Gelsey Bell, Anaïs Maviel, Megan Schubert: QUARTET

Sunday, March 3, 2019. 8:00 pm

Drawing from a wide array of inspirations, techniques, and genres, three acclaimed vocalist-composers—Gelsey Bell, Anaïs Maviel, and Megan Schubert—come together to write new pieces for each other. Each world premiere reflects the individual style of the composer while capitalizing on the collaborators’ flexible voices and improvisational intelligence.

Drawing on her characteristic blend of extended vocal techniques and vocal harmony, Gelsey Bell‘s Within attempts to untangle the ineffable from the corporeal by exploring the interplay between inside and outside. Anaïs Maviel approaches the liminal spaces between so-called artificial and natural environments. Megan Schubert’s Late Duck, examines her personal experience with performing gender through a theatrical blend of live and pre-recorded sound, samples, stop-motion animation, and video. Yoon Sun Choi will be joining the group to perform in each piece. With a sense of ubiquity, four unique vocal instruments will invoke divine feminine metamorphosis in the face of apocalyptic times. This collaboration was initiated and produced by Megan Schubert.

Gelsey Bell is a New York City-based singer, songwriter, and scholar. She has been described by The New York Times as an “imaginative” “winning soprano” whose performance of her own music is “virtuosic” and “glorious noise.” She has released multiple albums, including most recently This is Not a Land of Kings, and Ciphony with John King. She received a 2017 Music/Sound Award from the Foundation for Contemporary Arts, has had work included in MoMA PS1’s Greater New York exhibition, and has had both a residency and a commission from Roulette. Her works include Bathroom Songs, Scaling, Our Defensive Measurements, This Takes Place Close By (with thingNY), Prisoner’s Song (with Erik Ruin), Wealth from the Salt Seas (with Anna Sperber), and the acclaimed adaptation of Robert Ashley’s Perfect Lives (with Varispeed). She is a core member of thingNY, Varispeed, and the Chutneys. Other performance highlights include Dave Malloy’s Natasha, Pierre, & the Great Comet of 1812 on Broadway and Ghost Quartet, Robert Ashley’s Crash, Matthew Barney and Jonathan Bepler’s River of Fundament, John King’s Micro-Operas, Yasuko Yokoshi’s BELL, Kate Soper’s Here Be Sirens, and Gregory Whitehead’s On the Shore Dimly Seen.

Anaïs Maviel is a vocalist, percussionist, composer, writer and community facilitator. Her work focuses on the function of music as essential to settling common grounds, addressing Relation, and creating utopian future. Involved at the crossroads of mediums – music, visual art, dance, theater and performance art – she has been an in-demand creative force for artists such as William Parker, Steffani Jemison, César Alvarez, Daria Faïn, to name a few. As a leader she is dedicated to substantial creations from solo to music direction of large ensembles, and to expanding the power of music as a healing & transformative act. She performs extensively in New York, throughout North, South & Central America, and Europe. Her solo debut hOULe, out on NY based Gold Bolus Recordings, received international acclaim and she recently released an eponymous album with carnivalesque duo DIASPORA.

Megan Schubert has performed music by Stockhausen for an audience under umbrellas in a torrential downpour for Make Music New York; world premieres at Carnegie Hall; with robots while locked inside a Van de Graaff Generator at Boston’s Museum of Science; on a bike flying by the audience in an installation piece at McCarren Park Pool, Brooklyn; in a giant potato sack while video was projected onto her frontside at Webster Hall; for inmates at a maximum security prison in Ossining, NY; with puppets at E 4th Street Fab! Fest; for Elliot Carter at a celebration of his 100th birthday; from behind the bushes in Dijon, France for entre cours et jardins; opening Jazztopad; and shared the stage on multiple occasions with such luminaries as Meredith Monk, Bang On a Can, and with many ensembles championing art music and experimental jazz of today. In recent years, Schubert sang in the premieres of large works by Sasha Zamler-Carhart, Robert Ashley, Luigi Nono, Georges Aperghis, Bernard Rands, James Ilgenfritz, Sonia Megías, Jenny O. Johnson, Nick Hallett, Kitty Brazelton, Inhyun Kim, Charlie Looker, David Friend, Nate Wooley (Psalms from Hell, and for Anna Sperber’s The Superseded Third), Jonathan Bepler (with Matthew Barney for opera film River of Fundament and newest film REDOUBT, for John Jasperse’s Within Between, for Wally Cardona & Jennifer Lacey’s The Set Up 2013-2017, Wally Cadona’s Given In the Blackbox 2018), Cally Spooner, Kristen Volness, Marinella Senatore, Guy Barash, Christian Frederickson, Tino Sehgal (Public Art Fund production of This You), and in new productions of operas by Denman Maroney and Jason Cady. Schubert gave the Canadian premiere of David Lang’s death speaks in addition to her own compositions as part of the Honens Festival in Calgary, AB. She stars as Jane Jacobs opposite Dashon Burton as Robert Moses in Judd Greenstein, Tracy K. Smith, Will Rawls and Joshua Frankel’s opera, A Marvelous Order. Schubert is also a professional chorister with the 5th Avenue Presbyterian Church chamber choir, and is a long time assistant of composer, Moog synthesizer pioneer, conductor and pianist Gershon Kingsley, and opera director Rhoda Levine.

Yoon Sun Choi‘s uncompromising, freewheeling and beautiful style and the breadth of her musical vision has been capturing listeners for almost two decades. A Korean-Canadian improvising vocalist and pianist, Yoon has been based in NYC since 2000.  Her main musical projects include her piano/vocal quartet, Night Owls, her long collaborative duo with pianist Jacob Sacks, the electronic duo, The Lion and The Scorpion with keyboardist, sampler musician Hank Mason as well as her own solo project, 10 Watts.  Yoon has performed and collaborated with renown artists such as Jane Ira Bloom, Samir Chatterjee, Mark Dresser, Mark Elias, Gerry Hemmingway, D.D. Jackson, Oliver Lake, Mat Maneri, Ben Monder, the Tri-Centric Orchestra, Sarah Weaver, Kenny Werner and Kenny Wheeler. She has performed across Canada and the U.S. at the Toronto, Vancouver and Guelph jazz festivals, the NYC Ukulele festival, Roy Thompson Hall and Carnegie Hall. Yoon received a BMus in classical piano and composition at Queen’s University in Kingston, Ontario and a BMus in voice and jazz performance at the University of Toronto.  She studied with vocal coach Thomas Schilling and pianist Sofia Rosoff.

Photo: Gretchen Robinette; Cameron Kelly courtesy of Issue Project Room