class/caste, gender and sexuality, Hindu vedantic philosophy, and the boundaries of postcolonial Indian nationhood, Anjna often engages in artistic work that ties together multiple aesthetic forms towards a critical consciousness. She frequently takes part in interdisciplinary collaborations, often developing scores and providing musical accompaniment for dancers and dance companies, most notably, Rama Vaidyanathan, Prakriti Dance (Kasi Aysola and Madhvi Venkatesh), Mythili Prakash, Malini Srinivasan, Soles of Duende (Brinda Guha, Arielle Rosales and Amanda Castro) and Ragamala Dance. Anjna was commissioned (with co-composers Rajna Swaminathan and Sam McCormally) to create an original score for playwright/performer Anu Yadav’s one-woman-play Meena’s Dream. In her dramaturgical and theatrical work, she has a keen interest in developing new projects that seek to problematize the hierarchies of caste and gender that are inherent in her musical idiom, something that deeply informs her musical practice. She leads the multidisciplinary project WOVEN, which combines original music and poetry to meditate on and problematize ideas of death, memory and loss in Hindu vedantic philosophy. Her string trio for WOVEN features bassist Stephan Crump and cellist Naseem Alatrash. Anjna is co-artistic director of Rhythm Fantasies, Inc. – a non-profit organization that strives to promote South Indian classical music and dance in a space that encourages education and enrichment through innovation and cross-cultural collaboration. Anjna holds a Bachelors degree in Theatre from the University of Maryland, College Park.

[RESIDENCY] Alex Weiser
Tuesday, June 18, 2019

Broad gestures, rich textures, and narrative sweep are hallmarks of the “compelling” (New York Times), “shapely, melody-rich” (Wall Street Journal) music of composer Alex Weiser. Born and raised in New York City, Weiser creates acutely cosmopolitan music combining a deeply felt historical perspective with a vibrant forward-looking creativity. Weiser has been praised for writing “insightful” music “of great poetic depth” (Feast of Music), and for having a “sophisticated ear and knack for evoking luscious textures and imaginative yet approachable harmonies.” (I Care If You Listen). An energetic advocate for contemporary classical music and for the work of his peers, Weiser co-founded and directs Kettle Corn New Music, an “ever-enjoyable,” and “engaging” concert series which “creates that ideal listening environment that so many institutions aim for: relaxed, yet allowing for concentration,” (New York Times) and was for nearly five years a director of the MATA Festival, “the city’s leading showcase for vital new music by emerging composers.” (The New Yorker). Weiser is now the Director of Public Programs at the YIVO Institute for Jewish Research where he curates and produces programs that combine a fascination with and curiosity for historical context,with an eye toward influential Jewish contributions to the culture of today and tomorrow.

Darius Jones: For The People

Darius Jones: For The People
Monday, November 5, 2018
Performance 8pm / Doors 7pm

What: Part concert and part community event, For the People, organized by Darius Jones in collaboration with The Wet Ink Large Ensemble brings together musicians and activists on the eve of the upcoming midterm election.
When: Monday, November 5, 2018
Where: Roulette, 509 Atlantic Ave Brooklyn, 2/3/4/5/A/C/G/D/M/N/R/B/Q trains & the LIRR
Cost: $18 presale, $25 Doors
Info: www.roulette.org / (917) 267-0368
Tickets: http://bit.ly/FA181105

Brooklyn, NYFor the People is a community-based event and concert organized by Darius Jones on the eve of the November midterm election. The evening is centered around a collection of compositions by Jones—in collaboration with The Wet Ink Large Ensemble—that uphold the belief that artists have the duty and power to inform, inspire, and empower their community. The evening includes the world premiere of Being Caged In ICE, followed by the second performance ever of America The Joke, and concludes with the return of LawNOrder (pronounced “law no order”), a game piece examining social justice and American History in which each player represents a separate character and is handed a law to follow at the beginning of the piece. Onnesha Roychoudhuri, Brooklyn-based activist, editor, educator, and author of The Marginalized Majority: Claiming Our Power in a Post-Truth America to speak.

Appearances by:
Eric Wubbels: piano
Ian Antonio: percussion
Josh Modney: violin
Weston Olencki: trombone
Amirtha Kidambi: voice
Gelsey Bell: voice
Nina Dante: voice
Sugar Vendil: piano
Sean Conly: bass
Michael Vatcher: drums
Daniel Givens: electronics
Jean Carla Rodea: voice
Shelley Nicole: voice
Jonathan Finlayson: trumpet
Leia Slosberg: flute
Jessica Jones: tenor sax
Sam Newsome: soprano sax

For more information about this project visit votefordarius.com.

