Category: Blogcast

Spotlight on Amirtha Kidambi


[RESIDENCY] Amirtha Kidambi: Lines of Light
Sunday, June 17, 2018 @ 8:00 pm

Tell us about yourself and what you do.

My parents are from South India (Tamil Nadu) and immigrated to the U.S., settling in Buffalo where I was born. I was raised in the Bay Area where we did weekly devotional bhajan singing in the Indian community — where I basically learned to sing, that and choir in public school from age five. I also grew up doing Indian classical Bharatanatyam dance, which is deeply connected to the rhythms of Carnatic music and accompanied by a Carnatic ensemble — typically voice, violin, mridangam and the dance teacher intoning the rhythms on syllables. I grew up listening to a lot of that music, but also lots of classical music, jazz, R&B, metal, and punk. I got into more experimental / avant-garde music in college while studying classical music and hosting a radio show called “The Modern Age,” where I learned about a lot of music and composers such Edgard Varèse and early electronic music, Cecil Taylor, Albert Ayler, Anthony Braxton, Meredith Monk, and Giacinto Scelsi. That got me interested in singing experimental music and performing the work of contemporary composers, so when I moved to New York that is what I primarily focused on, and then turned towards improvising and composing my own music.

I guess I have always been interested in intensity and extremity, individuality and expression, subversion, music, and sounds that went against some kind of establishment… so all the music I was into when I was young across categories had those elements. Mostly I am focused on Elder Ones, which is the primary vehicle for my compositions but getting more used to the idea of solo work, which I found really daunting in the past. As I get more comfortable with it I am digging in deeper and think it will be a focus for me in the coming years. In recent years, I decided to only work with people who are asking me to do “my thing” within their music and have long-term existing relationships with them that will carry into the future. The music of Mary Halvorson, Darius Jones, Charlie Looker, Robert Ashley, Pat Spadine and other folks, all of it makes room for my own creativity through improvisation and expression, always in dialogue with the composer.

Describe the project you are developing for Roulette.

I’ve been working primarily on new solo work and also new pieces for Elder Ones for the first concert. The solo work is really informed by my studies in India and listening to a lot of solo work by musicians I admire. I’m also incorporating some percussion using ankle bells, from my days as a Bharatanatyam dancer and using some of that rhythmic language, though it’s still in an experimental stage. For Elder Ones, I’ve been writing music in direct response to all the horrors of our time. It’s overtly “political” and I don’t really care if it’s heavy-handed. We’re “talking back” through the music about what’s going on. It’s the only thing I know to do at the moment. We also brought in some new sounds, synth and electronic Sensory Percussion, so that has been adding an interesting sonic element to weaponize.

For the second one, I’m developing a vocal quintet of Emilie Lesbros, Anais Maviel, Jean Carla Rodea and Charmaine Lee (I’ll also perform in it) and an improvised duo with Lea Bertucci on analog electronics. I’m still developing the ideas for the second concert, but the general goal is to write an ensemble vocal work that gives these very unique and creative singers room to do their thing and experiment, in the context of a vocal group. I feel that improvised music, especially in the avant-garde scene is very instrument-centric, so this is an effort to build community with singers. There are some really amazing vocalists in New York right now! I was really inspired by working in Darius Jones’ vocal project Elizabeth-Caroline Unit.

How did you become involved with Roulette?

Roulette was one of (if not the first) venue where I was paid as a professional musician in New York. It was back in 2009 or 2010 with Seaven Teares at the Greene Street location in Soho, opening for Lee Ranaldo. Since then, Roulette has been part of nearly every major project I’ve done in New York — Dialogue Social with Muhal Richard Abrams, Robert Ashley’s CRASH, Darius Jones’ Oversoul Manual, Pat Spadine’s SheSings Herself A LittleSong, as well as the Jerome Foundation Emerging Artist Commission where I developed Elder Ones, and now the residency. I owe SO MUCH to this venue, seriously!

What is it like living and working in New York City?

Hard! I live in Astoria, which I really love because it’s extremely diverse and has a major neighborhood vibe. The thing that makes it worth it is the people interactions, both in the music scene and just the general weirdness of people around you. The musical community is just so incredible here. I feel like I meet new musicians who are incredible all the time and then there are people like Reggie Workman walking around who you can run into in a hallway at the New School (after our last Elder Ones rehearsal). How crazy is that?  

What is influencing your work right now?

