Composer and vocalist Anaïs Maviel returns with composer-performer ensemble The Rhythm Method to present the world premiere of listen to the rain. Approaching listening as performative and performance as meditative, listen to the rain’s instrumentation weaves Afrocentric with Eurocentric music traditions, written and oral. Grounded in the study of the Asian theories of the five elements—rather, dynamic agents—and of the bagua, the music explores their generative cycles in the body in interdependency with the earth and cosmos, as a structural base. The piece invites our focus on what is transforming our environment, whether we call it nature—rainforests turning water into oxygen—or culture—a virus taking over an entire species, yet all revealing the stakes of in and outward Relation.
listen to the rain is an invitation to recognize water as both one and plural, both inside and outside of ourselves, taking many forms and emanating different temporalities. Listening to the rain means letting our sense of hearing tell us about the multi-dimensionality of water, how hearing is a topography, and how connected the sense of hearing is with the other senses. In Chinese energetics–which inspire the methodology of this work–the five elements are dynamic agents connected to the human senses, and the sense of hearing corresponds to water.
Anaïs Maviel – composition, n’goni, voice
Leah Asher – violin, voice
Marina Kifferstein – violin, voice
Carrie Frey – viola, voice
Meaghan Burke – cello, voice
Praised as “fierce, fearless, and virtuosic… unapologetically stylistically omnivorous and versatile” (New Music Box) and “trailblazing…skillful composer-performers” (The New Yorker), The Rhythm Method strives to reimagine the string quartet in a contemporary, feminist context. The four performer-composers of The Rhythm Method continually expand their sonic and expressive palette through the use of graphic notation, vocalization, improvisation, songwriting, and theater. The Rhythm Method has given performances at Joe’s Pub, The Stone, the Met Museum, the Noguchi Museum, and Roulette, and has been featured on the String Orchestra of Brooklyn’s String Theories Festival, MATA Festival, Music Mondays, TriBeCa New Music, and the Austrian Cultural Forum’s Moving Sounds Festival. The Rhythm Method recently completed residencies at Tulane University, Arkansas State University, Zurich University for Art and Music, and Bowling Green State University’s College of Musical Arts, and has performed internationally in France, Austria, and Switzerland. The coming season will center two newly commissioned large-scale works: Paul Pinto’s “I Pass’d a Church” for vocalizing string quartet, and Anaïs Maviel’s “Listen to the Rain,” which features Maviel on n’goni and voice. This season will also include the release of The Rhythm Method’s debut album, featuring music by all of the quartet members, and a return to Lake George Music Festival in August 2021 as quartet-in-residence for their Composer’s Institute.
Anaïs Maviel’s work as a vocalist, percussionist, composer and community facilitator focuses on the function of music as essential to settling common grounds, addressing Relation, and creating utopian future. Involved at the crossroads of mediums, Anaïs has been an in-demand creative force for artists such as William Parker, Daria Faïn, Shelley Hirsh, César Alvarez, Steffani Jemison – to give a sense of an eclectic company. Anaïs is dedicated to substantial creations from solo to large ensembles, music direction of cross-disciplinary works, and to expanding the power of music as a healing & transformative act. Anaïs performs and teaches extensively in New York, throughout the Americas and Europe. Both solo albums hOULe & in the garden, out on Gold Bolus Recordings, received international acclaim. Lastly, Anaïs Maviel is developing her composition language, especially thanks to the support of the 2019 Van Lier Fellowship, 2020 American Composers Forum Create commission with The Rhythm Method String Quartet and 2021-2022 Jerome Hill Artist Fellowship.
listen to the rain by Anaïs Maviel was made possible by a grant from the American Composers Forum with funds provided by the Jerome Foundation.
Thank you Lenape people for this land we’re standing on. Thank you African American people for the transmission of creolized music.