Charmaine Lee: Papillae

Saturday, March 20, 2021. 8:00 pm

Roulette’s Winter 2021 Season will be live streamed from our stage and archived on our website. Watch the video of this performance below.

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Charmaine Lee: Papillae

Saturday, March 20, 2021. 8:00 pm

Vocalist Charmaine Lee presents Papillae, a composition for voice and electronics and the premiere work for her year-long Van Lier fellowship. Taking inspiration from FM/AM signals in the Roulette area, the work is an expansion of Lee’s ongoing exploration of humanity expressed through technology. Microphones, radios, and modular synthesis will be used to reveal an intimate portrait of Lee’s polyphonic sensibilities.

Roulette’s Winter season will be presented virtually and available for free on a variety of streaming platforms. Our theater is currently closed for public performances as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic and the safety measures that Roulette has put in place to keep staff, artists, and the public safe.


Charmaine Lee (b. 1991) is a New York-based vocalist from Sydney, Australia. Her music is predominantly improvised, favoring a uniquely personal approach to vocal expression concerned with spontaneity, playfulness, and risk-taking. Beyond extended vocal technique, Lee uses amplification, feedback, and microphones to augment and distort the voice. She has performed with leading improvisers Nate Wooley, id m theft able, C. Spencer Yeh, and Ikue Mori, and maintains ongoing collaborations with Conrad Tao, Victoria Shen, Zach Rowden, and Eric Wubbels. Lee has performed at ISSUE Project Room, The Kitchen, Roulette, The Poetry Project, and MoMA PS1, and participated in festivals including Resonant Bodies, Huddersfield Contemporary, and Ende Tymes. She has been featured in group exhibitions including The Moon Represents My Heart: Music, Memory and Belonging at the Museum of Chinese in America (2019). As a composer, Lee has been commissioned by the Wet Ink Ensemble (2018) and Spektral Quartet (2018). In 2019, she was an Artist-in-Residence at ISSUE Project Room, and is a 2021 Van Lier Fellow at Roulette. Lee is currently a member of the Editorial Board of Sound American.

Charmaine Lee is a Roulette 2021 Van Lier Fellow, made possible with funds provided by the Edward and Sally Van Lier Fund of the New York Community Trust. This performance is presented through Roulette’s GENERATE program, providing over 30 artists each year with in-depth creative and technical support.

Photos: Courtesy the artist and Lorenzo Sanjuan