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The Nubian Word For Flowers: A Phantom Opera
by Pauline Oliveros and IONE
November 30, 2017 @ 8:00 pm
Experiments in Opera in partnership with ICE (International Contemporary Ensemble) and the Ministry of MAÅT presents the world premiere of The Nubian Word for Flowers, a Phantom Opera by Pauline Oliveros and IONE.
On Thursday, November 30, a major work that Pauline Oliveros (1932-2016) was in the midst of writing when she passed away will have its world premiere: The Nubian Word for Flowers: A Phantom Opera. In Pauline's honor, Experiments in Opera, ICE (International Contemporary Ensemble), and Pauline's longtime creative partner and spouse IONE came together to complete the piece, which runs 70 minutes. IONE, who wrote the texts and plays the role of The Interviewer, also directs.
When & where
Thursday November 30, 2017 @ 8pm
Roulette, 509 Atlantic Avenue, Brooklyn
Tickets $20 / $15
Encompassing the Nubian Diaspora, The Nubian Word for Flowers uses live performance, electronics and moving images to create a deep dream exploration of Nubian soul and Colonial Mind.
As part of this evening, Experiments in Opera will also present selections from Rainbird, a work-in-development between EiO co-founder Aaron Siegel and award-winning director Mallory Catlett, based on the novel Yellow Flowers in the Antipodean Room by New Zealand's best known but least public author, Janet Frame.
Pauline Oliveros (1932-2016), composer, performer and humanitarian, was an important pioneer in American music. Acclaimed internationally, for five decades she explored sound—forging new ground for herself and others.
Through improvisation, electronic music, ritual, teaching and meditation she created a body of work with such breadth of vision that it profoundly affects those who experience it and eludes many who try to write about it. "On some level, music, sound consciousness and religion are all one, and she would seem to be very close to that level," stated John Rockwell. Oliveros has been honored with awards, grants and concerts internationally. Whether performing at the John F. Kennedy Center in Washington D.C., in an underground cavern or in the studios of a West German radio station, Oliveros' commitment to interaction with the moment was unchanged. She could make the sound of a sweeping siren into another instrument of the ensemble.
Through Deep Listening Pieces and earlier Sonic Meditations, Oliveros introduced the concept of incorporating all environmental sounds into musical performance. To make a pleasurable experience of this requires focused concentration, skilled musicianship and strong improvisational skills, which are the hallmarks of Oliveros' form. In performance, Oliveros used an accordion re-tuned in two different systems of her just intonation in addition to electronics to alter the sound of the accordion and to explore the individual characteristics of each room.
Pauline Oliveros built a loyal following through her concerts, recordings, publications and musical compositions. She also provided leadership within the music community from her early years as the first director of the San Francisco Tape Music Center (now known as the Center for Contemporary Music at Mills College), director of the Center for Music Experiment during her 14 year tenure as professor of music at the University of California at San Diego, to acting in an advisory capacity for organizations such as The National Endowment for the Arts, New York State Council for the Arts and many private foundations. She most recently served as Distinguished Research Professor of Music at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and Darius Milhaud Composer in Residence at Mills College. Oliveros was quite vocal about representing the needs of individual artists, about the need for diversity and experimentation in the arts, and promoting cooperation and good will among people. She was founder and director of Deep Listening Institute, Ltd., currently The Center for Deep Listening @ Rensselaer.
IONE is an author/playwright/director and an improvising text-sound artist. She has taught and performed throughout the world with her partner and spouse of 30 years, Pauline Oliveros. Pauline and IONE have together created four large music theater works: Njinga the Queen King: The Return of a Warrior (BAM’s Next Wave Festival); Io and Her and the Trouble with Him: A Dance Opera in Primeval Time (U of Wisconsin’s Union Theater); The Lunar Opera (Lincoln Center Out of Doors); and Oracle Bones, Mirror Dreams as well as the film Dreams of the Jungfrau.