Two things… my summer in India last year had an enormous impact on what I am doing. I felt unbelievably connected to my roots, speaking my language and going to temples. I was there to study music and took vocal lessons daily with an amazing guru named Karaikal R. Jaishankar. I can really feel the traces of that in my voice, but also in how I’m thinking about music. We had some very philosophical conversations about music and the divine, what it is to express oneself and all kinds of things. I also saw a concert almost every day of the week, so what I was putting in my ears was unbelievable virtuosic Carnatic improvisation. It was just a mind-blowing summer that was life-changing in many ways. I can really feel its influence, particularly in my solo work.

How did your interest in your work begin?

I came to New York for grad school and got increasingly interested in new music and started working with a lot of composers. As I was doing that, I was also improvising and learning a lot about my own voice, not just as a singer but as an artist. I learned a lot about myself through collaboration with other amazing artists in New York and eventually wanted to break free from always interpreting the work of others and write my own. I had been writing “songs” on and off for years, but they never really felt totally right. At Brooklyn College we had this amazing little cadre of performer-composers called the Sweat Lodge, where we wrote and performed each other’s work. That was when I first started using harmonium outside of the Indian music context and started to write music that sounded more like “myself.” Free improvising with other musicians taught me so much and continued to expand my vocal vocabulary and through adapting to the individuality of others, I started to find myself in juxtaposition. The more I focused on improvising, the more apparent my inclinations and my vision as a composer started to gain some clarity and momentum. I started writing pieces for voice and harmonium and then through the Roulette commission in 2014, I started writing the music for Elder Ones and we did our record in 2016 and having been active since then.

Who would you ideally like to collaborate with and why?

Honestly, I am so happy and excited about the people I am collaborating with now that it’s hard to say. Mary Halvorson, Charlie Looker, Darius Jones, Lea Bertucci, the amazing improvising vocalists I’m going to work with for the second residency concert in June, Emilie Lesbros; Anaïs Maviel; Charmaine Lee; Jean Carla Rodea and of course my band Elder Ones with Max Jaffe and Matt Nelson, who have been in the original line-up and the powerful additional of Nick Dunston; the folks in the Ashley project; Dave Ruder, Gelsey Bell, Aliza Simons, Brian McCorkle and Paul Pinto…I couldn’t be more excited about the people I already get to work with. The collaborations have literally everything to do with who I am as a musician and what I’m doing. If I had to say someone new…I would say Jen Shyu. I think what she does as a vocalist is very in line with what I want to do in my own way. She is so inspiring!

How long have you lived in New York City and what brought you here?

Nine years, which is crazy! I came under the guise of going to school, which was great, but really just to do music and work with people in the scene here. Also pizza?

Gemma Peacocke: Erasure

What: New solo and chamber works by New Zealand composer Gemma Peacocke exploring themes of gender, identity and marginalization.
When: Wednesday, June 6, 2018
Where: Roulette, 509 Atlantic Ave Brooklyn, 2/3/4/5/A/C/G/D/M/N/R/B/Q trains & the LIRR
Cost: $25 Door, $20 Online
Info: / (917) 267-0368

Brooklyn, NY – Composed by Gemma Peacocke, directed by Benita de Wit, and featuring string quartet Schiele, saxophonist Shelley Washington and a unique ensemble of performers, Erasure explores the marginalized experiences of women through a new program of solo and chamber works. Gender and identity themes are reflected and refracted across different instruments in a performance that blends live music and electronics, and shimmers with the potential of a new and uncharted cultural landscape.

The evening comprises five works: “Quiver” pierces the undercurrent of rage resulting years of marginalization and abuse; “Mothertongue,” a new work for solo violin and electronics, splinters and reforms under the tension between individual and collective experience; “Erasure” explores how ordinary and extraordinary women have been written out of history; “Skin” looks at the experience of being born a woman into a world where gender, race, size, age and appearance can determine one’s safety; “Aglow” flickers between shadow and light with the hope for change created by the #MeToo movement. These five works make up a tapestry of interconnected themes as we move fluidly through the world of Gemma Peacocke’s compositions.

