Dispatch: Gelsey Bell

In this dispatch, we catch up with vocalist and composer, Gelsey Bell. A frequent collaborator in many projects presented at Roulette—including tonight’s We Can Change the Country—Bell shares her own recent projects including a self-guided soundwalk through Green-Wood Cemetery titled Cairns, online operas with ThingNY, and her newest composition with Varispeed: The Blurring Test—a work which incorporates artist Peggy Wild’s chat bot, asking us to prove humanity to the computer.


Gelsey Bell is a singer, songwriter, and scholar. She has been praised by The New York Times as “one of New York’s most adventurous musicians.” She is a Resident Artist at the HERE Arts Center, has been both a Resident and Commissioned Artist at Roulette, and received a Foundation for Contemporary Arts award for music/sound. She is a core member of thingNY, Varispeed, and the Chutneys. Recent works include the sound walk, Cairns, for Green-Wood Cemetery (available through bandcamp); SubtracTTTTTTTTT and A Series of Landscapes, made with thingNY for live online performance; and shuffleyamamba, created with Yasuko Yokoshi. She has released multiple recordings including Home (the Chutneys), This is Not a Land of Kings, and Empty Words (Varispeed). Performance highlights also include Dave Malloy’s Natasha, Pierre, & the Great Comet of 1812 (Broadway) and Ghost Quartet, Robert Ashley’s Improvement and Crash, and Kate Soper’s Here Be Sirens. www.gelseybell.com


As part of our Roulette at Home digital initiative, Dispatches is a set of brief communications or small collections of new work from artists, sent directly to our community—a way to remain connected and engaged in a time marked by distance, isolation, upheaval, and change.