2016 Avant Music Festival: John King

2016 Avant Music Festival | John King
February 27th | John King

February 27, 2016
Concert 8PM
Installation 12PM - 6PM
Wild Project
195 East 3rd Street
New York, NY 10009

February 27, 2016

at Wild Project
195 East 3rd street

John King, composer/viola/electronics
Joan La Barbara and Gelsey Bell, voices

Three 20-minute “micro-operas” by John King will be sung by his longtime collaborators Joan La Barbara and Gelsey Bell, with the composer on viola and electronics. The program features the world premiere of What Is The Word, based on Samuel Beckett’s last work and commissioned by Avant Media with a grant from the New York State Council on the Arts. It also includes Ping (2014), also on a Beckett text, and A-R-S (2015), setting a Latin quote frequently cited by John Cage, an important influence: “ars imitatur naturam in sua operatione” (“art imitates nature in her manner of operation”).

Says King, “These small chamber operas employ chance, improvisation, live electronics and randomly controlled lighting in an intimate setting. The staging is very minimal, with the focus being the experiencing of the sonically rich texts. These mark a new direction in my work, the combining of many different theatrical musical elements within one span of time.” The hourlong performance of the three operas is preceded by a six-hour sound and light installation (noon - 6 pm,), based on the electronic component of A-R-S; admission is free. Lighting for both the installation and the performance will be controlled by a chance-determined program devised by King and Kryssy Wright.

John King’s What Is The Word was commissioned by Avant Media with funds from the New York State Council For The Arts

Ping and What is the Word by Samuel Beckett. Used by arrangement with Georges Borchardt, Inc., on behalf of the Estate of Samuel Beckett. All rights reserved.

Video: Gelsey Bell, Samita Sinha and Maria Stankova performing John King’s impropera

The Avant Music Festival is supported, in part, by public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs and by the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature; by generous grants from The Foundation For Contemporary Arts and The Alice M Ditson Fund; and by the support of our members and donors.