Erasure – for amplified string quartet (NYC Premiere)
Quiver – for piano, bass, and percussion (NYC Premiere)
Aglow – for piano, bass, and baritone saxophone
Skin – for saxophone and electronics (NYC Premiere)
Mothertongue – for violin and electronics (World Premiere)

Shelley Washington – baritone and alto saxophone

Schiele String Quartet
Adrianne Munden-Dixon – Violin
Michelle Painter – Violin
Carrie Frey – Viola
Molly Aronson – Cello

Resist x Improvise: An Evening for Roscoe Mitchell

What: An evening honoring legendary American avant-garde jazz and new classical composer, improviser and performer Roscoe Mitchell featuring performances by producer Anna Wray, Michael Lofton, and the Human Time Machine.
When: Tuesday, June 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: $20 Door, $15 Online
Info: / (917) 267-0368

Brooklyn, NY – This special evening focuses on the work of legendary composer and performer Roscoe Mitchell. Rooted in activism, Mitchell’s work has become extremely influential to a new generation of artists who merge their artistic practice with social justice. In these performances by Anna Wray, Michael Lofton, and Brian Adler and the Human Time Machine, the artists join forces with electronics and visuals to explore Mitchell’s work and the injustice being done to the African American community.

Anna Wray’s newest chapter has her returning to her roots to New York after earning a BA and MFA in California. Her time on the West Coast provided her with multiple opportunities to improvise and perform with top artists such as William Winant, Zeena Parkins, Roscoe Mitchell, Steven Schick, Julia Wolfe, Christian Wolff, among others. Anna’s primary focus is to embark on a creative collaboration process with composers, musicians, dancers, theatre groups, and artists on the cutting edge of experimental music and experimental art.

Human Time Machine:
Brian Adler – Musical Director, Percussion
Jeremy Smith – Alto Percussion
Elizabeth Pupo-Walker – Tenor Percussion
Ned Haweeli – Soprano Percussion
Anna Wray – Bass Percussion

With Special Guests:
Jesse Neuman – Laptop, Samples, Trumpet
Michael Lofton – Baritone Voice
Crockett Doob – Film/Video/Projection
Red Wierenga – Piano
The program includes the following, among other compositions:

“Sunrise on an Ice Moon” *
Solo Vibraphone by Roscoe Mitchell
* World Premiere, Performed by Anna Wray

“dim,” “this is,” and “because it’s” by Roscoe Mitchell
Scored for baritone and piano
Performed by Michael Lofton and Red Wierenga

Face the Music and Luna Composition Lab

What: Face the Music presents world premiere performances written by the five young female composers selected as 20172018 Luna Lab Fellows
When: Monday, June 4, 2018
Where: Roulette, 509 Atlantic Ave Brooklyn, 2/3/4/5/A/C/G/D/M/N/R/B/Q trains & the LIRR
Cost:  $25 Door, $10 Online
Info: / (917) 267-0368

Brooklyn, NY – The student-musicians of Kaufman Music Center’s Face the Music present world premiere performances of new works written by the 20172018 Luna Composition Lab Fellows, as well as established composers. The five young female composers chosen as this season’s Luna Lab Fellows were selected from a national pool of applicants, and are mentored closely by established female composers of the contemporary music. Face the Music, an original collaborator of Luna Lab, works with the fellows to read, workshop, and present professional-quality performances of their pieces. This season’s fellows include Caroline Bragg, Maya Johnson, Helen Lyons, Katie Palka, and Aliya Salmanov. Mentors include Ellen Reid, Reena Esmail, Kristin Kuster, Tamar Muskal, and Gity Razaz.

Kaufman Music Center’s Face the Music is the country’s first youth ensemble dedicated to studying and performing music by living composers. Called “a force in the New York new-music world” by the New York Times, Face the Music is a unique youth orchestra: an ensemble and collective music-making program where young and committed musicians use the music of today as a vehicle to explore collaborative decision making and develop leadership skills. Face the Music features a collection of ensembles including chamber orchestras, a jazz big-band, an improvisation collective, string quartets, and mixed chamber-groups.

Luna Composition Lab is a program that provides mentorship, performances and networking opportunities to female composers ages 1319. Luna Composition Lab was founded in 2016 by composers Missy Mazzoli and Ellen Reid in collaboration with Face the Music at the Kaufman Center, and in its inaugural season garnered attention from the New York Times, Musical America, The New
Yorker, Huffington Post, and NY1 News. Luna Composition Lab aims to help close the gender gap in the classical music field by providing participants with one-on-one mentorship with established female composers, performance opportunities in New York City, high-quality recordings, and instant access to a network of like-minded peers and professionals.

