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Kenta Nagai / Jennifer Walshe

Thursday, November 13, 2008. 8:30 pm

Kenta Nagai / Jennifer Walshe

Thursday, November 13, 2008. 8:30 pm

Kenta Nagai is a sound and visual artist based in New York City. He works with acoustic and electronic sound, visual media and live performance. After completing undergraduate studies at Berklee College of Music in Boston (BA, 1996) Nagai moved to New York City. He began his NY career as a fretless guitarist playing on the streets, in subway stations and at clubs. His most recent compositional work, entitled Long, Long, Long, is an ensemble piece for traditional Asian instruments. It was presented at Roulette, in NYC, in October 2006. Nagai’s fretless guitar playing is featured on Eugene Chadborne’s album “Guitar Festival Summer 1999” with Sonic Youth members Thurston Moore, Lee Renaldo and Jim O’Rourke plus Joe Morris, Lauren Mazzacane Connors, David Watson and others. Nagai is also a featured performer on two recordings by the composer Laura Andel, “Somnambulist” (Red Toucan Records, May 2003, RT9322) and “In::tension:” (Rossbin Records, October 2005, RS022). As a performer on the shamisen, a traditional Japanese string instrument, Nagai has appeared in numerous concerts at venues including Sculpture Center in Long Island City and Carnegie Hall. From 1999 until 2002 Nagai was a composer in residence at The Cave Gallery in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. In addition to his work as a guitarist, Nagai is also involved in creating multi-media, interactive performance and installation and has collaborated with artists from various fields. These projects include a long-standing collaborative relationship with choreographer Boaz Barkan documented by filmmaker Miana Grafals in the short film “A Moving Portrait” that features the movement and sound of Barkan and Nagai. “A Moving Portrait” was presented at Dance Theatre Workshop in NYC as part of the 2005 Dance on Camera Festival. More recently, Nagai worked with the photographer Hiroshi Sugimoto on the silent film “The Water Magician” (1933, directed by Kenji Mizoguchi) composing film score and performed at Japan Society, NYC and Hershhorn Museum at Smithsonian Institute. In 2005 and 2006, Nagai performed in “Flight of Mind ” with choreographer Jennifer Monson. He continues his collaboration with Monson in 2007 through a multi-season project set in the Highland Park Reservoir in NYC.

Jennifer Walshe was born in Dublin. She studied composition with John Maxwell Geddes at the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama, and Kevin Volans in Dublin. She graduated from Northwestern University, Chicago, with a doctoral degree in composition in 2002. While at Northwestern, her chief teachers were Amnon Wolman and Michael Pisaro. In 2003-04 she was a fellow of the Akademie Schloss Solitude, Stuttgart, and from 2004-05 she lived in Berlin as a guest of the DAAD Berliner Künstlerprogramm. From 2006 to 2008 she is the composer-in-residence for the In Context 3 project in South Dublin. In 2007 she was awarded a grant from the Foundation for Contemporary Arts, New York.

Her works have been performed throughout Europe, the US, and Canada by groups such as Alter Ego, Ensemble Récherche, Ensemble Resonanz, Apartment House, Ensemble Intégrales, Neue Vocalisten Stuttgart, the Crash Ensemble, ensemble ascolta, Champ d’Action, the Rilke Ensemble, the Irish Chamber Orchestra, the Irish Youth Wind Ensemble, the Bozzini Quartet, Concorde, Ensemble Musica Nova, Ensemble Chronophonie, the Scottish Chamber Orchestra Wind Quintet, the Hebrides Ensemble, Psappha, and Q-02 among others. She has received commissions from RTÉ, Westdeutscher Rundfunk (WDR), Sudwest Rundfunk (SWR), Internationale Ferienkurse für Neue Musik, Darmstadt, Musik der Jahrhundert, the Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival, Dresdener Tage der zeitgenössischen Musik, Wien Modern, the Dresden Semper Oper, ZKM (Karlsruhe), the Irish Chamber Orchestra, Crash Ensemble, the Project Arts Centre and the National Concert Hall, Ireland, as well as commission awards from the New Music Scheme of the Arts Council of Ireland and the Scottish Arts Council. From 2003-04, she was composer-in-residence at the National Sculpture Factory, Cork. In 2000 she won the Kranichsteiner Musikpreis at the Internationale Ferienkurse für Neue Musik in Darmstadt, and received first prize in the SCI/ASCAP 2002 Commission Competition. In July 2002 she returned to Darmstadt to lecture in composition at the Internationale Ferienkurse für Neue Music. Her works moving in/love songs/city front garden with old men and been in a room and a room and a room and a room were shortlisted for the 2002 and 2003 Gaudeamus Foundation compositions respectively.