[GENERATE] A Solo Voice: Works by Odeya Nini and Gelsey Bell

Wednesday, March 18, 2015. 8:00 pm

New-York-native, California-based vocalist and composer Odeya Nini shares a night with California-native, New-York-based vocalist and composer Gelsey Bell to explore the edges of the solo voice. In celebration of Nini’s recent release of her album Vougheauxyice, both perform solo sets of their own compositions and then conclude the evening with the premiere of a duet.

Evolving over the last three years, A Solo Voice by Odeya Nini is an investigation of extended vocal techniques, resonance and pure expression, exploring the relationship between mind and body and the various landscapes it can yield. The work is a series of malleable compositions and improvisations that include field recordings and theatrical elements, aiming to disassociate the voice from its traditional attributes and create a new logic of song that is not only heard but seen through movement. Through multi-dimensionality that serves to both provoke and soothe in abstract communication, the voice is presented in its spectrum of natures as it travels through cultures, ages, emotions and colors, like photographs, with tender intimacy and bold aberrance.

Foraging for songs in an overgrown jungle of vocal quirks and oddities, Gelsey Bell presents new works for solo voice that grow from hiding language within the scars of our bodies, obscuring and smearing articulation, and packaging little truths within secret cubbyholes of melody. The solo sets will be followed by the premiere of Bell’s Spent Horizons, arranged and performed by both Bell and Nini.

Odeya Nini is a Los Angeles based experimental vocalist and contemporary composer. At the locus of her interests are textural harmony, gesture, tonal animation, and the illumination of minute sounds, in works spanning chamber music to vocal pieces and collages of musique concrète. Her solo vocal work extends the dimension and expression of the voice and body, creating a sonic and physical panorama of silence to noise and tenderness to grandeur. Odeya’s work has been presented at venues and festivals around the US and internationally from Los Angeles to Tel Aviv, Odessa, Mongolia and Vietnam. Odeya holds a BFA from the New School for Jazz and Contemporary Music where she studied with Theo Bleckmann and Gerry Hemingway, and an MFA in composition from California Institute of the Arts. Her debut album Vougheauxyice, for solo voice, was released in April of 2014. www.odeyanini.com.

Gelsey Bell is a singer, songwriter, and scholar. Described by the New York Times as a “brandy-voiced” “winning soprano” whose performance of her own music is “virtuosic” and “glorious noise,” she has released two studio albums, Under A Piano (2005) and In Place of Arms (2010), two experimental albums, February(2008) and Love Is Just a Crack In the Space of You (2009), and the digital album SCALING live at Roulette (2012). Her work has been presented internationally in Performa 11 & 13, the Vital Vox festival, the BEAT festival, the LUMEN festival, the SITE festival, the Resonant Bodies festival, Les Rencontres Chorégraphiques in France, and Voice – Creature of Transition in Amsterdam. Gelsey is a core member of thingNY and Varispeed. She has worked with numerous composers, choreographers, and performance creators including Robert Ashley, Matthew Barney and Jonathan Bepler, Ne(x)tworks, Kimberly Bartosik, Yasuko Yokoshi, Dave Malloy, Rachel Chavkin, Alec Duffy, John King, Chris Cochrane and Fast Forward (as the Chutneys), Kate Soper, Rick Burkhardt, Miguel Frasconi, Anthony Gatto, Gregory Whitehead, Paul Pinto, Erin Rogers, and the Panoply Performance Laboratory. Gelsey recently completed a doctorate at New York University in Performance Studies. www.gelseybell.com.

A Solo Voice: Works by Odeya Nini and Gelsey Bell is made possible, in part, with funds from GENERATE: The Frances Richard Fund for Innovative Artists of Promise. GENERATE, instituted in celebration of Roulette’s 35th Anniversary in 2013, aims to provide immediate, practical assistance to artists, helping them achieve ambitious work to be presented in our theater. Click here for more information about how you can contribute to GENERATE.