Darius Jones is a critically acclaimed alto saxophonist and composer. In 2008, Jones was awarded the Van Lier Fellowship by Roulette, which he used to launch the Elizabeth-Caroline Unit, a project dedicated to new works for voice. Roulette continued to support Jones’ work through a Jerome Foundation Commission, awarding Jones an Artist-in-Residence opportunity for the Elizabeth-Caroline Unit to premiere his vocal composition, The Oversoul Manual, in2014. Jones made his compositional debut at Carnegie Hall with The Oversoul Manual in October 2014. In 2013, Jones was nominated for Alto Saxophonist of the Year, and for Up & Coming Artist of the Year two years in a row by the Jazz Journalists Association Jazz Awards. He was one of Jazz Times’ Debut Artists of the Year for 2009, and his 2012 release, Book of Mæ’bul (Another Kind of Sunrise), was listed among NPR’s Best Top 10 Jazz Albums of that year.

Elliott Sharp: IrRational Music

Elliott Sharp: IrRational Music
Thursday, November 1, 2018
Performance 8pm / Doors 7pm

What: A concert celebrating the release of Elliott Sharp’s forthcoming album Dispersion and the publication of his book, IrRational.
Where: Roulette, 509 Atlantic Ave Brooklyn, 2/3/4/5/A/C/G/D/M/N/R/B/Q trains & the LIRR
Cost: $18 presale, $25 Doors
Info: www.roulette.org / (917) 267-0368
Tickets: http://bit.ly/FA181101

Brooklyn, NY – Seminal composer and multi-instrumentalist Elliott Sharp returns to Roulette to mark two important forthcoming releases: IrRational Music, Sharp’s memoir and rumination on thought, music, and art published by Terra Nova Books with Found Sound Nation, and the release of his latest album Dispersion, a collaboration with the Vendi Ensemble on Mode Records.

The evening features a solo set by Sharp on 8-string guitarbass, playing selections from his album Octal, in addition to the realization of his graphic score Mare Undarum. The second half of the program brings SysOrk, Sharp’s ensemble dedicated to performing algorithmic scores and graphic notations together with the members of Veni Ensemble to perform three of the pieces included on the Dispersion: The Hidden Variable, Dispersion of Seeds, and Flexagons. Sharp and Veni’s collaboration comes out their residency in Kosice, Slovakia in 2015.

A central figure in the avant-garde and experimental music scene in New York City for over 30 years, Elliott Sharp has released over eighty-five recordings ranging from orchestral music to blues, jazz, noise, no wave rock, and techno music. He is is a 2014 Guggenheim Fellow, and a 2014 Fellow at Parson’s Center for Transformative Media. He received the 2015 Berlin Prize in Musical Composition from the American Academy in Berlin.

SysOrk
Elliott Sharp – Guitar, Clarinet
Rachel Golub – Violin
Shayna Dulberger
Terry L. Green II

Veni Ensemble
Brano Dugovič – Clarinet
David Danel – Violin
Fero Kiraly – Synth
Lenka Novosedlikova – Percussion
Juraj Berats – Guitar
Ivan Siller – Piano
Daniel Matej – Objects

Roulette’s 40th Anniversary Gala Honoring Hal Willner

Roulette’s 40th Anniversary Gala Honoring Hal Willner
Thursday, October 25, 2018

What: Roulette honors eclectic and prolific musician/producer Hal Willner at its 40th Anniversary Gala
When: Thursday, October 25, 2018. 7–11pm.
Where: Roulette, 509 Atlantic Ave Brooklyn, 2/3/4/5/A/C/G/D/M/N/R/B/Q trains & the LIRR
Cost: Remaining tables start at $5,000, Tickets at $100
Info: www.roulette.org / (917) 267-0368
Tickets: http://roulette.org/gala/

Roulette’s Director Jim Staley and Board of Directors are thrilled to announce Roulette’s 40th Anniversary Gala honoring eclectic and prolific musician/producer Hal Willner. The evening will feature performances by artists from Willner’s extensive career, including avant-pop icon Laurie Anderson, incomparable performance artist and filmmaker Kembra Pfahler, Joan Wasser (Joan as Police Woman) of Antony and the Johnsons, composer and slide-trumpeter Steven Bernstein, SNL Musical Directors Lenny Pickett and Eli Brueggemann, singer Janine Nichols, singer/songwriter Teddy Thompson, actress Chloe Webb, saxophonist Doug Wieselman, and more.

