For Qubit’s most ambitious project of the 2019-20 season, we have chosen to collaborate with French ensemble soundinitiative because—like Qubit—they are an organization whose work questions the traditional divisions of composer/performer/audience, instrument/electronics/multimedia, and concert/installation/theater. This project places these elements in the foreground by asking the musicians of both groups to collectively produce a multi-day event that is a performance, installation, and an immersive experience.
Taking place in a former Santander Bank branch at 172 East 4th Street, a first-floor gallery with large curtain-wall windows, located in the high foot traffic area of New York’s East Village. Acquired in partnership with Chashama, this particular location was chosen due to its expansive layout, location with easy access for members of the New Music community, and with video projection and multimedia running throughout the weekend, its ability to attract a high level of curious onlookers from those passing by the on the sidewalk.
Taking the form of a festival over two days (September 7-8, 2019), the project comprises three open-duration performative installations, and four concentrated concert events. Set throughout the expansive geographies of this converted bank, a core goal of the collaboration with soundinitiative is to produce the program in a non-traditional venue. Soundinitiative has a deep familiarity with installation-based and durationally non-specified works, and by building on Qubit’s experiences at Project-Q (a 6000-square foot venue we ran throughout 2018 in a former Harlem parking garage), this project will cohere into an inspiring and aesthetically powerful experience as audiences flow from one sonic situation to the next. Making its American debut, the project will be an important event for New York audiences to discover the voices of French composers Clara Maïda, Pierre Jodlowski, Julia Blondeau. Soundinitiative brings a studied technique of each of these important voices that are rarely heard on this side of the Atlantic, hopefully bringing together new musical communities not just from different countries but genres and disciplines as well.
September 7th Concert #1, 6pm – 8pm:
Julia Robert ‘Fame’ for violist and new media
September 7th Concert #2, 8pm – 10pm:
Clara Maïda, Kinêm(a)bstract for amplified flute, saxophone, prepared piano and percussion
Pierre Jodlowski, Coliseum for flute, saxophones (S&B), piano, percussion & electronics
David Bird, new work in collaboration with soundinitiative
September 8th Concert #3, 6pm – 8pm:
Jessie Marino & Winnie Huang, The Vanity of Small Differences for performer
September 8th Concert #4, 8pm – 10pm:
Julia Blondeau, Tesla ou l’effet d’étrangeté for viola & electronics
Louis D’Houdières, Laughter Studies 1 for two performers
Alec Hall, new work in collaboration with soundinitiative
Gwen Rouger and Charles Sdraulig, Caravan for 1 performer and 1 listener (September 7th – 8th, 4pm – 6pm)
Joshua Hyde, Vertical Horizons, installation performance for saxophonist, electronics & video (September 7th, 4pm – 6pm)
Aaron Einbond, new performed installation in collaboration with soundinitiative 4pm – 8pm (September 8th, 4pm – 6pm)
Lonelyhearts, by writer Kelsey Torstveit and composer David Bird, was part of Qubit’s 2018 event 21st-century Sound Stories, a site-specific, immersive music theater performance in collaboration with the TAK ensemble and director Joshua William Gelb. The proposed spaceinitiative project will build on the success of 21st-century Sound Stories, and give Qubit the opportunity to develop a collaboration with another vibrant young ensemble that also involves site-specific performance, and audience immersion, taking advantage of a unique venue.
For amplified tenor saxophone, video, and electronics, composed and performed by Joshua Hyde, saxophonist and co-director of sounditiniative. Vertical Horizon is part of the proposed program spaceinitiative, and showcases the multiple talents of soundinitiative members as composer-performers, equally dedicated to delivering exceptional performances and bringing new site-specific multi-media work to their audiences. This work will fuse seamlessly with the other installations and performances on the program to create a dramatic two-day festival.
A recent project by soundinitiative in collaboration with electronic artist :such: shows the ensemble’s talent for jumping off of the stage to reach out to the audience, electronic media, and the space around them to make the room come to life with a site-specific performance. Qubit’s proposed collaboration with soundinitiative seeks to electrify our two-day festival with similar approaches to site-specific performance, audience participation, and collective creation.
Throughout 2018, Qubit ran a 6000-square foot multi-disciplinary art space in West Harlem called Project-Q. It produced dozens of experimental music performances as well as week-long residencies through our Innovator Lab program. Qubit brings together artists, musicians, thinkers, writers, poets, psychologists, architects, programmers, roboticists, and anyone else who contributes to creatively engaging the issues of the present, committing to imaginative solutions where no vision is too out-there, or no dream is too big to make real.
An unnamed lobbyist purveys a stolen bioweapon on the cryptomarket before arriving at a social media celebrity house in Los Angeles, and finally at a Twitter Bot factory in regions unknown. The characters find themselves entangled amidst a widening morass of advertisements and social media, and as the lines blur between themselves and their surroundings, the lobbyist takes flight to alternative dimensions, spanning the physically discrete to the virtual, beyond the singularity and into the post-Human.
Produced at Project-Q in April 2018.
Start and End Dates
09/02/2019 — 09/08/2019
New York, New York