Summer Labs: Yoon-Ji Lee’s “Sunday Supper” and Adrianna Aguilar’s TREES
Where: National Sawdust
80 N. 6th St.
646-779-8455 Price: $15
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Each year, National Sawdust seeks out emerging and established local Brooklyn artists to participate in our Summer Lab series. The chosen artists are given four hours of time in our state-of-the-art venue to develop music-based works. In addition to the four hours for developing these works, each selected artist receives 30 minutes of performance time on National Sawdust’s stage, with successful performances considered for future programming in the venue. These performances represent a critical early stage in the journey of a work from concept to reality, and are a rare chance to see new work from new artists come to life.
“Sunday Supper” (Korean title: “저녁식사”) is an experimental chamber opera loosely inspired by the 2007 novel “The Vegetarian” by Han Kang. This collaboration between composer Yoon-Ji Lee and artists Bang Geul Han and Steven Mygind Pedersen takes electronic and live music and blends it together with video and generative animation. In this one-act show, Lee mixes contemporary and traditional aesthetics in an ensemble that includes traditional Korean instruments like the piri (a double reed instrument) and gayageum (a 12-stringed zither) while the singer is paired with electronic sounds, synthesizing raw emotions and a myriad of cultural influences. Working in conjunction with the sonic goings-on, Han’s video projection destabilizes the relationships between memory, reality, and dreams, creating metaphorical connections between linguistic rule structures and forms of cultural hegemony.
TREES is an artistic company that seeks to bring together all forms of artistic communication — music, movement, song, speech, and painting. Since starting in August 2014, TREES has brought live music and original dance works to intimate spaces in New York such as Bowery Electric and Casa Mezcal. “Watching Sound” explores the world of watching, listening and responding that a performance space creates. Not only is the audience watching the artists on stage, but the artists are watching the audience in addition to one another. This constant exchange creates a separate world, distinct from that of the outside, where everyone sees, hears, and responds to one another. Oftentimes, in the current world of screens, the natural, simple action of seeing someone or something is forgotten. Musicians Frederique Gnaman, Edward Hardy, Patrick Page, and Eric Cooper of Sterling Strings team up with singer Olivia Harris and dancers Dre Drummond, Sarah Esser, and Adrianna Aguilar to make sound, make movements, and make observations in “Watching Sound”.