Artists Space

Chorus: A Sound Poetry Festival

Performance
November 11, 2022, 7pm

Evening Two:
Friday, November 11
Free RSVP here
RSVP is limited to one ticket per person for each evening

7pm: Doors & archival recordings
8pm: Performances

Performances by Suzanne Langille with Loren Connors, Charlie Morrow, Kiera Mulhern, Azikiwe Mohammed, Joan La Barbara, and an audio installation by Nour Mobarak

An offwhite poster with black letters framed two bands of a cropped watercolor painting announces a sound poetry festival entitled "Chorus."
[An offwhite poster with black letters framed two bands of a cropped watercolor painting announces a sound poetry festival entitled "Chorus."]

Artists Space and Los Angeles-based composer and Recital record label founder Sean McCann present a two-day festival of new sound poetry. Bringing together a flourishing generation of artists and musicians across a wide spectrum of experimental sound, alongside legendary historical practitioners, performers are invited to explore the freedom and limitations of the voice and speech phonetics. A particular focus of these performances will be acoustic and electronic sound worlds that may be void of grammar and comprehensible meaning.

Chorus: A Sound Poetry Festival aims in part to rekindle the lost lineage of group-oriented sound poetry performance and the associated live events that first emerged in the 1960s and 1970s, reviving this tradition by offering a modest contemporary contribution to the legacy that it represents. To this end, the festival will be recorded and documented in full, to become the material of a future edition on Recital.

Over the past decade, Recital has released an astounding range of new and historic music and sonic art, spanning debut albums by emerging composers and performers, a dedicated series of releases of new and out-of-print sound poetry, and highly experimental and adventurous audio work by composers and multimedia artists. This festival at Artists Space celebrates the launch of The 12th Annual International Sound Poetry Festival box set, a major document of historic sound poetry.

Over two evenings November 10 & November 11, Chorus: A Sound Poetry Festival includes performances by Thomas Buckner, Asha Sheshadri, Julie Patton, Mike Pollard & Eric Schmid, Sydney Spann, Suzanne Langille with Loren Connors, Charlie Morrow, Kiera Mulhern, Azikiwe Mohammed, Joan La Barbara, and an audio installation by Nour Mobarak

Suzanne Langille is a lyricist and vocalist, as devoted to the spoken word as to song. Her approach is to abandon ego, to let the music speak through her. She has long worked with guitarist Loren Connors in a range of collaborations. She has also performed with overtones singer-sitarist-percussionist Neel Murgai, guitarist Andrew Burnes, multi-instrumentalist Daniel Carter, poet Yuko Otomo, violinist Laura Ortman, and guitarist David Daniell. She has begun sharing written commentary on musicians and artists through her new website, Suzanne's Rain (suzannesrain.com). Her recordings have been issued on Family Vineyard, Northern Spy, and Secretly Canadian.


Loren Connors has improvised and composed original guitar music for over four decades. His music embraces the underlying aesthetics of blues, Irish airs, blues-based rock and other genres while letting go of rigid forms. He names abstract expressionist painter Mark Rothko as his most important influence. Connors has performed solo and with many veterans of independent music, such as Alan Licht, Thurston Moore, Daniel Carter, Kim Gordon, Jandek, Samara Lubelski, and Keiji Haino. He has collaborated over the years with vocalist Suzanne Langille, including in an avant blues band called Haunted House with guitarist Andrew Burnes and percussionist Neel Murgai. His recordings have been released on Family Vineyard, Recital, Northern Spy, Drag City, and other labels.


Charlie Morrow is a composer, sound artist and sound specialist, poet, publisher, graphic artist and event organizer. He has called himself ‘multi-hatted’ (although he mostly wears a signature bowler hat) and a ‘frame-maker,' authoring a multitude of works and events, from intimate breathing chants to city-wide and global musical extravaganzas.


Kiera Mulhern is a poet and musician living in New York. Mulhern works with field recordings, electronic sound, and text. Her work engages with concepts of memory and attention, language’s mark on the body, and basal feelings of aliveness and death.


Azikiwe Mohammed AKA DJ Black Helmet is a New York Based DJ / musician who specializes in long-form live mixes and generative ambient works. He has performed at venues such as Elsewhere, Bembe, Pioneer Works, Public Records, The Sultan Room, Roulette Intermedium, and MoMA PS1. He has worked for clients including but not limited to Tumblr, CARA NYC, Mana Contemporary, Ace Hotel Chicago, NADA, Feria Material, and Platform Art. He currently has a weekly radio show on WFMU’s Give The Drummer Radio called Your Boy Black Helmet Radio.


Joan La Barbara’s explorations of the vocal instrument began in earnest in 1970 as she embarked on a journey of personal discovery, letting her voice teach her what it could do. Imitating other instruments and natural sounds, conceiving sensory-deprivation experiments designed to discover new vocalizations, utilizing live electronics to extend and manipulate her voice, and working with other composers to help them realize their concepts and ideas, La Barbara carved out a territory in contemporary music unlike any before her. Awarded the DAAD Künstlerprogramm residency in West Berlin in 1979, recording her multitrack layered “sound paintings” compositions at European radio studios in France, Germany and Holland, and touring internationally for over five decades, she is recognized worldwide for the extended vocal techniques she has developed and championed and for her unique compositional style. Most recently, she received the Foundation for Contemporary Arts John Cage Award (2016), in 2019 received a commission from The New York Philharmonic for a chamber ensemble work, and is currently working on a commission from vocal ensemble Roomful of Teeth. La Barbara is on the Performing Arts Faculty at The New School. www.joanlabarbara.com


Nour Mobarak's work uses poetic strategies to investigate how systems become entangled and mutate. Working with voice, language, mycelium, sound, and memory, she considers how processes such as time, decay, and symbiosis change the ontology of things, and how she as an artist senses that change. How is the reality of what she's presenting ephemeral or unstable? Mobarak has released music through Recital, Ultra Eczema, and The Tapeworm, and has performed at such locations as the Hammer Museum (Los Angeles), LAXArt (Los Angeles), Miguel Abreu Gallery (New York), Stadslimeit (Antwerp), Cambridge University (Cambridge), and the Getty Museum (Los Angeles). She has published poems in journals such as F.R. David, The Claudius App, and The Salzburg Review,and has participated in exhibitions at the Miguel Abreu Gallery (New York), JOAN (Los Angeles), Museum of Contemporary Art (San Diego), and Rodeo Gallery (London), among others.

Artists Space Venue is generously supported by Stephen Cheng, Lonti Ebers, Robert Rauschenberg Foundation, Allan Schwartzman, and David Zwirner.

A figure reads into a microphone, glancing at their phone.
[A figure reads into a microphone, glancing at their phone.]