Jessica Pavone (composer, viola, violin, el.bass) has performed in countless improvisation, avant jazz, experimental, folk, soul, and chamber ensembles since moving to NYC in 2000. She currently plays with Normal Love, in a duo with guitarist Mary Halvorson, with Anthony Braxton’s ensembles and as a solo violist. As a composer, The Wire magazine praised her “ability to transform a naked tonal gesture into something special,” and The New York Times described her music as “distinct and beguiling…its core is steely, and its execution clear.”
Pavone’s recent works for solo viola and voice stem from years of concentrated long tone practice and an interest in repetition, song form, and sympathetic vibration. She combines her long tone rituals with delay, understated melodies and sparse lyrical content while continuously experimenting with new forms. She is interested in the physicality of performing her somewhat larger-than-comfortable instrument and believes that cultivating physical bodies as a strong container for her thoughts is part of the creative process.
As an instrumentalist, she has personally worked with and interpreted new music by; Aaron Seigel, Andrew Raffo Dewar vigrx wikipedia, Elliott Sharp, Glenn Branca, Henry Threadgill, Leo Smith, Jason Ajemian, Jason Cady, Jeremiah Cymerman, John King, Matana Roberts, Matthew Welch, Tristan Perich, Tyondai Braxton and William Parker; and, has played strings in bands such as Christy and Emily, Pure Horsehair, White Blue Yellow and Clouds, Joy Mega, and The Artificials.
Pavone has toured extensively throughout the U.S., Canada and Europe, performing in venues ranging from international music festivals, universities, and art galleries, to community centers and basements. Her music has premiered in venues in New York City such as, Roulette, Issue Project Room, and The Kitchen, and at the Klangbad Festival in Sheer, Germany. In 2011 she was featured in NPR’s “The Mix: 100 Composers Under 40.” She has received grants and commissions from the Aaron Copland Recording Fund, the American Music Center, The Kitchen, MATA, The Jerome Foundation, Experiments in Opera, and the chamber music collective, Till By Turning.
CDs of Pavone’s music are available from Tzadik, Thirsty Ear, Porter, Skirl, and Peacock Recordings.
For more information, visit http://www.jessicapavone.com.
New Shorts videos by New Shorts Composers Robert Ashley, Jason Cady, Joe Diebes, Ruby Fulton, Gabrielle Herbst, Mary Kouyoumdjian, Aaron Siegel, Justin Tierney, Leaha Maria Villarreal, Matthew Welch.
Photos from New Shorts on February 9, 2013 featuring works by Robert Ashley, Jason Cady, Joe Diebes, Ruby Fulton, Gabrielle Herbst, Mary Kouyoumdjian, Aaron Siegel, Justin Tierney, Leaha Maria Villarreal, and Matthew Welch
Louisa Proske is a director of theatre, classical and contemporary opera, new music performance, and video. She holds a Master of Fine Arts in Directing from Yale School of Drama. Originally from Berlin, Germany, she is now based in New York City. Her productions include Poulenc’s opera La Voix Humaine (Yale Opera/ Yale School of Drama); the world premiere of Christopher Cerrone’s opera Invisible Cities at the Italian Academy New York; an evening of world premiere short operas by Matthew Welch, Jason Cady and Aaron Siegel (Issue Project Room/ Experiments in Opera); her thesis production of Shakespeare’s Cymbeline at Yale School of Drama; Fassbinder’s The Bitter Tears of Petra von Kant (Strasberg Institute/ NYU); Pinkalicious the Musical and This Same Progeny of Evils (an adaptation of A Midsummer Night’s Dream) at the Hangar Theatre, Ithaca; Schoenberg’s Pierrot Lunaire (Avant Music Festival/ The Wild Project, NYC); Rum ‘n Coca Cola in Port-of-Spain, Trinidad; an international tour of Macbeth through Germany, Switzerland, Belgium, France, and the U.K.; As You Like It (Yale Summer Cabaret Shakespeare Festival); ‘Tis Pity She’s A Whore (The Tank, NYC); The Lover (Yale School of Drama); a theatrical bad credit payday loans lenders staging of Purcell’s vocal music entitled REVELS (Manhattan School of Music); A Servant To Two Masters (Edinburgh Fringe Festival); The Barber Shop (Cambridge Footlights); 4.48 Psychosis; The Importance of Being Earnest; No Exit (all Apollonysus Theatre, York, UK); and a tour of Lucy’s Dream through schools in India and Nepal.
