In this studio visit, interdisciplinary artist, composer and pianist Mary Prescott previews her commissioned performance Songs Between Life and Death, walking us through how the project was conceived and developed.
Featuring violinist Ilmar Gavilán, trumpeter Jonathan Finlayson, bassist Nick Dunston, and vocalists Nina Dante, Ariadne Greif, and Sara Serpa alongside Prescott, Songs Between Life Death is a performative song cycle integrating music, word, movement, physical theater, and installation. Inspired by the idea of conscious spiritual existence unattached from the physical body, Songs Between Life and Death explores the hidden spaces, emotional experiences, clarity, and chaos of inhabiting this unknown place for the first time.
Mary Prescott is a Thai-American interdisciplinary artist, composer, and pianist who explores the foundations and facets of identity and social conditions through experiential performance. Her work includes the interdisciplinary performance pieces Atlasomnia, Mother Me, and He Disappeared into Complete Silence (with saxophonist Darius Jones); the immersive multimedia chamber opera, ALICE; the online sound journal, Where We Go When; and film music for Thereska Gregor’s Nocecrepa, and Salzburg Experimental Academy of Dance. She is a 2019 Roulette Intermedium Jerome Foundation Commission recipient. Prescott performs at independent, experimental and traditional stages internationally, appearing in the NYC Electroacoustic Music Festival, Women Composers Festival of Hartford, Constellation’s Frequency Series in Chicago, Women Between Arts at The New School, the Josip Kasman Music Festival in Croatia, Baiona Piano Festival in Spain, Carnegie Hall, National Sawdust and others. She is featured in Ophra Yerushalmi’s documentary film, Prelude to Debussy. A New York Foundation for the Arts Emerging Leader, Prescott is a Co-Founder of the Lyra Music Festival & Workshop at Smith College, where she served as Artistic Director and lead faculty for several years. Other faculty appointments include the Goppisberger Music Festival in Switzerland, and the Louisiana Chamber Music Institute. Prescott holds degrees from The University of Minnesota – Twin Cities (Bachelor of Music), and the Manhattan School of Music (Master of Music).