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Posts tagged 'Joan La Barbara'

Joan La Barbara Begins 70th Birthday Celebration at Roulette

Now in her 70th year, Joan La Barbara has continued her life's work of composition, collaboration, and performance, and shows no signs of slowing. 2017 has already seen La Barbara performing at ISSUE Project Room, music directing a new production of Robert Ashley's Dust, touring with the "Music for Merce" celebration in Minneapolis and Chicago, and overseeing performances of her piece A Murmuration for Chibok, commissioned by the Young People's Chorus of New York City and performed at the 30th annual Bang on a Can Marathon

To continue this multi-faceted year, La Barbara will premiere her new song cycle, The Wanderlusting of Joseph C., performed by the composer herself alongside Ne(x)tworks at Roulette in Brookyln, NY. This new song cycle explores Joseph Cornell's concept of "wanderlusting"—which articulates both the desire to wander and the desire to lust—with text by Vietnamese-American writer Monique Truong. 

Check out a recent interview with Red Bull Music Academy below. 

Joan La Barbara Performs "Music for Merce" in Minneapolis & Chicago

Joan La Barbara began working with the Merce Cunningham Dance Company in the early 1970s, and has had a celebrated career of collaborations with dozens of other musicians, composers, and choreographers in the millieu of Cunningham, Cage, and other mid-century experimentalists. Now La Barbara is participating in a concert series that pays tribute to Cunningham by bringing together a stunning program of composers and performers who are connected through their collaborative links to the Cunningham Dance Company. From February 23rd through the 26th, La Barbara will be participating in "Music for Merce," which also includes performances by Christian Wolff, Philip Selway, Ikue Mori, David Behrman, George Lewis, Zeena Parkins, and more. Premiering at Minneapolis' Walker Arts Center, and moving to Chicago's Musuem of Contemporary Art, this program features La Barbara performing her own Solitary Journeys of the Mind, a 2011 work for solo voice, as well as her performance of John Cage's "Fontana Mix", Earle Brown's "November" and "December", George Lewis' Shadowgraph, 5", and an untitiled "event" that will bring together all performers. 

The Walker Art Center has published an extended interview with La Barbara, who notes:

"What was astonishing, which is something that happens very often in the Cage/Cunningham simultaneities, is that you get things happening that seem so absolutely right, seem absolutely to have to have been planned, but they weren’t. It’s a kind of magic, and I don’t know if it’s something that’s because of our perception that we deal with it that way, or if it’s this kind of magic [that happens] when two artistic collaborators are true to their own art form, their work flowing together in a remarkable way. "

Joan La Barbara Performances in Zurich and Montréal


(Joan La Barbara, photo: Aleksandar Kostic)

Joan La Barbara
continues to be one of the busiest musicians working in the field of new music, both as a composer and a performer. And this work consists not only of commissions and performances, but also actively expanding the reach of her music to audiences around the globe. In October, La Barbara was involved with two festivals that emphasize the paths her work traces between seemingly different worlds. 

La Barbara's month kicked off with several performances and a master class at the Zürcher Hochschule der Kunste in Zurich, Switzerland, to celebrate the 85h birthday of her longtime friend and collaborator Alvin Lucier. Over the course of the four-day festival, La Barbara performed Morton Feldman's Only, Lucier's recent work Palimpsest (with text by Lydia Davis), and Double Rainbow, a new work for voice and oscillator. La Barbara also gave a master class and participated in a symposium with festival participants. Check out the full program here, and an excerpt of La Barbara performing Lucier's Palimpsest below: 

Across the Atlantic, La Barbara brought her mastery of the human voice to another venue: the Montreal Planetarium. La Barbara's pioneering compositional and performing voice has also reached new audiences in the electronic music community, including recognition from Red Bull Music Academy. RBMA, which has featured interviews with La Barbara and Morton Subotnick, presented a sold out concert featuring La Barbara, Pauline Oliveros, Lucrecia Dalt and Pan Daijing. La Barbara was also featured on RBMA's "Fireside Chat" radio interview series, with an episode airing on November 1, 2016 at 8pm CDT.  

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