Louisa has assisted such prominent opera and theatre directors as Willy Decker, Harry Kupfer and Robert Woodruff. Louisa holds bachelor degrees in English Literature, Politics and Philosophy from Cambridge University and from the University of York. Louisa’s translation of Fassbinder’s film script In a Year with 13 Moons was presented at Yale Repertory Theatre, adapted and directed by Robert Woodruff and featuring Bill Camp and Joan Macintosh. Louisa is honored to be a 2013 Drama League Directing Fellow and co-artistic director of the Lab Academy at the Hangar Theatre, Ithaca, NY.
Upcoming Directing Projects: Two world premiere one-act operas by Jason Cady and Matthew Welch at Abrons Arts Center in November 2013; the world premiere of Trillium J., an opera by Anthony Braxton at Roulette produced by the Tri-Centric Foundation in April 2014 (Associate Director).
Robert Ashley is known for his work in new forms of opera. In the 1960s, Ashley organized Ann Arbor’s legendary ONCE Festival and directed the ONCE Group. During the 1970s, he directed the Center for Contemporary Music at Mills College, toured with the Sonic Arts Union, and produced and directed Music with Roots in the Aether, a 14-hour television opera/documentary about the work and ideas of seven American composers. Ashley wrote and produced Perfect Lives, an opera for television widely considered the precursor of “music-television.” Staged versions of Perfect Lives and Atalanta (Acts of God) and the monumental opera tetralogy, Now Eleanor’s Idea, have toured throughout Europe, Asia and the United States. He wrote and directed Balseros for Florida Grand Opera, Dust for premiere at the Kanagawa Arts Foundation in Yokohama, and Celestial Excursions for the Berlin Festival and Hebbel Theater Berlin. Made Out of Concrete was premiered at La MaMa E.T.C. in New York in 2009. Ashley is working on his latest opera, Quicksand. Kyle Gann’s biography of Robert Ashley is forthcoming from the University of Illinois Press.
For more information, visit Robert’s website.
Joe Diebes creates works that converge around music, visual art, and performance. From 1996-2003 he was a core member as well as the composer for all productions by the hybrid arts group GAle GAtes et al. described by The New York Times as “an adventurous troupe with one foot in the world of postmodern art and the other in downtown performance.” Since then he has continued to create performance work that fuses sound, visual media, and the human voice into a unique form of contemporary opera. His opera environment, STRANGE BIRDS, received its U.K. premiere in 2005 at Tramway (Glasgow) and his sound-theatre collaboration with Phil Soltanoff, I/O, was presented at Fusebox (Austin 2007) and Theatre Garonne (Toulouse 2008). He is currently developing a new opera inspired by the story of Milli Vanilli at The Watermill Center with director David Levine and poet Christian Hawkey as well as a sound-driven performance work, BOTCH, in residency at HERE Arts Center. He has also exhibited internationally his sound installations, video, and works on paper for art galleries, museums, and public spaces including Paul Rodgers/9W (New York), The ’06 Olympics (Torino, Italy), Yuanfen Gallery (Beijing), and the Liverpool Biennial.
For more information, visit Joe’s website.
Baltimore-based composer Ruby Fulton (b. 1981) grew up in Northwest Iowa. Along with composer George Lam, she is co-director of Rhymes With Opera, a company dedicated to bringing new opera to unconventional spaces.
Her music has been played recently by the Holland Symfonia, the Cabrillo Festival Orchestra, the American Composers Orchestra, orkest de ereprijs, Volti, REDSHIFT, the quux duo, and musicians from the Tanglewood Music Center, the Bang on a Can Summer Music Festival at MASS MoCA and the A*Devantgarde Festival in Munich.
She has received recognition from the Fromm Foundation (2011 Commission), Musik Centrum Nederland (2010 Gaudeamus Prize Nomination), ASCAP (2009 Morton Gould Young Composers Award), Meet the Composer and the League of American Orchestras (Music Alive: New Partnerships), and the American Composers Forum (2006 Encore Grant with the West End String Quartet); and has been in residency at the Hermitage Artist Retreat, Atlantic Center for the Arts (with composer David Lang) and Yaddo.
She has studied with composers Julia Wolfe, Christopher Theofanidis, Moritz Eggert, Elinor Armer, Dan Becker, Charles Fussell, Tison Street and Martin Amlin. She holds degrees from the Peabody Institute, the San Francisco Conservatory of Music, and Boston University.
For more information, visit Ruby’s website.