Mr. Willner’s unexpected approach to curation and music production has made him one of the most refreshing musical connectors of our time. His many concept albums and live events celebrate unlikely collaborations—his Kurt Weill tribute records feature the likes of Sting, Charlie Haden, Lou Reed, Nick Cave; while his Amarcord Nino Rota tribute album features Wynton and Branford Marsalis, Bill Frisell, Muhal Richard Abrams; his Disney album features performances by artists like Sun Ra and Ringo Starr; and his live events bring together dozens of leading creative voices across film, comedy, music, and theater. He has been the sketch music producer of Saturday Night Live for the past 30 years and is currently working on his next concept album celebrating the music of T. Rex.

All proceeds from the evening go to the creation of Roulette’s Future Fund—a multi-purpose reserve fund to help build a strong, sustainable future for our organization and the artists we present. Support for the Future Fund will be matched up to $150,000 by the Howard Gilman Foundation.

BENEFIT COMMITTEE CO-CHAIRS
Meredith Monk
Joseph Walker

BENEFIT COMMITTEE
Sean Buffington
MV Carbon
Dick Connette
Mario Diaz de Leon
Robert Flynt
Paul + Rochelle Gertner
Mary MacArthur Griffin
Simon Hanes
Anne Hemenway
Pauline Kim
John King
Gordon Knox
John Madsen
Stéphanie Palmer
Zeena Parkins
Catherine Pavlov
Tomeka Reid
Ned Rothenberg
Jason Weiss
Scott Wollschleger

 

Ken Thomson: Sextet Album Release Show

Ken Thomson: Sextet Album Release Show
Sunday, October 7, 2018
Performance 8pm / Doors 7pm

What: Ken Thomson debuts new project and album: Sextet on New Focus Recordings.
When: Sunday, October 7, 2018
Where: Roulette, 509 Atlantic Ave Brooklyn, 2/3/4/5/A/C/G/D/M/N/R/B/Q trains & the LIRR
Cost: $18 presale, $25 Doors
Info: www.roulette.org / (917) 267-0368
Tickets: http://bit.ly/FA181007

Brooklyn, NYRoulette welcomes Brooklyn-based clarinetist, saxophonist, and composer Ken Thomson for an evening of music featuring the New York premieres of  “Ripple” and “Pall”, followed by a performance by Thomson’s ensemble project, Sextet as they celebrate their latest album, out now on New Focus Recordings.

“Ripple” for bass clarinet and string quartet (2017)
“Pall” for clarinet and string quartet (2018)
New York Premieres

Ken Thomson, clarinet
Katie Hyun and Lena Vidulich, violins
Wendy Richman, viola
Jeffrey Zeigler, cello

Ken Thomson: Sextet
Ken Thomson,alto saxophone
Anna Webber, tenor saxophone
Russ Johnson, trumpet
Nick Finzer, trombone
Adam Armstrong, bass
Daniel Dor, drums

Ken Thomson is a staple of NYC’s contemporary music and jazz community, known for performing with the Bang on a Can All-Stars, and composing and playing with the bands Slow/Fast and Gutbucket. He has written music for the JACK Quartet, Ashley Bathgate, American Composers Orchestra, and others. Thomson is known for a unique voice that blends a variety of styles, with the Chicago Reader exclaiming that “few musicians travel as assuredly and meaningfully between jazz and new music as saxophonist Ken Thomson.” Guided by a desire to create music in which composition and improvisation are equally important and codependent, Sextet is the latest in a series of recordings the composer has made unifying these traditions. With this project, Thomson aims to fuse the  intensity and thematic cohesiveness of modern composition with jazz’s spontaneity and openness.

Brandon Seabrook Trio: Convulsionaries Album Release

Brandon Seabrook Trio: Convulsionaries Album Release
Monday, October 1, 2018
Performance 8pm / Doors 7pm

What: The Brandon Seabrook Trio celebrates the release of their newest album Convulsionaries now out on Astral Spirits.
When: Monday, October 1, 2018
Where: Roulette, 509 Atlantic Ave Brooklyn, 2/3/4/5/A/C/G/D/M/N/R/B/Q trains & the LIRR
Cost: $18 presale, $25 Doors
Info: www.roulette.org / (917) 267-0368
Tickets: http://bit.ly/FA181001

Brooklyn, NY The Brandon Seabrook Trio celebrates the release of their latest album Convulsionaries on Astral Spirits. For this all-string group, guitarist and composer Brandon Seabrook is joined by two revolutionary players – rising upright bassist Henry Fraser (Anthony Coleman, The Full Salon) and Daniel Levin (Tony Malaby, Mat Maneri) on cello. The trio aims to decipher Seabrook’s thorny compositions, which perpetually surprise and unseat the listener and audience through rhythmic precision oscillating between ominous repeating ostinatos; angular, intricate, and with a massive dynamic range which changes rapidly. Seabrook’s imaginative compositions are a study in transforming sense of impending doom into a cathartic release, allowing equal space for improvisation and rigid execution of the complex scores.

