4-way ad-lib: Katherine Liberovskaya with Shelley Hirsch, Anthony Coleman, and Yoshiko Chuma

Wednesday, March 27, 2019. 8:00 pm

Katherine Liberovskaya‘s often figurative live video improvisation, draws from a vast database of diverse footage shot since she first owned a video camera in the 1990s, capturing myriad details and fleeting moments of life around her, processed by feedback and dreamy effects, set in motion spontaneous abstract word/voice and sound events by Shelley Hirsch and Anthony Coleman extending into space with Yoshiko Chuma‘s dancing…moving images, text, rhythms, melodies, movements, steps…emerging, merging and colliding, constantly re-shaping each other and the flow of the performance, into 4-dimensional spur-of-the-moment audiovisual “stories.”

Katherine Liberovskaya: live video mixing
Shelley Hirsch: vocals / text
Anthony Coleman: piano / keyboard
Yoshiko Chuma: dance / movement / action

Katherine Liberovskaya is an intermedia artist based in New York City and Montreal, Canada. Involved in experimental video since the 80s, she has produced numerous videos, video installations, and performances, as well as works in other media, that have shown around the world. Over the years she has received over 30 grants and arts awards in Canada, the U.S.A., and France in video art and intermedia notably from the Canada Council for the Arts, the Quebec Council for Arts and Letters, the Trust for Mutual Understanding, the New York State Council on the Arts, etc. Since 2001 her work predominantly focuses on the intersection of moving image with sound/music in a variety of solo video-audio pieces and in many collaborations with composers and sound artists in both ephemeral and fixed forms (single-channel works, installations, projections, performances), notably in improvised live video+sound concert situations where her live visuals seek to create improvisatory “music” for the eyes. Frequent collaborators include Phill Niblock, Al Margolis/If, Bwana, Keiko Uenishi, Mia Zabelka, David Watson, Shelley Hirsch, among many others.

Shelley Hirsch is an internationally renowned critically acclaimed vocalist, composer, storyteller, and performance artist. Her solo compositions staged intermedia work, improvisations, installations, and radio plays have been presented in clubs, concert halls, museums, galleries, theaters and on television, radio, and film on 5 continents. Hirsch began her career as an actor, music director, at age 19, touring with the experimental theater company The Theater of Man. Over the years she has received numerous awards in music, performance, and new forms categories. In 2017 Hirsch received the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Fellowship for music composition and a Foundation for Contemporary Arts Award for Music/Sound Performance. She can be heard on over 70 albums. “Her remarkably unfettered access to the motherlode of automatism enhances her gift of spontaneous ingenuity. Hirsch’s command of extended vocal techniques imparts enormous variety to her music. The tone of her voice can range from audacious vulnerability to charismatic intimacy, to hallucinatory excursions floating effortlessly out of the spoken/sung voice and into pure Hirschian singing. Such transitions always remain viscerally connected to the text and in context”. (From Anne LeBaron’s essay /Surrealism in Post Modern Music, Garland Press). It is a pleasure to be working again with Katherine Liberovskaya who always surprises me with her extraordinary on the spot interactions with the artists she works with.

Pianist-Composer Anthony Coleman has been one of the key figures of New York music for nearly four decades. His work bridges the gap between Composition and Improvisation, Uptown and Downtown, and spans a wide range of genres and practices including Free Improvisation, Jazz, Jewish music (of various types), and Contemporary Chamber Music. At the dawn of the 1980s, after earning a Masters Degree in Composition from the Yale School of Music, Coleman immersed himself in New York City’s forward-thinking circle of genre- confounding composers and improvisers that would come to be known as the Downtown Scene. Balancing a powerful sense of structural logic and expressionistic color, Coleman has had a prolific career as a composer, receiving numerous commissions and grants, notably: the Concert Artist Guild, the Jerome Foundation, the Ruhrtriennale, the Festival Banlieues Blues, the Bang on a Can All-Stars, the New York Foundation for the Arts, New York State Council on the Arts, Meet the Composer, etc. He has also toured and recorded with John Zorn, Elliott Sharp, Marc Ribot, Shelley Hirsch, Roy Nathanson, and many others. Coleman has recorded 15 CDs under his own name and has played on more than 150.

Yoshiko Chuma (conceptual artist, choreographer/artistic director of The School of Hard Knocks) has been a firebrand in the post-modern dance scene of New York City since the 1980s, has been consistently producing thought-provoking work that is neither dance nor theater nor film nor any other pre-determined category. She is an artist on her own journey. A path that has taken her to over 40 “out of the way” countries and collected over 2000 artists, thinkers and collaborators of every genre since establishing her company The School of Hard Knocks in New York City in 1980. Described in Bloomberg News as “a fixture on New York’s downtown scene for over a quarter- century”, her work spans from early “absurdist gaiety” to more recent serious reflection, which nevertheless represents the “maverick imagination and crazy-quilt multimedia work” for which the artist is known. Her work has been found difficult to classify; in Dance Magazine speculated that “. One might call her a postmodern choreographer, a movement designer, or a visual artist whose primary medium is human beings–dancers, musicians, and pedestrians.”