Clara Latham: Bertha the Mom

What: World premiere of Bertha the Mom, a chamber opera examining hysteria, feminism, and the birth of psychoanalysis.
When: Sunday, June 3, 2018
Where: Roulette, 509 Atlantic Ave Brooklyn, 2/3/4/5/A/C/G/D/M/N/R/B/Q trains & the LIRR
Cost:  $20 Door, $15 Online
Info: / (917) 267-0368

Brooklyn, NY Bertha the Mom merges the histories of hysteria and feminism in a chamber opera that questions the validity of truth and how it relates to what we know about the past. The work is based on the historical accounts of German feminist Bertha Pappenheim—commonly known under the pseudonym Anna O—patient of Dr. Josef Breuer, a contemporary of Sigmund Freud and the first subject of psychoanalysis. Told through four performers, the stories of Pappenheim and Anna O are told in parallel to examine radically different types of female subjects within 1880s Vienna. Employing the fiercely original palates of these four creative performers, Clara Latham merges fantastical sonorities with earnest melodies, creating an uncanny mixture of camp and sincerity.

The well-lauded cast includes soprano Alice Teyssier, baritone Michael Weyandt, trumpet player Peter Evans, and Seth Parker Woods, described by the Guardian as “a cellist of power and grace.”

Alice Teyssier – Bertha
Michael Weyandt – Doctor Josef Breuer
Peter Evans – Character’s Unconsciouses
Seth Parker Woods – Character’s Unconsciouses

Directed by Katherine Brook
Composed by Clara Latham
Libretto by James Currie

Kit Fitzgerald and Peter Gorgon: Into the Hot, Out of the Cool

What: Large-scale video paintings by Kit Fitzgerald accompanied by six-piece musical ensemble directed by Peter Gordon.
When: Sunday, April 22, 2018, 8pm
Where: Roulette, 509 Atlantic Ave Brooklyn, 2/3/4/5/A/C/G/D/M/N/R/B/Q trains & the LIRR
Cost: $20 Online $25 Doors
Info: // (917) 267-0368

Brooklyn, NY – Long-standing collaborative duo Peter Gordon (keyboard, sax, electronics) and Kit Fitzgerald (video) present Into the Hot, Out of the Cool. The performance will feature large-scale video paintings by Fitzgerald accompanied by a six-piece musical ensemble directed by Gordon. Fitzgerald’s visual imagery will include video drawings, animations, and camera imagery—mixed and processed live—combining early analog and current digital technology. The dialogue between the early and the contemporary video aesthetic is part of Fitzgerald’s signature look and is at the heart of the Hot/Cool dialogue. Into the Hot, Out of the Cool is a new work that marks the 35th year of collaboration between Fitzgerald and Gordon, a pioneering duo incorporating live video and musical performance. Read

Kit Fitzgerald has collaborated with composers Max Roach, Peter Gordon, Ned Sublette, and Ryuichi Sakamoto; choreographers Donald Byrd, Bebe Miller, and Bill T. Jones; poets Sekou Sundiata and Bob Holman, and theater companies The Wooster Group and The Talking Band. She directs award-winning documentaries on art and culture, music videos, dance videos, video installations, live performance, and album covers. Her work is in the collection of the Whitney Museum of American Art and has been featured twice in the Whitney Biennial. Her work has been commissioned by Tokyo Broadcasting, Fuji TV, SONY Japan, and Northern Netherlands Theatre. Fitzgerald is the recipient of prizes at international film and television festivals and awards from The Rockefeller Foundation, National Endowment for the Arts, New York State Council on the Arts, and Japan Foundation. Her work is distributed by Electronic Arts Intermix, New York. Fitzgerald is Professor of New Media at Concordia College-New York.

Peter Gordon moved to New York in 1975, where his Love of Life Orchestra first gained attention at downtown venues such as The Kitchen, CBGB, Max’s Kansas City, and the Mudd Club. An early proponent of the recording studio as a compositional tool, Gordon produced recordings for LOLO, as well as Robert Ashley, Arthur Russell, Rhys Chatham, Laurie Anderson, Jill Kroesen, David Van Tieghem, and “Blue” Gene Tyranny. He was music producer for Robert Ashley’s video opera Perfect Lives, as well as the recent Spanish-language version, Vidas Perfectas (presented at the Whitney Museum in 2014). A friend and frequent collaborator of the late Arthur Russell, Gordon has recently been touring Arthur Russell’s INSTRUMENTALS at several international festivals. Gordon is Professor of Music at Bloomfield College.