Brandon Seabrook Trio

Brandon Seabrook  Guitar/Compositions
Daniel Levin Cello
Henry Fraser – Double Bass

Brandon Seabrook is a guitarist, banjoist, and composer living in New York City whose work focuses on the intersections between improvisation and structure through fragmented and rapidly changing soundscapes. Described by Spin as “An apocalyptic, supersonic general of the banjo…” Seabrook has established himself as one of the most unique and volatile guitarists and banjo players working in New York today.

VX Bliss: Audiovisual Arrangements by Ginny Benson

VX Bliss: Audiovisual Arrangements by Ginny Benson
Wednesday, November 7, 2018
Performance 8pm / Doors 7pm

 

What: Roulette welcomes back intermedia artist Ginny Benson, deploying a new immersive project in sound and video.
When: Wednesday, November 7, 2018
Where: Roulette, 509 Atlantic Ave Brooklyn, 2/3/4/5/A/C/G/D/M/N/R/B/Q trains & the LIRR
Cost: $18 presale, $25 Doors
Info: www.roulette.org / (917) 267-0368
Tickets: http://bit.ly/FA181107

Brooklyn, NYVX Bliss is the solo project of intermedia artist Ginny Benson. Her live performances use analog synthesis to create densely layered electronic music that drifts between melodic soundscape and atonal noise, integrated with video collages made from VHS tapes, circuit bent mixers, and feedback.

VX Bliss explores techniques of blending and juxtaposing sound and video to create an immersive abstract environment where audio and control-voltage signals fuse modular synthesis with analog video technology. Found images from VHS tapes, layered and woven into video feedback, are distorted into shapes and patterns – samplers and synthesizer glitches, drones, and other electronic ephemera create lush compositions that stimulate and disrupt the viewer’s perception.

VX Bliss on Soundcloud: https://soundcloud.com/vxbliss

Tomas Fujiwara: 7 Poets Trio

Tomas Fujiwara: 7 Poets Trio
Wednesday, October 10, 2018
Performance 8pm / Doors 7pm

What: Tomas Fujiwara presents new music with Patricia Brennan and Tomeka Reid.
When: Wednesday, October 10, 2018
Where: Roulette, 509 Atlantic Ave Brooklyn, 2/3/4/5/A/C/G/D/M/N/R/B/Q trains & the LIRR
Cost: $18 presale, $25 Doors
Info: www.roulette.org / (917) 267-0368
Tickets: http://bit.ly/FA181010

Brooklyn, NYDrummer and composer Tomas Fujiwara premieres new work for his latest ensemble project, 7 Poets Trio. Composed specifically for this ensemble, with Fujiwara on drums, Patricia Brennan on vibraphone, and Tomeka Reid on cello, Fujiwara aims to utilize the distinct musical personalities of his collaborators as well as the unique instrumentation of the trio. 7 Poets Trio seeks to strike a balance between composition and improvisation, to offer each musician a number of roles—foreground and background, soloistic and supportive, melodic and percussive—and, most importantly, to provide an environment for a truly collaborative ensemble sound.

Tomas Fujiwara: drums
Patricia Brennan: vibraphone
Tomeka Reid: cello

7 Poets Trio formed in April 2018 during Fujiwara’s residency at The Stone. The rapport was instantaneous and the trio’s debut was described by All About Jazz as “a meshing of chamber jazz, modern classical composition, and improvisation, although most of Fujiwara’s music sounded well organized in advance. All three players rose to an individual expression, working as a composite unit to deliver solo embellishments. Roles were malleable, as the listener decided whether everyone was soloing, or no-one. All three members were devoted to establishing a sensitive group consciousness, and they succeeded eminently.” The trio is a continuation of several of Fujiwara’s musical interests – the flexible roles and multifaceted possibilities of a particular instrument, the sounds of multi-percussion ensembles, drawing from his days as a performer in Stomp and his bands Triple Double and Double Double, as well as other double-drummer ensembles he’s been a part of such as Living By Lanterns, No Moto, and the Taylor Ho Bynum 7-tette.

Sally Silvers In Conversation with Yvonne Rainer

Roulette has always maintained a relationship with dance artists, and I pride myself with being part of the adventure since the early 1980s. Jim Staley was the first to ever ask me to improvise live in concert (in 1982) and there has been no looking back—on stage or in my studio.

Beyond the world of improvisation, I also trace my choreographic roots to Yvonne Rainer and the 1960s Judson Dance Theater of which she was a founding member. When she asked me to be part of her newly formed dance group in 2005, I had been choreographing for over two decades. Although I had never wanted to be a dancer in anyone’s company before, you do not say no to your dance hero—and it was an unforgettable experience from 2005 to 2011.

