A Daughter of Isis, from New York City-based 2022-2023 Roulette Resident Artist Muyassar Kurdi, presents a trio of free sound paired with graphic scores that present movements and poetic fragments which trace the lineage of the Arab diaspora. These works created with ink on paper read like maps that give direction through repetitive line-work and words in Arabic script which tells a story of migration, dreams, and transformation. Blue: Darkness Made Visible, A Tree that Grows on the Edge of a Cliff, A Longing for What Never Was, Body Memories, Migration, A Poem for Remembering, Creator and Destroyer. In the spirit of resistance, and titled after a book by the Egyptian feminist writer Nawal El-Saadawi originally published in 1999, A Daughter of Isis knows no bounds in the expression of sound, magic, healing, and ritual.
“I went over my part a hundred times until I knew every intonation, every word, every pause, by heart. She sat at the piano, hidden behind a curtain, while I stood on stage dressed in a flowing white silk dress, an angelic, almost divine light dropping its rays on me. On my head I wore a crown shaped like the disc of the sun, with millions of stars radiating around it. I sang and sobbed over the death of my beloved Osiris, and the audience sitting in the courtyard started to sob with me. My father, my mother, my sisters, my brothers and all the girls of the school, everyone was sobbing. Then the miracle happens, the goddess Isis touches the dead body and suddenly it throbs into life. The beat of my feet on the stage floor is like a deep pulse, and my head is held high as I dance the dance of victory to the rhythm of the piano striking out its ringing music.” —excerpt from A Daughter of Isis’s chapter called Dreaming of Pianos
“Witnessing the art of Muyassar Kurdi can evoke transcendence, discomfort, ecstasy, calm — often in the span of a single piece” –PopMatters
Muyassar Kurdi: voice, piano (extended techniques)
Chris Williams: electronics, trumpet
Camilo Angeles: flute
A livestream will be available free of charge at 8pm on the day of the performance and archived for future viewing.