Kit Fitzgerald – Video Artist
Max Gordon – Keyboards, Trumpet
Peter Gordon – Composer, Saxophone, Keyboards, Electronics
Matt Mottel – Synthesizer
Michael Attias – Saxophone
Paul Nowinski – Bass
Ron Blake – Saxophone
Bill Ruyle – Percussion

ECCE and Court-Circuit: French/American Music in Dialogue

What: A tour de force of French and American repertoire by two leading ensembles from America and France.
When: Thursday, April 19, 2018, 8pm
Where: Roulette, 509 Atlantic Ave Brooklyn, 2/3/4/5/A/C/G/D/M/N/R/B/Q trains & the LIRR
Cost: $15 Online, $20 Doors
Info: / (917) 267-0368

Brooklyn, NY ECCE and Court-Circuit join forces to present works by Christophe Bertrand, Philippe Hurel, David Felder, Philippe Leroux, and John Aylward. The ensembles themselves will present smaller chamber works featuring members of each ensemble. Then, Maestro Jean Deroyer from Court-circuit will lead the combined ensembles in performances of Philippe Hurel’s Figures Libre and the world premiere of John Aylward’s Narcissus.

Founded by composer John Aylward, ECCE is an East Coast-based ensemble of culturally and socially engaged musicians. The French ensemble Court-Circuit has been dedicated to experimentation and intense risk-taking in contemporary music since its founding in 1991.


Jennifer Choi — Violin
John Popham — Cello
Roberta Michel — Flutes
Carlos Cordeiro — Clarinets
Hassan Anderson — Oboe
Julia Den Boer — Piano
Dennis Sullivan — Percussion
Nicholas Demaison — Conductor

Jeremie Fèvre — Flute
Pierre Dutrieu — Clarinet
Tom Kolor — Percussion
Jean Marie Cottet — Piano
Alexandra Greffin Klein — Violin
Frédéric Baldassare — Cello
Jean Deroyer — Conductor

Spotlight On: Gabrielle Herbst

Photo: Tom Saccenti courtesy New Sounds 

[RESIDENCY] Gabrielle Herbst: Vulnerability
Thursday, May 31, 2018 @ 8:00 pm

Tell us about yourself and what you do.

I am a composer and vocalist currently living in Brooklyn. I went to Bard College in upstate New York and am originally from the Berkshires in Massachusetts.

I compose from a very intuitive place – not starting from a set of compositional rules, but rather from a place of openness, improvisation, and spontaneity. I’m interested in creating spatialized architectural sound that engulfs the listeners and transports them into a different state through color and texture. I compose for all instruments with the mindset of writing for the human voice: I imagine clarinets, cellos, and timpani singing. Vocal music has healing qualities that I think our culture is deeply in need of right now –returning to the source, the breath, the heartbeat. My music is very much seeking a return to the body – exploring sensuality and sensory perception, while clearing the busyness of the mind.

I am interested in experimenting with electronics and live processing in performance because I think it embodies our socio-technological environment, and I’m intrigued with digital sounds creating organic, beautiful sonic spaces.

I’ve been exploring two sides of my musical self – one as GABI and the other as Gabrielle Herbst. As GABI I compose short form songs for my own voice and small instrumental ensembles as well as electronics. Sometimes I perform solo, and much of GABI has been developed in the studio and taken on tour.

Under my full name, I compose operas and varied configurations of instrumental and vocal music in a more classical vein. The two intersect in many ways and influence each other, feeling like two characters of my personality – GABI being more raw and emotional, Gabrielle Herbst a little more orchestral, calculated and structured, utilizing standard notation. For GABI music, I often do not use standard notation and develop songs more on intuition, composing by ear and improvisation. In both projects, I am influenced by opera singing, vocal traditions from many world cultures, and pop singing, creating my own take on contemporary vocal and instrumental music.

Describe the project you are developing for Roulette.

Written for two voices and two loop pedals, electronics, harp, violin, cello, flute, piano and clarinet, the opera I’m composing for this Roulette Residency explores themes of personal and collective vulnerability, anxiety, fear and struggle – investigating self-care and interpersonal relationships within our current sociopolitical climate. Progressing through dreamlike non-narrative tableaux, with close harmonization, textural rhythms, melismatic vocals, electronics and cross-genre pollination, this opera looks at inward struggles and connecting outwards. It will be performed by the Nouveau Classical Project, joined by Marilu Donovan on Harp as well as myself and Charlotte Mundy as the vocalists.

What is your first musical memory?