Before, during, and after, Roulette has been a cherished source of support for me and so many others in the performing arts community and is still introducing me to a wild range of incredible artistry. My admiration for the legacies of experimental dance and movement, music and sound arts, and everything in between overflows in celebration of Roulette’s 40th!

—Sally Silvers

On November 29th through December 1st, artistic director and choreographer Sally Silvers presents the three-night run premiere of her dance piece ALONG at Roulette. A low-tech, science fiction based “girl power” adventure, ALONG imagines a place where different worlds and body languages confuse, collide, and waveringly communicate. The piece is intended to be a stark meeting of “super-heroes” stranded on a desert isle. Since there is no shared language, it starts from scratch to build a communality of difference. The cast includes dancers Brandon Collwes, Dylan Crossman, Megan Curet, Lindsey Jones, Cori Kresge, Benedict Nguyen, Veraalba Santa, Melissa Toogood, and Joshua Tucson and features three Gotham Girls Roller Derby Skater All-Stars: Lauren Corry (aka Caf Fiend), S.C. Lucier (Fast and Luce), and Katherine Rugg (Space Invader).

ALONG features live sound design and electronics by Bruce Andrews and Michael Schumacher, video by Ursula Scherrer, lighting design by Joe Levasseur, costumes by Elizabeth Hope Clancy, and drones by Charles Dennis.

For Roulette’s 7th issue, here she is in conversation with friend and collaborator, Yvonne Rainer.


Yvonne Rainer: How do you begin to make a dance; what are the very first “moves”—physically and cognitively?

Sally Silvers:  I usually start a new piece cognitively with literature (in the past: Jean Genet, Gertrude Stein, James Ellroy), or movies (eg. Hitchcock, Godard), or music/opera (Berg’s Lulu, Hindemith’s The Four Temperaments, Luigi Nono’s opera on revolutions), or a famous figure or concept (Tina Modotti, Sor Juana, cyborgs, women scientists, girl/group/power) and do a lot of watching, reading, listening for months—or mostly at the beach—trying to get a feeling, an instinct, and a grasp. I’ll start saving pictures, writing down movement ideas, daydreaming—in the past I would find some music that seemed relative and record myself improvising to it for movement ideas. To be honest, these days at my age, I have such a backlog of improvisations, I’m often reaching out to my younger pre-recorded self for current ideas.

I’m not sure why I chose science fiction this time. With few exceptions, I have been a true reality-based choreographer who wants to problematize the relationship to the body and others as a practice of social/political commentary hard-wired into the composition. I think it’s the current political state we are in now that maybe brought me to sci-fi to escape with utopias or with dystopias. I’ve narrowed myself to sci-fi written by women and that addresses my theme of communication (such as Memoirs of a Spacewoman by Naomi Mitchison), which hopefully takes up some of the problems we’re having now, however obliquely. I think of myself as a social modernist somewhat—I know that’s contradictory.  I might be an abstractionist at heart.

YR: To what extent do you want your sources to be recognizable in the finished product? I think I’m more of a literalist in that I want my literary affects to run parallel with movement in the form of readings, but if my memories of your work are accurate, you seem to let your literary influences lie kind of subliminally in relation to the “choreography.”

SS: My experience of your work is you want parallel tracks but often they don’t seem related. They seem like you want associations that don’t connect; that are related only by time.  I think I’m going for a connection, but a mystery as to why.

YR: It’s true, I deliberately go for the obvious “radical juxtapositions”—connection between word and image comes and goes, maybe usually “goes,” but the “mystery,” and perhaps the power, of your dances is not the why but how it works. Do you consider what you do more narrative than abstract?

SS:  I think “mystery” might have been a cop-out word.  Maybe I meant I was going for a connection that is a by-product of a constellation of all that is going on in the moment—things that link but can also contradict, therefore creating a challenge or dialogue. I really fight against the word “narrative.” Even if there is a story, as in [the Hitchcock-inspired dance pieces]: Actual Size (2014) and Tenderizer (2017)—which both premiered at Roulette—or when I did a version of Berg’s Lulu (1996), I make the “story” into situations or references, or abstractions (like making a space pattern that occurs at three different times out of the design of the opening credits of Hitchcock’s North by Northwest). The dancers can play any and all of the characters at any time or do many things that don’t seem to refer to an identifiable character at all. (Is a sequence of moves without characters really a narrative?)  Although I’ve noticed I don’t do much gender-crossing. Maybe that’s next. ALONG is going to be very influenced by Ursula K. Le Guin’s sci-fi novel The Left Hand of Darkness about a genderless society—anyone can give birth—on a planet with entire vocabularies for ice. I see the derby skaters as a kind of “set design” of the constancy of “ice” while still operating as superheroes, for instance.

