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Resonant Bodies Festival

New York, NY               


“In equal measures intelligent, playful, ambitious and moving…” —New York Times

“If the word gesamkunstwerk seems hyperbolic, so be it…consistently impressive and entertaining.” —Seen and Heard International

“…celebrates the intersection of musical innovation and the human voice.” —New Yorker

Founded in 2013, Resonant Bodies Festival is a one-of-a-kind opportunity to hear expert contemporary music vocalists present repertoire that feeds their passion. Presented over three nights, nine dynamic and unique vocalists curate and present 45-minute sets expressing their particular blend of musical tastes. In the wake of its successful international debut (May 5, 2017, at the Melbourne Recital Centre), Resonant Bodies Festival will be expanding exponentially in 2018 to include Festivals in Chicago (April 6-8 at Constellation), Sydney (August 31-September 1 at Carriageworks), and Los Angeles (fall 2018)—all in addition to the sixth annual NYC Festival (September 11-13). Expanding the Festival to other parts of the world widens the conversation about new vocal music and meets the Festival’s mission of challenging and transforming the role of the vocal recitalist. Past Festival vocalists range from world-renowned soprano Dawn Upshaw to up-and-coming stars like Julia Bullock and Sophia Burgos. In the past six Festivals (five in NYC and one in Melbourne), RBF has facilitated 75 world premieres (having presented more than 200 works for voice, ranging from 3-45 minutes in length).


“In equal measures intelligent, playful, ambitious and moving, the program […] illuminated the shape-shifting power of the human voice.” This was The New York Times’ review of the opening night of the inaugural 2013 Festival. From international stars like soprano Dawn Upshaw to “today’s most talented young singers” (Feast of Music) like Sophia Burgos and Julia Bullock, RBF has been devoted to the power of the human voice for five consecutive years. Across six Festivals, RBF audiences have heard more than 200 works by 144 composers from 28 countries. In addition to rarely-heard gems of the vocal repertoire, RBF artists have presented 75 world premieres, with 80% of all works performed having been written in the 21st century, and 63% of all works by American composers. Audience numbers have grown from 150 viewers for the inaugural Festival, to selling out the 450-seat Merkin Concert Hall in 2015, to a steady 150 listeners per night in 2016 and 2017 at Roulette in downtown Brooklyn.

(R)evolution: Resonant Bodies Festival

In addition to the four 2018 Festivals, RBF will have its first ever young artist residency program in 2018: (R)evolution: Resonant Bodies Festival at  the Banff Centre, on July 30-August 4. This week-long intensive program, led by world-renowned artists known for their creation and performance of contemporary music, will offer participating vocalists, instrumentalists, and composers the opportunity to perform, create, collaborate, and experiment with their voices in an environment that encourages creativity and exploration.

MRMR: Music Resource Media Room

In addition to the annual performances, RBF reaches 25,000+ listeners around the globe through MRMR, the Festival’s collection of online resources. MRMR includes: high-quality audio, video, and photo documentation of each Festival; the Resonant Bodies Podcast, which features year-round, in-depth interviews with vocalists; and the open and crowd-sourced Contemporary Vocal Music Database (192 editors, 810 works and counting), which aids performers’ search of the contemporary vocal repertoire with links to musical scores, audio, and video.

RBF 2017 – Kayleigh Butcher – A Is Term In History Of in Form While – Sivan Cohen Elias

World Premiere

Kayleigh Butcher, voice & various instruments

September 7, 2017
at Roulette

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RBF 2017 – Theo Bleckmann – Take My Life

Theo Bleckmann, voice & live electronics
Nitai Hershkovits, piano

from “Songs in Color and Black and White”

September 5, 2017
at Roulette

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RBF 2016 – Sofia Jernberg – One Pitch: Birds for Distortion and Mouth Synthesizers

US Premiere

Sofia Jernberg, voice

September 6, 2016
at Roulette

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