[July 14] Distant Pairs with Laetitia Sonami and Viola Yip

Wednesday, July 14th 2021, ISSUE Project Room & Harvestworks are pleased to stream PineApple on a Lonely Island, the debut collaboration between experimental composer, improviser, sound artist, and instrument builder Viola Yip and sound artist, performer and instrument builder Laetitia Sonami. The duo’s debut work will stream on ISSUE’s site.

•      DATES AND TIMES: July 14, 2021 TIME: 8pm NYTime

Communicating between Berlin and Oakland, Yip and Sonami—both who have long standing and parallel approaches to instrument building—explore collaboration through the creation of a virtual electronic instrument. Yip has previously created self-built instruments such as “Bulbble” (an electro-mechanical instrument with lightbulbs and relays) as well as “Lazy Studies” (a hacked turntable for audio feedback) while Sonami is known for her performances with self-built instruments such as the Spring Spyre (based on the application of neural networks to real-time audio synthesis) and the lady’s glove.

This is the sixth year in an ongoing program collaboration between ISSUE Project Room and Harvestworks, two organizations that are committed to supporting the creation and presentation of experimental performance practices while sharing resources.

During the Summer 2021, ISSUE is commissioning artists to produce collaborative work at a time when the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has drastically impacted their ability to travel and perform, and altered the nature of collective work and performance. Pairing artists in disparate locations who cannot work together in “traditional” ways, the Distant Pairs series examines the collaborative process, methods of working, and partnership amidst these constrained conditions.

•     Notes from Viola Yip & Laetitia Sonami on PineApple on a Lonely Island

Pine and Apple were stranded on an island and found nothing but themselves. Two strangers, they needed to create a shared space and declare their existence on the island.

Laetitia Sonami & Viola Yip were not stuck on the island. However, as strangers, they had to understand each other’s attractions, habits and performative gestures, to make the space meaningful and anew.

For ISSUE Project Room’s Distant Pairs series, both musicians and instrument builders are creating a virtual electronic musical instrument which spans from Berlin to Oakland. They connect through gestures and touch, apprehending the shared space which requires both of them to sound and exist.

•       BIOS

A Native of Hong Kong, Viola Yip is an experimental composer, improviser, sound artist and instrument builder. She has been interested in creating new self-built instruments and sound works in the intersection of composition, performance and improvisation, exploring various relationships between materiality, space and our musical bodies in music. Highlighted performances with her DIY electronic instruments include Cycling 74′ Expo, Women Between Arts at the New School, DiMenna Center, Look and Listen Festival in New York City, Experimental Sound Studio in Chicago, Gray Center for the Arts and Inquiry at University of Chicago, Klex Festival in Kuala Lumpur, QO-2 in Brussels, Active Listening Festival in Berlin, Currents/ Festival für aktuelle Tiefkultur in Cologne, Schwere Reiter in Munich and Sonic Arts Research Center at Queen’s University Belfast. She was recently commissioned by Dara String Festival (Berlin), Seanaps Festival (Leizig) and Vertixe Sonora Ensemble (Spain).

Laetitia Sonami is a sound artist, performer and researcher. Sonami’s sound performances, live‐film collaborations and sound installations focus on issues of presence and participation. She has devised new gestural controllers for performance and applies new technologies and appropriated media to achieve an expression of immediacy through sound, place and objects. Best known for her unique instrument, the elbow-length lady’s glove, she currently performs on her new instrument, the Spring Spyre which is based on the application of neural networks to real-time audio synthesis. Upcoming projects include the completion of a composition in collaboration with Zeena Parkins as well as a live-film with SUE-C, the fourth in their series. Sonami has received numerous awards among which the Herb Alpert Awards in the Arts and the Foundation for Contemporary Performance Awards.

•       Full Distant Pairs Series Schedule

Sofia Jernberg & Tomeka Reid: Wednesday, July 7th
Rob Thorne & Raven Chacon: Thursday, July 8th
Viola Yip & Laetitia Sonami: Wednesday, July 14th (Co-presented with Harvestworks)
Cecilia Lopez & Carmen Baliero: Thursday, July 15th (Co-presented with Harvestworks)
Louis Carnell & Okkyung Lee: Wednesday, July 21st
Rashad Becker & FUJI||||||||||TA: Thursday, July 22nd (Co-presented with AvanTokyo)**

*All Times 8pm ET

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