In celebration of thingNY’s 10th anniversary, the theatrically-charged new music collective presents a multi-channel sound and visual installation on the theme thingNY: 10 years in the (music) making, an immersive, interactive environment of sensory under- and overload. Using thingNY’s decade of archival recordings as source material, the installation simulates our activity-saturated daily life, with a deliberate range of audio quality as exists in the physical world.
Meet the Artists: Friday July 21st @ 7 pm
Open to the public: Saturday July 22 and Sunday July 23rd, 4 – 7 pm
Harvestworks 596 Broadway #602 New York NY 10012
Subway: F/M/D/B Broadway/Lafayette, R to Prince, #6 to Bleecker
photo by Aleks Karjaka
In celebration of thingNY’s 10th anniversary, the theatrically-charged new music collective is collaborating with the Harvestworks Digital Media Arts Center technical audio team to present a multi-channel sound and visual installation on the theme thingNY: 10 years in the (music) making, featuring a combination of lo-fi and hi-fi speakers in an immersive, interactive environment of sensory under- and overload. In the style of thingNY’s first experimental opera,ADDDDDDDDD, the installation simulates our activity-saturated daily life, with a deliberate range of audio quality as exists in the physical world.
The members of thingNY have compiled hours upon hours of group-specific audio/video over the course of the past 10 years, not limited to performances and studio recordings, but rehearsal audio, downtime, life deliberations, and one-offs. thingNY is using this compiled material in two ways: as a foundation for new electronic compositions and in an interactive installation, where the audio fabric is manipulated by members of the public.
thingNY has a history of experimenting with technology for use in live performance, and are working with the help of the Harvestworks team to shape the sound within a multi-channel environment. The space will be filled with speakers, video projection, and interactive devices designed for use by the audience. Varying from state-of-the-art speakers to teddy bears bleeding sound through their bellies, the visual element of the selected sound sources matches the chaotic nature of the sounds. The feeling of over-saturation is further emphasized through the display of piles of group memorabilia with a junkyard feel – an aesthetic that accurately embodies the spirit of thingNY.
The project will be housed in the Harvestworks studio room as a temporary installation. Opening on Friday, July 21st, admission will be FREE and open to the public on Saturday and Sunday July 22 and 23 from 4-7pm daily. The core members of thingNY will perform periodically throughout the course of the installation. Support through New Music USA’s NYC New Music Impact Fund made possible with funding from The Scherman Foundation’s Katharine S. and Axel G. Rosen Fund.
thingNY is a quirky collective of New York composer-performers who fuse electronic and acoustic chamber music with new opera, improvisation, theater, text, song and installation. Founded in 2006 for an ad hoc festival in the historic Loew’s Jersey City Theater, thingNY performs experimental sound works created collaboratively by the core ensemble – Paul Pinto, Erin Rogers, Jeffrey Young, Gelsey Bell, Dave Ruder, and Andrew Livingston – and by adventurous composers such as Robert Ashley, Frederic Rzewski, John King, Pauline Oliveros, Miguel Frasconi, Vinko Globokar, John Cage, Julius Eastman, James Tenney, David Snow, and Andrea La Rose.
The musicians of thingNY are a prolific bunch. They’ve collaboratively created three concert-length operas: their latest, This Takes Place Close By, “Blackly Amusing, Sonically Rich” (NY Music Daily) explores the reactions of isolated individuals in the wake of a devastating storm. Premiering September 2015 at The Knockdown Down Center, a 50,000 square-foot space in Maspeth, Queens, the opera toured to Philadelphia, Boston, New Haven, and Edmonton and Calgary (Canada) during its production. ADDDDDDDDD, premiered in 2009 and released on CD in 2010 with a comic-book libretto, and Time: A Complete Explanation in Three Parts, a 2011 performance collaboration with Panoply Performance Laboratoryaccompanied by a 250-page hardcover book. Later in 2011 thingNY created In House, a sound installation with music created for each of the rooms commonly found in a home, to be played simultaneously. From 2009-2012, thingNY premiered hundreds of works over the course of three marathon performances called SPAM, in which the ensemble sent out a mass call for scores by email and performed every submitted piece. Jeff Young and Paul Pinto, Patriots, Run for Public Office on a Platform of Swift and Righteous Immigration Reform, Lots of Jobs, and a Healthy Environment: an Opera by Paul Pinto and Jeffrey Young, a 30-minute, politically-charged, theatrical work, was created and performed by the thingNY members in the title. It premiered in 7 West Coast performances in 2011, and toured to 17 cities in 17 days in June 2013 and to Mexico, Southern California and Mesa Arizona’s Oh my Ears Marathon in January 2016. thingNY joined indie superstar, Helado Negro, in the collaborative string-conducted project,Brainfinger, presented by the 2015 Ecstatic Music Festival at Merkin Hall. thingNY has premiered many compact, high-energy chamber works by individual group members, including Paul Pinto’s wildly verbose minis series and Erin Rogers’ whimsical Trajectories, which will be released on Gold Bolus Recordings in 2016.
thingNY is a driving force in the New York music community, working to bolster and support new music and experimental performance, curating the New Music Showdown (2013-2014) and the Immediacies Series (2012-2014), putting a swath of performers from NYC and beyond in conversation with one another and allowing them to perform anti-concert-hall, or difficult-to-program works. thingNY has also performed important contemporary works such as Frederic Rzewski’s Attica (1971), the New York premiere of Vinko Globokar’s rarely staged opera Un Jour Comme Un Autre (1975), and played a large role in Varispeed’s acclaimed site-specific adaptation of Robert Ashley’s Perfect Lives (1983).
