Iridescent—Nicole Mitchell (flutes, electronics, vocals, poetry) and Christina Wheeler (voice, mbira, autoharp, QChord, Theremini, sampler, electronics)—will premiere their new work, Conjuring Apparitions, a project inspired by their family histories around magic, clairvoyance, the supernatural, and their relationship to universal energy and electronics. These influences include Wheeler’s Louisiana roots and Mitchell’s mother’s experience as a voice hearer. The night’s program will include two short solo sets and a duo set that weave a sonic quilt imbued with the human connection to ancestors, and our complex relationship with the unknown.
About the artists:
A vital breath within the most urgent movements in jazz from this century, Nicole Mitchell is a flutist, composer, poet and educator whose trajectory gained traction in the fertile Chicago scene of the 90s. The first woman president of the legendary and valuable AACM, she planted the seeds for strong relationships with musicians like Anthony Braxton, Ed Wilkerson Jr, Avreeayl Ra, Maia, and Hamid Drake, allowing her to carve her own vision. Encompassing philosophy, mysticism, radical politics and a strong debt to the sci-fi writings of Octavia E. Butler, Mitchell’s work has been deconstructing and articulating problematics of race, gender, technology, and spiritualism in a communal approach to music that dreams of possible futures, conveying in its ascension the freedom of jazz, funk’s eternal groove, gospel, modern composition, instruments from all over the world and a number of legacies of devotional and ecstatic music. Assembling different configurations like her Black Earth Ensemble, Sonic Projections or Ice Crystal as vehicles for speculation on alternative realities beside a number of collaborations – Moor Mother, Hamid Drake, Rob Mazurek, Artifacts or Matthew Shipp—Mitchell’s compositions create an honorable and inspiring body of work through records like the expansive astral travelings of Mandorla Awakening II: Emerging Worlds (2017) or the piercing restraint of the chamber-like maroon cloud (2018). Nicole Mitchell is a Professor of Music at University of Virginia and is the author of The Mandorla Letters: for the hopeful (Green Lantern Press and University of Minnesota Press).
Composer, vocalist, multi-instrumental electronic musician, and multimedia artist Christina Wheeler’s creative forays explore a myriad of styles and forms. Wheeler blends composed and improvised music from an array of sources: vocals, sampler, theremin, QChord, autoharp, mbira, and electronics. Previous projects include Wiremouth, Floating People, and BlowOut,. Current and recent works span song-cycle series, solo instrumental improvisational compositions, immersive solo and ensemble-based multimedia performance and generative installation projects. A Los Angeles native, Wheeler has performed and recorded internationally with Ryuichi Sakamoto, John Cale, Laraaji, Roscoe Mitchell, The Art Ensemble of Chicago, Matana Roberts, Marc Ribot, Murcof, Zeena Parkins, John Carter, Fred Hopkins, and many more. Wheeler’s work with David Byrne included international tours and appearances on The Late Show with David Letterman and PBS’s Sessions at West 54th Street. MTV’s AMP featured Wheeler’s music. Wheeler has presented at Lincoln Center and Berlin Philharmonie, and collaborated with choreographers Sally Silvers and Jodi Melnick. Recordings include work with Fred P, Benjamin Brunn, Shinedoe, Ripperton, Vernon Reid, Mocky, Jamie Lidell, and the Art Ensemble of Chicago. Wheeler’s duo with Nicole Mitchell, Iridescent, opened the Angel City Jazz Festival. Recent commissions include Bang on a Can, Märzmusik, and CTM Festivals. Wheeler’s latest recordings, That Was Then, This Is Now, and Songs of S + D, are released on the artist’s label; next will be Tres Es un Número Mágico: Kaleidoscopic Triptychs. Latest residencies include the Cité Internationale des Arts, Paris and Harvestworks Media Arts Center, New York, including projects ranging from composing for generative software technology, to the glass armonica.
A livestream will be available free of charge at 8pm on the day of the performance and archived for future viewing. Watch below or on YouTube.