Gabrielle Herbst resides in Brooklyn. She studied composition at Bard College with Joan Tower, Zeena Parkins and Marina Rosenfeld. As a featured vocalist she has performed with Zeena Parkins, Elliott Sharp, Da Capo Chamber Players, Beyond the Mind at the 2009 Russian American Cultural Center Gala at the Ana Tzarev Gallery, The Green Death at Saint Mark’s Church, Allie Tsypin’s Low Culture Symphony at the former convent of St. Cecilia’s Parish, Brooklyn, at La MaMa E.T.C, and Marina Rosenfeld’s Teenage Lontano in the Whitney Biennial. She has premiered her compositions at Roulette Intermedium, The Stone, Cabinet Magazine’s Exhibition Space, Club Helsinki and HERE Arts Center. Recipient of the 2011 Artist Residency at Robert Wilson’s Watermill Center in partnership with New York Theater Workshop, her upcoming projects include commissions from the new music ensemble Contemporaneous. She is also the 2012 recipient of the Con Edison Composers-in-Residence through Exploring the Metropolis, Inc.
Mary Kouyoumdjian is dedicated to composing music that pushes the boundaries of expectation and musical tradition. As a first generation Armenian-American and having come from a family directly affected by the Lebanese Civil War and Armenian Genocide, she uses a sonic pallet that draws on her heritage, interest in folk music, and background in experimental composition to progressively blend the old with the new.
With compositions ranging from concert works to multimedia collaborations and film scores, Kouyoumdjian has received commissions from the American Composers Forum/JFund for her piece Dzov Yerku Kooynov [Sea of Two Colors], REDSHIFT for their “Arctic Sounds” series, the Los Angeles New Music Ensemble, and violinist Andie Springer for her work Dandelion [for Andie Springer]. Her chamber and multimedia pieces have been recorded by such performers as internationally acclaimed cellist Charles Curtis and flautist John Fonville and have been presented by the Boston New Music Initiative and Ear Heart Music. Currently based in New York, Kouyoumdjian also actively promotes the growth of new music in her native state of California and has frequently collaborated with the Los Angeles New Music Ensemble.
Holding a B.A. in Music Composition from the University of California, San Diego and an M.A. in Scoring for Film & Multimedia from New York University, Kouyoumdjian has studied contemporary composition with Chaya Czernowin, Steven Kazuo Takasugi, and Chinary Ung; new music performance with Steve Schick; and modern jazz with Anthony Davis.
Kouyoumdjian is also a co-founder and the executive director of the contemporary music ensemble Hotel Elefant.
For more information, visit Mary’s website.
Blending literature and visual art with experimental composition, LEAHA MARIA VILLARREAL brings a contemporary focus to classical music. Fascinated by themes of home, loss, and memory, her works side-step boundaries and defy convention.
Villarreal’s music has premiered on both coasts featuring the JACK Quartet, violinist Andie Tanning Springer, and members of the percussion ensemble red fish blue fish. Her work has been sought out by the Composers’ Voice concert series, the Boston New Music Initiative, and the PUBLIQuartet. Past composition teachers include Pulitzer-prize winner Roger Reynolds, Steven Kazuo Takasugi, Chinary Ung, and Tania Leon. She holds a B.A. from the University of California, San Diego and is pursuing her M.M. at New York University with Julia Wolfe and Michael Gordon.
In addition to her work as a composer, Villarreal is an avid supporter of the performing arts. She has lent her services to such preeminent organizations as Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts, Wordless Music Series, Lower Manhattan Cultural Council, MATA, the Unsound Festival, and the FIGMENT Arts Festival on Governor’s Island.
Villarreal is a co-founder and the Artistic Director of the New York-based contemporary music ensemble Hotel Elefant.
For more information, visit Leaha’s website.
JUSTIN TIERNEY’S music was declared “superb, robust, and grand” by the Boston Globe who avowed that “Tierney’s dark-hued music had polished, ominous richness… and sound-worlds that were cogent and immediate.”
His music has been performed and recorded by ensembles such as WetInk, The Firebird Ensemble, Experiments in Opera, the Kyodai Brass Quintet, the Ciompi String Quartet, the Yale Trombone Quartet, the Philharmonia Orchestra of Yale, Tufts Symphony Orchestra, and soloists such as Joanna Kurkowicz, and Fumito Nunoya, among others.
Tierney has worked with composers such as Martin Bresnick, Aaron Jay Kernis, Christopher Theofanidis, Ezra Laderman, Ryan Vigil, John McDonald, Jeffrey Johnson and Douglas Townsend. He holds degrees from Yale, Tufts, and the University of Bridgeport, and is currently pursuing a PhD at Duke University under Stephen Jaffe.
Tierney has taught music composition at Yale College and Music Notation at the University of Bridgeport. He was born in West Haven, CT (1984) and currently resides in Durham, NC with his wife Michiko Tierney, a photographer.
For more information, visit Justin’s website.
Cough Button is a creative troika dedicated to exploring the narrative and sonic possibilities of mixing radio transmissions into live performance and installation. Cough Button consists of Aliza Simons, Lynn Levy, & Dave Ruder.
