Vibrant Strata was presented at The Shed on June 24&25, 2021 as part of the Open Call Commission Program
Vibrant Strata is an experimental music performance exploring the nature of our world as a constant flux of vibrant energy. Merche Blasco amplifies the vibrations of animate and inanimate life to reveal the swirl of forces that bind us inextricably to each other and to our environment.
Act 1 opens our senses to the electromagnetic waves coursing through The Shed itself. The audience experiences an eight-channel electronic backdrop composed with the electromagnetic sounds that Blasco recorded throughout the building. Against that sonic backdrop, performers Anaïs Maviel and Jean Carla Rodea sing and sonify the live electromagnetic energy in the space with two antenna-rackets. The quartet is completed by Popebama (Dennis Sullivan and Erin Rogers) performing on electronic toothbrushes and electric guitars.
Act 2 presents musical collaborators Shelley Hirsch and Dafna Naphtali on voice, Dennis Sullivan and Anaïs Maviel on percussion, and a 3-D printer named Anette. The human performers listen and react to Anette’s electromagnetic voice, amplified through the custom-built antenna/thimbles that Blasco wears on her fingers. The resulting human-machine dialogue constitutes a call for an ecology of nonhierarchical relationships amongst people and other organic and inorganic materialities.
Vibrant Strata culminates with Act 3, a collaboration with interdisciplinary artist Miriam Parker, wearing a piece by fashion designers threeASFOUR. Parker traverses The Shed’s McCourt space with two custom wearable instruments: the first connects her to the building through processed acoustic feedback, and the second, designed as a ring, generates a sonic landscape as she moves and interacts with different materials. The audible ripples her actions incite in the space invite reflection on ourselves as connected points on a universal vibrant continuum, each of us wielding immense power to influence all that surrounds us, all of us sharing the urgent responsibility to listen.
Popebama (Erin Rogers & Dennis Sullivan) … Electric guitar + electric toothbrushes
Anaïs Maviel … Antenna, piezoelectric collar, voice
Jean Carla Rodea … Antenna, piezoelectric collar, voice
Shelley Hirsch … Voice
Dafna Naphtali … Voice, electronics
Anaïs Maviel … Percussion
Dennis Sullivan … Percussion
Merche Blasco … Anette
Miriam Parker … Movement, Wearable Instruments, and Co-creator of Act 3
threeASFOUR… Costume design for Act3
Yuri Tachi (@yuritachi)… Makeup