thingNY has produced some of their most interesting performances in underutilized spaces. In 2014, with the teenage new music ensembleFace the Music, the ensemble created a spatial work on the walkway surrounding the Queens Museum’s 9335 square foot Panorama of New York City. Their mobile sound installation In House housed itself, among other places, in an abandoned Lower East Side apartment and an 18th century house museum. And, in an industrious flurry, the group refitted an old taxi garage for a three-day festival of experimental opera in Long Island City in 2012.
thingNY has received multiple grants from the Aaron Copland Fund, the New York Department of Cultural Affairs, Network of Ensemble Theaters, and the Queens Council on the Arts, and residencies atIncubator Arts Project, Standard Toykraft, Orange Theatre, and theLaGuardia Performing Arts Center. In 2013, the ensemble helped launch Spaceworks LIC, with an intimate performance for Mayor Michael Bloomberg and Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer through the Mayor’s Fund to Advance New York City. thingNY is featured on Season 3 of the Made HERE documentary series, devoted to the lives of performing artists based in New York City.
Jeffrey Young is a composer, violinist, and electronic musician from Brooklyn, NY who specializes in experimental, rock, and classical music. Recent performance highlights include tours in Europe and the US as a solo performer and with The World/Inferno Friendship Society, US tours with trio Valerie Kuehne and the Wasps Nests and with composer/performer Paul Pinto, and three shows in Switzerland playing music he composed for Swiss-based theater ensemble stringsaTTached. He has played on national TV shows The Late Show with David Letterman and The Rachael Ray Show, and at the Lucerne Festival Academy, Bang on a Can, National Repertory Orchestra, and Aspen Festivals. [jeffrey-young.com]
Dave Ruder is a Brooklyn-based vocalist, clarinetist, guitarist, electronicist, composer, songwriter, writer/librettist, interdisciplinary collaborator, etc. Dave is a proud member of the groups Varispeed, thingNY, and Reps. Since 2013, Dave has been the driving force behind Gold Bolus Recordings, which documents the work of NYC’s greatest musical minds. Dave’s piece The Gentleman Rests, a meditation on the certification of the 2000 presidential election, was created with a commission from the Jerome Foundation and Roulette in 2014 and restaged at JACK in 2016. Additionally, his work has been featured in Experiments in Opera, and his WHY LIE? project, 100+ open scores, is available online. www.daveruder.com
Erin Rogers is a Canadian-American saxophonist, composer and performance artist based in New York City. Her works have been performed by the Stony Brook Contemporary Chamber Players, Loadbang, Anubis Quartet, thingNY, Lost Dog Ensemble, IKTUS Percussion, Project Fusion, and Madrid’s Tribuna Sax-Ensemble. She has performed with the International Contemporary Ensemble, Copland House, wild Up, and mise-en, and is performer/co-artistic director of: thingNY, the New Thread Saxophone Quartet and Hypercube. In 2013, Erin was awarded a Jerome Fund Commission from the American Composers Forum for Mother Earth, a work for flute, sax quartet and electronics, that premiered at Carnegie Hall. Her work Trajectories was featured at the 2015 Ecstatic Music Festival, and she was a showcased performance artist on the 2017 Prototype Festival “Out-of-Bounds.” Erin holds performance and composition degrees the University of Alberta and Bowling Green State University. www.erinmrogers.com
Composer Paul Pinto creates and produces experimental music and theatrical works, is a founding member of Varispeed and thingNY. His music has been performed in the International Istanbul Film Festival, Glasgow’s Shakespeare in the City Festival, and by performers such as Joan La Barbara, Pauline Oliveros, the BBC Scottish Symphony, the Cuarteto Latinoamericano, loadbang, and IKTUS Percussion. His recent work has focused on new experimental opera, and has been praised in the New York Times, NewMusicBox and on Time Out New York’s “Best of 2011” List. Paul has chosen to work equally with traditional instruments, unconventional sound-makers and amateur musicians, has recorded four albums and his scores are published by Deep Listening Institute. [pfpinto.com]
Andrew Livingston is a bassist, cellist and composer/sound artist in Brooklyn. He studied with a bunch of awesome composers and musicians that are widely unknown and a couple that may be (known.) He has a masters in music theory and composition from CUNY. Andrew plays in rock bands and with a bunch of singer songwriters to win bread. He composes music and does sound design for theatre stuff sometimes and frequently collaborates with puppeteer, and performer Daniel Fay in their multimedia theatre group Unitards.[myspace.com/andrewhlivingston]
Gelsey Bell is a singer, songwriter, and scholar. She has released five albums of original music. Her most recent song cycle was commissioned by Roulette and the Jerome Foundation. She was awarded the 2012 Stefanos Tsigrimanis Artistic Scholar Award and a 2013 fellowship from VCCA. Her work has been presented in the Vital Vox festival, the BEAT festival, and the SITE festival. Gelsey is a core member of thingNY and Varispeed. She has worked with numerous others as a performer and collaborator, including Robert Ashley, Jonathan Bepler, Matthew Barney, Yasuko Yokoshi, Kimberly Bartosik, Chris Cochrane and Fast Forward (as the Chutneys), Dave Malloy, Rachel Chavkin, and John King. [gelseybell.com]
“Face it, this is why you live in New York City.”
– Time Out New York
“…haunting, gorgeous, and disturbingly timely…”
“blackly amusing, sonically rich…provocative, often hilarious performance”
-Alan Young (Lucid Culture)