My dad singing. He is an amazing singer and used to sing to me as a baby.

How did you become involved with Roulette?

When I first moved to NYC after college in 2009 I set up a meeting with Jim and he was so incredibly supportive. I instantly become involved in the Roulette community, first as a sound intern, then working in the box office, and then as an artist. I’m forever grateful.

What is it like living and working in New York City?

Difficult but so fulfilling. I find the struggle of keeping up, both financially and artistically really beneficial to my work.

Describe your performance at Roulette in three words.

Vulnerable. Vocal. Raw.

Describe Roulette in three words.

Beautiful. Open. Unexpected.

[RESIDENCY] Gabrielle Herbst: Vulnerability

What: World premiere of composer and vocalist Gabrielle Herbst’s opera exploring vulnerability, anxiety, fear, and struggle through the lens of self-care and interpersonal relationships.
When: Thursday, May 31, 2018
Where: Roulette, 509 Atlantic Ave Brooklyn, 2/3/4/5/A/C/G/D/M/N/R/B/Q trains & the LIRR
Cost: $20 Door, $15 Online
Info: / (917) 267-0368

Brooklyn, NY – How do we talk about our lives in 2018? What methods do we use to explore it? Gabrielle Herbst returns to Roulette to present Vulnerability, an opera unpacking America’s current sociopolitical climate and the ways we live within it. Exploring themes of personal and collective vulnerability, anxiety, fear and struggle, while investigating self-care and interpersonal relationships, this process-based work is written for two voices and two loop pedals, electronics, harp, violin, cello, flute, piano and clarinet, and is rendered through a dreamlike non-narrative tableaux with close harmonization, textural rhythms, melismatic vocals, electronics, and cross-genre pollination. The work seeks to connect internal struggles to outward means.

Gabrielle Herbst (b. 1986) is a composer and vocalist residing in Brooklyn. 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 has also developed a repertoire of short-form, vocal-centric compositions under the name GABI, driven by solitary explorations with a dual-track loop pedal.

The Nouveau Classical Project 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.


The Nouveau Classical Project
Laura Cocks – Flute
Mara Mayer – Clarinet
Maya Bennardo – Violin
Thea Mesirow – Cello
Sugar Vendil – Piano
Marilu Donovan – Harp
Charlotte Mundy – Voice
Gabrielle Herbst – Voice

thingNY and Varispeed: Musical Voices Around A Table

What: Experimental composer-collectives thingNY and Varispeed perform three vocal-heavy works around a communal table on Roulette’s stage.
When: Wednesday, May 30, 2018
Where: Roulette, 509 Atlantic Ave Brooklyn, 2/3/4/5/A/C/G/D/M/N/R/B/Q trains & the LIRR
Cost:  $25 Door, $20 Online
Info: / (917) 267-0368

Brooklyn, NY – Two quirky, unconventional groups merge for vocal chamber music by Gelsey Bell, Rick Burkhardt, and the legendary absurdist Kenneth Gaburo. First, thingNY presents a short selection of songs from Gelsey Bell’s Rolodex, in which the ensemble surrounds the interrogation table to investigate a crime. Next, thingNY performs Rick Burkhardt’s Passover, a performance-ritual for six singing/speaking instrumentalists seated at a dinner table. Finally, Varispeed performs a new homespun arrangement of Kenneth Gaburo’s 1968 cult-classic Maledetto, a fusion of taxonomy lecture, absurdist inner dialogue, Dadaist choral music, and your uncle’s dirty jokes for seven “virtuoso speakers.” Three works are performed around a communal table.

thingNY is a New-York-based collective of composer‐performers who fuse electronic and acoustic chamber music with new opera, improvisation, theater, song, and installation.

Varispeed is a collective of composer-performers that creates site-specific, sometimes-participatory, oftentimes-durational, forevermore-experimental events.

Rick Burkhardt is an Obie-award-winning playwright, composer, director, and performer. He is a founding member of the Nonsense Company, an experimental chamber music-theater trio, and the Prince Myshkins, a cabaret-folk political satire duo.

Gelsey Bell – Voice, Percussion, Celtic Harp
Andrew Livingston – Voice, Double Bass, Cello
Paul Pinto – Voice, Percussion
Erin Rogers – Voice, Saxophone
Dave Ruder – Voice, Clarinet, Guitar
Jeffrey Young – Voice, Violin
Brian McCorkle – Voice
Aliza Simons – Voice