Voice/interdisciplinary artist Shelley Hirsch returns to Roulette to present The Body Remembers. The evening begins with two solo pieces by Hirsch before she is joined by sound artist Michael J. Schumacher and violist Joanna Mattrey. In Paper Piece from 1986, the wordless vocals allude to language. The next pieces explore and expand on Hirsch’s practice of generating text in myriad ways.
Paper Piece, solo voice/paper, 1986
Letting The Electronics Lead Me, solo voice, electronics
Visceral Interaction, Michael J.Schumacher improvises by using a computer-generated environment and interacting with Hirsch who writes a stream of consciousness on a variety of surfaces as she vocalizes while moving in Roulette’s audience-less theater.
He Brings The Beauty, Joanna Mattrey improvises a drone on viola and Hirsch sings, speaks, and types on her laptop. Her improvised text will be projected in real-time.
Roulette’s Winter season will be presented virtually and available for free on a variety of streaming platforms. Our theater is currently closed for public performances as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic and the safety measures that Roulette has put in place to keep staff, artists, and the public safe.
“A woman of a thousand voices… She offered an enthralling demonstration of the way songs, vocal styles and language might have evolved out of more primal musical impulses. (Stephen Holden, New York Times)
“A unique poetry…telling of the waywardness and drift of language…full of lust and humour, lasciviousness and rebellion…(Harry Lachner, Süddeutsche Zeitung)
Born and raised in East New York Brooklyn, Shelley Hirsch has been pushing boundaries with her unique vocal art drawing on her life experiences, her memory, and her vivid imagination for decades. She has presented her compositions, staged multimedia works, improvisations, radio plays, installations, and collaborations in concert halls, clubs, festivals, theaters, museums, galleries, and on radio, film, and television on five continents. Hirsch’s fellowships and awards include The Foundation For Contemporary Arts Grants for Artists; The John Simon Memorial Guggenheim Fellowship; A Creative Capital Grant; NYFA fellowships in both Music and Interdisciplinary categories; AIR Grants from The DAAD in Berlin, Havestworks, Yaddo,Queenslab, etc, and NYSCA Individual Artist Commissions, the latest in 2021 for a music composition commission which will premiere iWinter, 2021. Hirsch can be heard on seventy plus recordings. In 2018, her archives were acquired by the Fales Library at NYU for their Downtown Collection. Find her at shelleyhirsch.com, shelleyhirschbandcamp.com, and soundcloud.com/shelleyhirsch.
Sound artist/composer Michael J. Schumacher has worked with spatialized sound, computers, and electronics since the 1980s, creating multi-channel, generative “Room Pieces” presented in galleries, museums, concert halls, public and private spaces. Schumacher’s interest in the relationship of musical form and architecture led to the founding of Diapason, a gallery devoted to the presentation of sound art. His latest project is the Portable Multichannel Sound System, with which he has toured Europe twice. “Variations”, a set of pieces created for the system, is available online through Richard Garet’s Contour Editions label. Schumacher is the music director of the Liz Gerring Dance Company.
Joanna Mattrey is a violist working in free improvisation, new music, and classical music. She uses extended techniques, modern compositional approaches, and electronic alterations to challenge the conventions of the viola. Drawing on her training in bodywork, Mattrey creates an embodied performance practice centered on ceremony and ritual. Upcoming 2021 releases for Relative Pitch Records, Notice Recordings, Tripticks Tapes, Dear Life Recs, and NNA Tapes. Festivals include Newport Jazz Festival, NYC Winter Jazz Fest, Lima Jazz Festival*, SxSW, New Ear Festival. Residencies include ISSUE Project Room, Banff’s Composition Lab, Wild Project, 14th St Y, MoMa PS1’s ALLGOLD, The Floor*, www.joannamattrey.com
*postponed due to Covid
Photo: Hirsch in red performing at Steve Dalachinsky’s Memorial