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EMPAC - The Curtis R. Priem Experimental Media and Performing Arts Center at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute

Troy, New York, NY         

EMPAC—The Curtis R. Priem Experimental Media and Performing Arts Center—is where the arts, sciences, and technology interact with and influence each other by using the same facilities, technologies, and by breathing the same air.

Situated on the campus of Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, EMPAC is dedicated to building bridges between our human senses, to modes of perception and experience, to creating meaning in a physical environment, and to the intangible world of digital technology.

Four discrete venues are designed with unique technical infrastructure to enable you, our audience, to see, hear, and move in space in endlessly different ways. We host artists and researchers to create new work and present events which ask you to join the quest for new perspectives.

Vijay Iyer and Craig Taborn

Two of the most progressive voices in American jazz piano join forces for a performance that blurs the line between composition and improvisation. Vijay Iyer and Craig Taborn have each risen to prominence within the jazz scene by expanding the boundaries of the genre and establishing a highly personalized approach to improvisation. Together, the two will draw on an evolving sketchbook of compositional ideas, developed through earlier iterations of the project, to continue a musical conversation that defies the notion of completion.

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Okkyung Lee

Experimental cellist Okkyung Lee can be found everywhere—performing in underground clubs and venues across the world as well as with legends like Laurie Anderson, John Zorn, and Thurston Moore. Lee brings aggressive intensity to her amplified solo cello set, deconstructing the sound of the cello and rebuilding it in unexpected ways.

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Kate Soper: Ipsa Dixit

Ipsa Dixit is an evening-length work of theatrical chamber music by American composer Kate Soper. Exploring the intersection of music, language, and meaning, the piece blends elements of monodrama, Greek theater, and screwball comedy to skewer the treachery of language and the questionable authenticity of artistic expression. Developed in pieces since 2010, Soper’s EMPAC residency will culminate in the first performance of the work’s entire cycle, featuring percussionist Ian Antonio, violinist Josh Modney, and flutist Erin Lesser.

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