WhiteBox is pleased to present the work of composer and opera creator Elliott Sharp and writer Jack Womack as part of WhiteBoxLab SoundLounge.
For one week, WhiteBox’s main exhibition space will act as a laboratory hosting the work of Elliott Sharp, culminating in three theatrical performances of Binibon, an opera portraying an off-beat, milestone tale transpiring in a distinctly downtown New York City cultural moment. Binibon premiered at The Kitchen in May 2009.
When & where
Tuesday, October 11—16, 2016
WhiteBox, 329 Broome Street, Soho
Admission Regular $25—VIP $100
Open rehearsals October 11—13 from 11am-6pm
Theatric performance October 14 and 15 @ 7pm
Matinee performance & panel October 16 @ 3pm
Performances by Jedadiah Schultz, Julie Brown, Ryan Quinn, and Jack Womack
Directed by Elliott Sharp
Text by Jack Womack
Projection design by Janene Higgins
WhiteBox and Elliott Sharp are jointly responding to and coloring a pervasive, dual changing landscape in NYC, namely the opera scene — stagnant — and real estate gentrification—enlarging. Staging this work in an untraditional, street-bound, enduring alternative art venue allows for the hosting of an intricate, essential panel discussion on the affinities and aspects of divergence between what the multifarious Bohemian East Village neighborhood art-scene represented culturally, and what today’s acutely ‘professionalized’ art district Lower East Side stands for. Discussions will be open to the general art audiences as well as to the local, variegated LES/Chinatown communities.
As a laboratory, WhiteBoxLab SoundLounge is delighted to open all musical and staging rehearsals free and open to the public, from October 11 to 13, preceding the final performances on October 14 and 15 at 7pm, and Matinee Sunday, October 16 at 3pm. A talk with Elliott Sharp and special guests, moderated by Juan Puntes, will be held after the performance on the 16th.
Binibon is a work of both, musical theater, literature and alternative history based on the 1981 murder of Richard Adan by author Jack Henry Abbott. Richard was a waiter and the night manager at the Binibon, a cafe and 24-hour hangout on 2nd Avenue at East 5th Street in the East Village, a nexus for artists, musicians, neighborhood characters and bohemians true and faux. Abbott was a talented writer, as well as an imprisoned killer who became the protégé of famed author Norman Mailer (Mailer sponsored his release into a halfway house on 3rd Street.) The killing was an important cusp-point in the history of the neighborhood, its culture, its daily life, its real estate, and its future. Elliott Sharp’s music draws upon his own compositional and performance innovations that he developed during the time of these events with ties to punk, No Wave, noise, dance, industrial and exotic sounds. Jack Womack is famed for his Dryco Series of novels portraying a post-Apocalypse NYC.
A central figure in the avant-garde music scene in New York City for over thirty years, Elliott Sharp leads the projects Orchestra Carbon, SysOrk, Tectonics and Terraplane, and has pioneered the application of fractal geometry, chaos theory, and genetic metaphors to musical composition. Winner of the 2015 Berlin Prize in Music and a 2014 Guggenheim Fellowship, Sharp has has been featured in the Darmstadt and Donaueschingen festivals, New Music Stockholm, Au Printemps-Paris, Hessischer Rundfunk Klangbiennale, and the Venice Biennale. His Storm of the Eye, composed for Hilary Hahn, appeared on her Grammy-winning album In 27 Pieces. His opera Port Bou premiered in NYC in 2014 and in Berlin in 2015. Sharp’s range of collaborators have included Qawwali singer Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan; Ensemble Modern; Debbie Harry; blues legends Hubert Sumlin and Pops Staples; RadioSinfonie Frankfurt; jazz greats Jack Dejohnette and Sonny Sharrock; JACK Quartet; turntable innovator Christian Marclay; and Bachir Attar, leader of the Master Musicians Of Jahjouka, Morocco. His work is the subject of the documentary Doing The Don’t and he has been featured on NPR’s All Things Considered. Installation include Foliage, Fluvial, Chromatine, and Tag. His Cryptid Fragments was included in the Bitstreams show at the Whitney Museum.
Jack Womack is an American playwright and author of fiction and speculative fiction. He moved to New York City in 1977 where he lives with his wife and daughter. His oeuvre consists of Random Acts of Senseless Violence (1993), Heathern (1990), Ambient (1987), Terraplane (1988), Elvissey (1993, Going, Going, Gone (2000), Let’s Put the Future Behind Us (1996), Lying to Children (2004) “Womack’s fiction may be determinedly non-cyber, but, with its commitment to using Science Fiction as a vehicle for social critique, it definitely has a punky edge.” – William Gibson
The programs of WhiteBox are made possible in part by the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs.
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