Lynn Levy is a documentary producer who has worked in film, television and radio. She is currently working for WNYC’s Radiolab. Lynn graduated from Wesleyan University with a degree in Film Studies and a cardboard box full of blank cassette tapes (still waiting to be used).
Dave Ruder has spent much of the last year performing in, arranging, and creating new mutlimedia & site-specific operas. He performed in Robert Ashley’s That Morning Thing, co-arranged and performed in Ashley’s Perfect Lives Manhattan as 1/5 of Varispeed, took part in a performance of Aaron Siegel’s Brother Brother, and has worked with Panoply Performance Laboratory on Nature Fetish, Institute_Institut, and TIME: A Complete Explanation in 3 parts (with thingNY). Dave is an active clarinetist/guitarist/vocalist/electronicist and composer (among other things). In addition to Cough Button, he is a member of Varispeed (durational performance & opera), Gamelan Kusuma Laras (NYC’s only Javanese gamelan), Sweat Lodge (new music composing/performing squad), Why Lie? (song & storytelling duo), and helps run Performers Forum (a monthly series at Exapno). Dave studied music at Wesleyan University and Brooklyn College. For more information about Dave, visit his website at: daveruder.com
New York City native Aliza Simons wears many different hats: transmission artist, musician, composer, oral historian, championwhistler. A graduate of Wesleyan University, she was awarded a Thomas J. Watson Fellowship in 2010 to spend a year visiting community radio stations and conducting interviews with radio DJs and journalists in Northern Canada, South America and Western Africa. In 2011, she collaborated in arranging and performing a site-specific adaptation of Robert Ashley’s made-for-TV opera Perfect Lives with composer-collective Varispeed as part of Performa ’11. She also performed in a restaging of Ashley’sThat Morning Thing at The Kitchen as well as the premier of World War III Just the Highlights, alongside baritone vocalist Thomas Buckner. She is a member of Why Lie? the band, WHY LIE? the ensemble and yet-to-be-named duo with percussionist David Grollman.
Visit the Cough Button website for more information.
To Scale, is a work-in-progress that details the relationship between an architect and her scalies—the two-dimensional characters who populate architectural models. Co-written by Lynn Levy, Dave Ruder, and Aliza Simons, To Scale explores the gap between creator and created. The piece will also play with novel techniques to bridge the gap between singer and listener, including the use of localized transmitters, picked up by radios in the audience.
“As for the fungibility of the New Shorts operas, only time, that most wayward of arbiters, will tell which ones have legs. Their variety and consistently high quality impressed me, though, and the audience’s enthusiasm never flagged during a program of pithy works that added up to an epic-length evening.”
Marion Lignana Rosenberg on WQXR’s Operavore Blog
“[New Shorts] is a genuinely experimental impulse, allowed to set off impulsively in all directions.”
Rick Burkhardt on CultureBot
Full Preview of New Shorts on CultureBot
“The works in New Shorts clearly demonstrated that the program’s composers, vocalists, and musicians are talented, fearless, and congenial. Seeing their works brought to fruition will be gratifying; seeing them in preview was a gift.”
David St.-Lascaux on Brooklyn Rail
“['Happiness is the Problem'] kept the energy hovering at 11 consistently, fusing the stilettoed coloratura of Mozart’s “Queen of the Night” with Glass at his most hyper-caffeinated; you’re left gasping at the end for a reprieve, while admiring the psychological underpinnings of Cady’s work.”
- Olivia Giovetti on WQXR’s Opravore Blog
Full Review of Spring Series on Opravore
“[While] Cady emphasizes his desire to present works that someone would readily identify as genuine ‘opera,’ all three artists [Matthew Welch, Jason Cady and Aaron Siegel] are united in an active effort to resist bottling up one notion of opera as one Authoritative and Unequivocal Thing. According to Siegel, choosing not to explicitly define opera enables the trio to ‘raise more questions.’”
- Daniel J. Kushner, The Huffington Post
“Experiments in Opera, illustrates perfectly the bootstraps gumption of New York’s musical community. Like VOX, this program offers excerpts from multiple works in various styles; the initial outing covers the jazz-punk vivacity of Matthew Welch’s Borges and the Other; Jason Cady’s bubbly, brainy Happiness Is the Problem; Aaron Siegel’s shimmering Brother Brother; and George Aperghis’s Sextour: l’origine des especes. That last work, a provocative gloss on writings by Darwin and Stephen Jay Gould, seems ideally suited to an evening that’s all about evolution.”
- Steve Smith in TimeOut New York
Watch Matt, Jason, Megan and Aaron introduce the four operas featured on the inaugural Experiments in Opera Concert at (le) Poisson Rouge on January 16, 2012: