I just got back from Michelberger in Berlin, the most amazing festival I’ve ever had the pleasure to attend or participate in… a bit stunned, really. I’m hoping more video will surface of my Dronechoir (which ended with an audience of tears and love) and the piece I performed with Stargaze among the many projects I am honored to have lent my voice to during the week and festival. If you haven’t heard of them yet and are thirsty for some autumn listening material, browse these delights:
watched the prez debate last night and ended up with nightmares that trump’s sons were sneering as they attacked the new york harbor which had overfilled with floating, rotting trash, and trump’s daughter (a fictional one), who was just as much of a bully as he is but smaller and more vicious, was campaigning for him in front of news cameras while he egged her on. some serious “carrie” carnage. if you haven’t yet seen The 13th, please take some time to do so, and also sign up for the Injustice Boycott if you’re willing to join thousands of others in standing up for Black Lives, not quite sure exactly what it will consist of but i’m preparing to leave my financial institutions as well as change my phone carrier, oh yes and instead of buying three cups of outrageously expensive coffee this week, send that $10-15 to support the Standing Rock Indigenous community who are fighting for something that effects ALL of us as human beings on a shrinking land, for without water there will be no coffee of which i have found myself incredibly addicted to once again. not to say that coffee is more important than water. comedic metaphor. i do my best. love and theremin sweeps, arone
DRONECHOIRTrace is a choral piece I’ve been creating which has constantly evolved while being performed unrehearsed by curious vocalists from Hudson, NY to Mpls, MN and this Friday will be performed by 13-14 wonderful vocalists, many of whom have donated their time one to two times already in other Dronechoir performances. I am stoked and honored to have their recurring presence! including Asy Saavedra, Bahar Baharloo, Boshra AlSaadi, Denitia Odigie, Emily Ritz, Jen Goma, Lindsey-Paige McCloy, Nkoula Badila, Phyllis Lee, Starr Busby, Thimali Kodikara, Justine Bowe and Yours Truly at Le Poisson Rouge. I’m both petrified and enthusiastic for our foray into the city so to my friends in the area, I hope you’ll come to support us!
We will be sonically squeezed between two fantastic solo avant/experimental composers: Christopher Tignor, who is celebrating the release of his new LP, and avant-composer/guitarist Patrick Higgins (of Zs), so this will be a beautiful evening of music.
– On Wednesday, Sept 14th I’ll be one of 5 vocalists backing up Bon Iver on Jimmy Fallon. I’m freakin out! Severe kudos to Jen Goma for her graciousness in sharing this opportunity!
– On Sept 21st I will again be performing a piece I composed for Naama Tsabar’s Composition 20 on the High-Line with 20 other musicians, all standing on amplifiers placed strategically throughout a particularly tight area on the pathway (at the 14th street entrance), propelling onlookers to pass between each musician and thereby hearing each instrument from each participant, as well as experiencing the cacophony as a whole. It was well-received and as such we were invited to reunite to complement the High-Line’s 4th Annual Art Dinner happening that evening. (Apparently this part of the day isn’t yet listed on the High-Line’s website so perhaps I’m jumping the gun but let’s see who flinches…)
There is More To Come in October, including a live Interview in the DKNY window in NYC with Emilie Baltz, the coolest (and perhaps the only) high-art-foodie i’ve ever had the honor to meet and work with, an improv session with Yuka Honda and Shayna Dunkleman for The HUM series at Manhattan Inn, Buke and Gase performances at Threes Brewing and more!
Around 6pm on Friday and 7:30 pm on Saturday (August 12th & 13th) Dronechoir will make an appearance along the main artery between the major sections of Eaux Claires Festival in Eau Claire, WI. Passersby will be able to walk among and between the vocalists as they converge and disperse throughout the piece. Look for Claire De Lune, Justine Bowe, Rully Shabara, Jon Mueller, Liv Carrow, Sarah White, myself and others…
Listen to Dronechoir Trace, as performed on July 17th at CR10
The vocalists of Dronechoir Trace From Left to right: Bahar Baharloo, Jen Goma, Arone Dyer, Emily Ritz, Asy Saavedra, Lindsey-Paige McCloy, Phyllis Lee and Starr Busby.
This composition is beginning to show its many faces. I adapted it from its original form which was performed as a static quartet in April 2016, this time with the addition of movement instructions and slight changes to a couple of the parts. There were still 4 parts to work with, so two vocalists shared each part and this was notable only when the partners slowly circled each other towards the end of the piece.
Many of these women had not met until the event as there was no rehearsal prior to the performance. Each vocalist was given their part to listen through at least one week ahead of time, but none had heard all the parts together. The audience was witness to our own discovery of the piece as a whole, as well as to our courage and commitment to the present moment. There were no wrong moves and no mistakes to be made.
During the performance each vocalist was instructed by a recording on their digital-listening-device to sing particular notes as well as make simple movements. Some of the movement directions included “Step Forward” – “Make your way to anywhere in the room” – “Turn Clockwise with your Partner”. I found that making clear and concise verbal movement instructions while indicating sometimes subtle vocal changes was challenging.
Each performance of the Dronechoir has been as unique as the individuals involved, and I intend to continue the evolution. I am honored that these women chose to be a part of the organic performance-writing process with me.
For this event at CR10, Dronechoir was joined by Peptalk of Brooklyn, NY, and the proceeds of the event were proudly donated to Campaign Zero.
Dronechoir Trace is the third evolution of Dronechoir and will involve 8 unrehearsed vocalists. Each vocalist will have a set of directions fed to them during the performance and the audience will see/hear how each individual interprets these directions. Trace will take place atCR10 just outside of Hudson, NY on Sunday,July 17th 2016 at 5pm. Also performing will be Peptalk (members of Xiu Xiu).
The Proceeds of this performance ($10 suggested donation at the door) will go to Campaign Zero, an online data-based research and legislative tracking tool with the goal of eradicating police violence with a series of policy solutions. It is one of many opportunities for Us to make a Difference in systematic racial discrimination.
Vocalists of Dronechoir Trace include: Phyllis Lee, Jen Goma, Lindsey-Paige McCloy, Asy Saavedra, Emily Ritz, Bahar Baharloo, Starr Busby and Arone Dyer.
Here are some images taken by Viktor Klinger from the latest Dronechoir at Basilica‘s 24hr Dronefest April 23-24th in Hudson, NY. where the audience was silently asked to blindfold themselves for a purely aural experience. Toward the end of the piece we invited blindfolded members of the audience to join us for the remaining chords.
The first Dronechoir I created took place as a part of Basilica’s 24hr Dronefest in April 2015, where I directed 20 blindfolded, mostly untrained vocalists through an hour-long, somewhat structured piece (this was hard to gauge due to being blindfolded, myself).