YR: I’m intrigued by your “…making a space pattern out of the design of the opening credits of North by Northwest”—do you mean all those diagonals followed by the milling crowds? (I looked up the credits on the internet). Ha! I thought my huge collection of newspaper photos and sports videos was an inexhaustible resource, but I never would have dreamed of going to movie credits—which suggests a modus operandi that might be described as “eclectic incongruity” in addition to your “social [post]modernism.” The world-is-your-oyster kind of thing—but I’m still curious about how much of these resources are buried or recognizable in the final product, and I can’t remember if you credit them in your program notes or if that’s even an issue for you.

SS: I like that—“eclectic incongruity”—because there is a layering beyond just using the credits as a potential space pattern. For instance, the “diagonals followed by the milling crowds” led me to my movement instruction library where I found my book on billiards and chose a pattern illustrating how to get a particular ball in the pocket, so I layered that on top of the idea that came from the diagonals in the film. And the milling crowds, from an overhead film shot became a small triangle of people in the downstage left corner of the space who moved using vocabulary I learned from my book on beginning Labanotation. How recognizable these resources are in the final product is not very important to me. You would be surprised how many people have not seen North by Northwest or any other film of Hitchcock’s for that matter.  Although I’ve chosen a particular book, or artist, or film, because I am interested in it or it brings up issues that I am exploring, I think of the resources more as treasure chests of potential ideas to make a dance out of—blueprints or roadmaps to lend structure or ideas to start with in rehearsal: a way to both enhance and limit my imagination. Not chance procedures at all, but still a way to get outside of what’s typical or habitual in my own decision-making—I would probably never have chosen to pack six people in a small space downstage left on my own—I will identify the overall resource in the program i.e. “channeling Marnie, Psycho, and The Birds but nothing internal.  I think the piece has to stand for itself, and I don’t like being too literal. Here comes that abstractionist again. Or that impressionist.

YR:  Yeah, dance is such a drag in that way: unless you’re doing pantomime it is inevitably abstract and ambiguous with regard to MEANING despite the materiality of the actual bodies; so it remains always self-referential or tied to our familiarities with particular dance histories or training and so susceptible to interpretation. We give names to our configurations: clump, milling, collision, et al, which brings me to what you describe as “the current political state we are now in” and how to unpack that via “dance” in these perilous times. This may be my dilemma right now, more than yours in that I’m currently more interested in writing than in choreography.

SS: It’s true in dance–meaning is mostly in the eye of the beholder. That’s either delightful or frustrating, but it goes with the territory. The less literary an art form, the more ambiguous—though my literary tastes and collaborations tilt pretty severely toward ambiguity. But isn’t that part of the attraction too? And even when the movement goes against the grain of anything literal or character/narrative based, I still think it can have some leverage. When I’m choosing material that is socially-charged and make it collide in drastic or weird juxtapositions, it seems capable of making sparks for or marks on the viewer.

YR: How do you deal with your aging body as both performer and maker? Will you be one of the sci-fi “girls?” (One of my most brilliant choreographic decisions was to have you imitate right on the spot in performance the bravura male solo in Agon as it played out on a DVD with the player facing upstage, for your eyes only). Does the geriatric belong somewhere in what seems like your infinite collections of subject matter? Will you be performing in the new work? Knowing you, I see you reluctant to give that up. As I am. (Let’s go walking and running and gesturing into that good night!)

SS:  Right now (as of August 13th, 2018), I don’t plan to be in the current piece. That will be a first for me in presenting one of my larger dance evenings. I know I’m not giving up performing as you haven’t (your many geriatric versions of Trio A and your “interventions” in your own recent work when a dancer is sick, injured, or otherwise unavailable are priceless and thrilling), but for sure I am cutting back. There are all the societal pressures of being an older woman, much less an older dancing woman. Coming to terms with decreasing physical prowess is an ongoing conversation with myself in relation to the times and the patriarchy in which I live.

YR:  All the more reason to challenge those norms. A fantasy just entered my brain: you and I make a talking/dancing geriatric duet. But we should wait until you’re as old as I am!

SS:  Well, Yvonne, you would be 102 when I get to be your age. Fantasy remains fantasy—which is a category of sci-fi—but I love the idea.


CONTRIBUTOR: Yvonne Rainer

Yvonne Rainer is a dancer, choreographer, and filmmaker who has been recognized as one of the leading conceptual artists of the past fifty years. She emerged in the 1960s as a pioneer of the Judson Dance Theater movement, an avant-garde performance style that blended elements of dance and visual art, and later turned to experimental film. Rainer is the recipient of numerous awards, including two Guggenheim Fellowships, three Rockefeller Fellowships, a MacArthur Fellowship, a Wexner Prize, and in 2015, the Merce Cunningham Award. She currently lives and works in New York.

Resonant Bodies Festival 2018: Q&A with Lucy Dhegrae

by Kurt Gottschalk

Lucy addressing the audience at Resonant Bodies Festival 2017 at Roulette. Photo by Gretchen Robinette.

On September 11, 12, and 13, Roulette will host the sixth Resonant Bodies Festival. The festival gives outstanding and inventive vocalists, regardless of genre, 45 minutes of stage time to fill however they want. We asked founder and curator Lucy Dhegrae to talk about the performers on this year’s program and how she goes about filling the bill.


Kurt Gottschalk: Composer and singer Paul Pinto’s operas owe a stylistic debt to Robert Ashley but with a near-future, dystopian vision that reminds me of Margaret Atwood’s fiction. His productions can be really funny. They can also be really foreboding. Do you think he’s a cynical humorist or a humorous cynic?

Lucy Dhegrae: I would say…cynical humorist! Paul is an extremely lovely and hilarious person, so I would say he is a humorist first, cynic second. Paul has virtuosic stage charisma. His energy is infectious. I think the work he is bringing for ResBods is more on the serious side, though I am sure Paul will defy expectations—which is part of why I love his work.

KG: Helga Davis sang in the 25th anniversary staging of Philip Glass’s seminal Einstein on the Beach and has worked with director Peter Greenaway and composers Missy Mazzoli and Paola Prestini, to name a few. She’s also been likened to the great jazz singer Jeanne Lee and regularly collaborates with Davóne Tines, whose set of gospel songs at last year’s Resonant Bodies was as staggering as it was unexpected. What appeals to you about Davis’s work and how do you see Resonant Bodies crossing between, on the one hand, art song and contemporary composition and, on the other, jazz and gospel?

LD: Helga is first and foremost a powerful voice and stage presence. I would be excited to see her do pretty much anything on stage, and that is the foremost quality I look for in any artist for the festival—an amazing performer. Her work defies genre and classification, and that too makes her perfectly at home in ResBods.

What I would like us all to focus on, for this festival and all Resonant Bodies festivals, is not genre or even aesthetics: it’s the person. I want us to get to know the person not only based on the sound of their voice or the mode in which they present, but in how they present their work, whom they collaborate with, and what makes them light up on stage. Every performer on the festival has a magic, but no two performers possess the same magic. There is no universal experience of the voice, no one right way to do it. What is such a delight for me as an audience member is to see someone who wants to be there, sharing something with us that is important to them, something they love. When you ask talented performers to do this, to me—it doesn’t get any better than that.

KG: Jen Shyu is truly a multi-talent, a composer and a dancer who sings in multiple languages. On top of that, she plays violin, piano, and several East Asian string instruments—all instruments that themselves have resonant bodies, as it happens. How do you weigh all the different job titles (composer, instrumentalist) that the singers you present possess?

LD: The voice is so fascinating to me because of how it manifests itself through the individual: through their physical body, but also through each person’s history and experiences. In addition to Jen’s training in a variety of instruments, she has also trained in vocal styles that accompany the instruments. You can hear the multifaceted stylistic approach in her voice: virtuosic timbre! She is one of the rare performers who embodies a variety of approaches to the voice from dozens of influences. So thrilled she can be a part of this year’s festival.

KG: Nathalie Joachim has worked in classical, hip hop, jazz, indie-rock, and electronic music. She’s also a member of the Grammy-winning chamber ensemble Eighth Blackbird and has performed at the Bang on a Can Marathon with her duo Flutronix. I understand that you don’t put any restrictions on the performers, but do you think the festival has a particular aesthetic?

LD: Our motto is “curated unpredictability”—I myself am very much an aesthetic omnivore, and I like that our artists (like Nathalie) are too. We’re a home for artists who don’t belong to any one genre. The music world is a geography: artists are metropoles. Genre and aesthetic interests travel through and around the artists like roadways, but they are not the destination. I know that’s a giant metaphor, but this idea of Resonant Bodies illuminating the “map” of the adventurous vocal world is part of the function that we serve in the community. We can’t possibly show the whole map, or even conceive of its entirety, but we can begin to know it by presenting individuals who have their own unique domain. I think also by covering a greater literal geography with the festival, year by year we can bring together some of the various parts. Spoken word, beatboxing, rap—I’m interested in and open to presenting these in the future.

KG: Caroline Shaw is getting to be a well-known name. She’s the youngest-ever recipient of the Pulitzer Prize for Music and she’s built quite a following over the last few years and I’m sure will be one of the more anticipated sets on the program. But I’m sure it’s more than a prestige booking. What made you want to include her on the program?

LD: I think most people know Caroline as a composer, violinist, and/or ensemble singer, but probably many of them don’t know her as much as a solo vocalist. She is hugely talented, and I wanted to see what she would do with the prompt of “here’s 45 minutes: approach this space as a solo vocalist.” As one of her fans, I’m really looking forward to hearing her on the festival! I know she has been developing this material for a while, and I am so grateful to her for cooking up something special just for ResBods.

KG: The German soprano Sarah Maria Sun put out a truly remarkable record on Mode Records, performing challenging works by Heinz Holliger, Salvatore Sciarrino, György Kurtág and others. At Roulette, she’ll be presenting a very different program, with works by Georges Aperghis and Rebecca Saunders, among others. I wonder if you could say something about what virtuosity means to a singer and what it means to you as a curator.

LD: Vocal virtuosity was probably my starting place as a curator. And there are many kinds of virtuosos in singing: virtuosic range, dynamic control, language, character, timbre, stylistic flexibility, emotional communication, audience interaction and so on. Sarah is not only a virtuoso in many of these aspects, but she has the added bonus of being completely compelling and vulnerable on stage. Virtuosity is totally worthless if one doesn’t have that, and Sarah has it in spades. I’ve been a huge fan of hers for almost a decade so I am over the moon that she is able to join us on this year’s fest.

KG: Pamela Z is an artist well known to Roulette audiences; she’s appeared on Roulette’s stages a number of times over the years and is a forerunner in working with voice and electronics. Do you think electronics is still a novelty in new music? Is it a crutch? Or is it just a more versatile piano that’s easier to move around?

LD: I think electronics (in all its different forms) is an instrument, and Pamela Z is a modern master of that instrument. She is a great example of someone actually performing with electronics. She’s not staring dull-eyed at a laptop; she is a wizard casting a spell. Is the piano a crutch for Elton John? Is the guitar a crutch for Jimi Hendrix? In an interview I did with Jennifer Walshe for the 2017 Festival, I asked her about the line in her New Discipline (non)manifesto that mentions “maintain[ing] sexualised eye contact with audience members whilst manipulating electronics”—while this is kind of a joke, it’s also serious. Jen recognizes how difficult it is to manipulate electronics on stage in a way that keeps the audience engaged with the performance. Pamela Z has mastered this. I bow down to her artistry!

KG: Gelsey Bell is another name familiar in these circles.  She was an artist-in-residence at Roulette in 2015 and has been commissioned by Roulette with the Jerome Foundation. She’s also recorded works by Robert Ashley and John Cage and last year released an album with violist and composer John King. To say she’s a name to watch out for would be to put it mildly. No doubt she deserves the attention she’s received, but what do you think accounts for her star power?

LD: There are some people who, when they walk out on stage, without singing a note or saying anything, I just instantly fall in love with them. Gelsey is one of these performers. When she’s on stage, you feel her excitement to be there, and you feel her genuine curiosity and commitment to what she’s performing. This seems so simple, but it’s one of the most important tools of a good performer: the ability to reach down within yourself and connect to your love of the thing. It’s almost child-like. And it’s completely disarming for me as an audience member. The performer proceeds with (seemingly) zero self-consciousness, and so do we. Gelsey’s work pioneers new sounds from a place of love and joy, and it’s just a pleasure to take in.

KG: Last but certainly not least, we get to one Lucy Dhegrae. As a curator and producer, how do you decide when to include yourself on a bill and what can we expect from your appearance on the festival’s opening night?

LD: The first year we did Resonant Bodies, I performed as well as produced/curated, and while it was thrilling, it was also physically exhausting and not sustainable year after year. I swore I wouldn’t perform on the festival again until I had lots of staff support and I felt like I had something really special to share. I feel ready for this year’s festival because both of those criteria are met.

Resonant Bodies is by no means my vanity project; it is very much built by and for a community of curious vocalists. It is a lot to get up on that stage and share your heart and soul—a precious gift that an artist shares with the Festival and the audience. I can only be a proper steward of that gift if I myself go through it. I will be making music with friends new and old on stage, presenting new works as well as ones I am familiar with. Looking back at 2013, I feel I have changed and grown so much as an artist since then, and I am excited to invite the audience into my musical microcosm for 45 minutes.


CONTRIBUTOR: Kurt Gottschalk

Kurt Gottschalk writes about contemporary composition and improvisation for DownBeat, The New York City Jazz Record, The Wire, Time Out New York, and other publications and has produced and hosted the Miniature Minotaurs radio program on WFMU for the last ten years.