On weekends from August 24 through September 2, MATA, New York’s most cosmopolitan new music presenter, in partnership with electronic-arts incubator Harvestworks will present Natacha Diels’s I Love Myself Fully and Unconditionally, a site-specific installation/tour in a home on Governor’s Island. Guests will be admitted at five-minute intervals for individually guided tours intended to “make us feel a little bit better about ourselves and the world.”
Open to the public August 24 and 25 and Aug. 31, Sept 1 and Sept 2nd.
Times: 11 am – 5 pm. Each ‘tour’ lasts 25-30 minutes; tours are run continuously at five-minute intervals
Building 10A, Nolan Park, Governors Island,
“As soon as I make space to hear sounds like this, or to dream them, then I feel the strength to face the city again or even to be playful with it. Play with the monster, then I can face the monster.” – Hildegard Westerkamp from Kit’s Beach Sound Walk
I Love Myself Fully and Unconditionally(ILMFAU), a collaboration between composers Natacha Diels and Sam Scranton, is equal parts ‘Installation’ and ‘Individual Guided Tour.’
As ‘Installation,’ ILMFAU makes light but assertive interventions into its environment utilizing sound, light, video projections, and a mattress outfitted with transducers. It seeks not to erase the identity of the installation site, but rather to augment the pre-existing space to create new dream-like narratives and experiences: a foyer becomes a private divination booth; a living room becomes a butterfly conservatory; a basement becomes a center for sound healing; another room becomes the stage for a singing orchid. Rooms maintain their identity, but become layered with potentialities and actualizations.
As ‘Individual Guided Tour,’ ILMFAU activates the dream narrative. Guests enter at five-minute intervals for tours lasting 25-30 minutes. Guides deliver one-on-one scripted tours that incorporate languages of healing, sugary pop lyrics, and fantasy, with the goal of creating an alternate reality that uses theatrical distance to open intimate personal spaces.
By engaging as active listeners of the space and being present throughout the tour and after, ILMFAU is, like Westerkamp’s work, a political act. The active participant functions as a site of resistance especially given the modern-day saturation of commercial sound and the unrelenting ubiquity of mass media and the revelation of their ‘personal’ is a refreshing voicing of a voiceless, a megaphone to that which has been silenced. At its most aspirational, ILMFAU acts as brief escape for self-actualization, putting forth a space where participants can engage with their monster and in so doing, face it, and realize their potentials.
ILMFAU was originally commissioned for the 2018 Internationales Musikinstitut Darmstadt in partnership with Nadar Ensemble’s Our Ears Program and first installed in Oetinger Villa, a Ducal mansion built in 1898, now existing as an autonomous cultural center.
Natacha Diels’ work combines choreographed movement, improvisation, video, instrumental practice, and cynical play to create worlds of curiosity and unease. Recent activities include Papillon and the Dancing Cranes, for construction cranes (Borealis Festival 2018), and Beautiful Trouble, a forthcoming TV mini-series of music videos and performances with the JACK Quartet (2019-20). With a focus on collaboration, collage, and the ritual of art as life, Natacha’s compositions have been described as “a fairy tale for a fractured world” (Music We Care About).
Natacha is a member of the composer/performer collective Ensemble Pamplemousse (est. 2003) and the performance duo On Structure (est. 2009). Pamplemousse specializes in unique aspects of new music composition, from complex virtuosic instrumental performance to experimental theatre to electronic and robotic performance. On Structure is a sound-centric highly choreographed paradoxically improvisatory collaboration project, performing whenever travel paths collide.
Natacha teaches composition and computer music at the University of California, San Diego.
Sam Scranton is a composer/performer working at the intersection of music, performance art, and installation. He has been described in New Music Box as “an artist taking wholehearted risks” and in the New York Times as a “killer drummer”.
Sam has worked with ensembles and performers such as International Contemporary Ensemble, Jack Quartet, Nadar, Mocrep, Weston Olencki, Natacha Diels, Spektral Quartet, Gyre Ensemble, ZRL, among others. Sam has presented his work nationally and internationally at festivals, conferences and performance series such as the 2018 Internationales Musikinstitut Darmstadt, Indexical, Composit, NUNC! 3, New Music Gathering, the International Conference on Music and Minimalism, Outer Ear Festival, and Omaha Under the Radar.
Sam’s music has been broadcast on BBC Radio 3, WFMT, and released by Parlour Tapes+. As part of the band volcano!, Sam has performed onstage in Berlin, Moscow, London, and Paris, with albums released by Leaf Label (UK).
Currently, Sam lives and works in Chicago, pursuing a PhD in composition at Northwestern University.
“New York’s most cosmopolitan new-music series” (The New Yorker), MATA was founded in 1996 to address the lack of presentation opportunities for unaffiliated composers.
The majority of MATA’s programming comes from a free global call for submissions and each season MATA presents an internationally recognized spring festival of new music; and an acclaimed concert series, MATA Presents, held at venues throughout New York City.
In addition to these regular offerings, MATA has presented numerous other events and activities open to the general public – among them public sound art installations, (2003, 2008-10, 2015, 2018); lectures and panel discussions (2002-04, 2007-09); workshops on the business of composing (2011-present); public art events (2005, 2011, 2014); Interactive apps (2015); composer reading sessions (2002-04, 2013-14); and showcases (2015) – and developed on-going initiatives to focus the community on under-recognized aspects of the field (‘A Room of One’s Own’ for female composer-performers; ‘New Music from the Islamic World’; ‘Divine Mysteries’ for new sacred music; ‘MATA Jr.’ (2014-2018); ‘MATA Composer’s School’ (2014-15)).
MATA’s festivals and events are critically acclaimed and broadly respected: The New Yorkerhas called MATA “a vital force in identifying and promoting some of the most talented young composers in America and beyond,” The New York Timeshas called it a “valuable platform.” Composers presented by MATA early in their careers include future Grammy, Rome, Alpert, Takemitsu, Siemens, and Pulitzer Prize-winners, Guggenheim Fellows, and Macarthur “Geniuses.” In 2010 MATA was awarded ASCAP’s prestigious Aaron Copland award.