Ione’s memoir, Pride of Family; Four Generations of American Women of Color, was a New York Times Notable Book on its publication. IONE was Artistic Director of Deep Listening Institute for 15 years and currently is a Deep Listening Certification Instructor at the Center for Deep Listening in Troy, NY. As Founding Director of M.o.M., Inc. (The Ministry of Maåt), IONE teaches workshops and seminars throughout the world, encouraging and supporting women’s well-being and sustaining a vibrant international community of writers, visual artists, and musicians.
M.o.M., Inc. (The Ministry of Maåt) is an international spiritual and educational organization nurturing the ideal of a harmonious and balanced world community through the support of the holistic and creative well-being of all.
International Contemporary Ensemble (ICE) is an artist collective committed to transforming the way music is created and experienced. As performer, curator, and educator, ICE explores how new music intersects with communities across the world.
Aaron Siegel’s inquisitive and playful work represents a personal vision of how we live with and respond to the sounds in our world. He is a composer of music for the concert stage, the theater, video, and public art. His large body of work for mallet percussion instruments has been embraced by a wide range of ensembles and is performed on a regular basis throughout the United States. Siegel is one of the co-founders of Experiments in Opera (EiO) with whom he has produced over 60 new operatic works since its founding in 2011. He also runs LockStep Records, an independent label dedicated to musical work at the intersections of improvisation, composition and sound art. During the 2016-2017 season, Aaron completed a new large-scale piece for Mantra Percussion, commissioned by Chamber Music America. Siegel’s record The Book of Notions was released in September 2016 on LockStep Records. He premiered a short opera based on the story “The Wallet” by Andrew McCuaig at EiO’s spring 2017 program, Flash Operas. He collaborated with soprano Michele Kennedy on Stay in the Sun, a song cycle based on the poems of Tess Taylor which was premiered in June 2017 along with Navajo Manner, a song cycle for baritone Dashon Burton. Additional highlights include the premiere Siegel’s evening-length opera Brother Brother at the Abrons Arts Center in May 2014. In 2015, EiO premiered Sisyphus, a co-composed opera with Matthew Welch and Jason Cady. Siegel’s monodrama Laughing, which tells the story of Abraham and Isaac through the lens of a tortured performance artist, was premiered at Roulette in Brooklyn in April 2015. Young People’s Chorus of New York City commissioned Aaron to write a new work for young voices for its Radio Radiance Series. The resulting piece, The Mysteries of Nothing, was premiered in April 2015 at SubCulture. In Fall 2014, Siegel released his first recording as solo artist in Call Us Your People, an hourlong meditation on death and absurdity for voice and synthesizer.
Mallory Catlett is an Obie Award-winning director, dramaturg and creator of performance across disciplines. Highlights include CITY COUNCIL MEETING, a regional experiment in participatory democracy that the audience performs; the internationally touring BEOWULF, Banana Bag & Bodice’s musical bar room brawl; Dread Scott’s DECISION, a Supreme Court recitation and performance installation; and THIS WAS THE END, a remix of Chekhov’s Uncle Vanya. Catlett also directs new opera, and examples include THE SCARLET IBIS (HERE/Beth Morrison); BROTHER, BROTHER (Experiments in Opera); and THE WANTON SUBLIME (AOP). She directs Mikael Karlsson’s new opera, The Echo Drift, for the Protoype Festival in January 2018. In NYC her work has premiered at HERE, Ontological-Hysteric, PS122, Abrons, Chocolate Factory, Roulette & the Collapsable Hole; featured at FIAF, the Ice Factory, COIL, Prelude, Prototype and BAM’s Next Wave; and been developed with residencies at Baryshnikov Arts, MacDowell, Performing Garage, Abrons, HERE, Mabou Mines, LMCC and Yaddo; and toured internationally to Canada, France, UK, Ireland and Australia. She has received two NYSCA individual artist commissions, three MAP Fund grants, and a NEFA grant. She is a 2015 Foundation for the Contemporary Arts Grantee and 2016 Creative Capital artist for her upcoming M/F Future which includes a pair of works: Decoder 2017, a 3-part concert series based on William Burroughs’ Nova Trilogy and Dead Time of Plenty inspired by Doris Lessing’s Memoirs of a Survivor. She is also an Assistant Professor at Stony Brook University.