Bone and Air / Connective Tissue

26 Oct 2021

Regular hours

Tue, 26 Oct
20:00 – 21:30

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An evening of sound anatomy that includes participatory video collage and violin solo drone by artist Tansy Xiao and composer Ryan Pratt.



Bone and Air - sound and visual by Tansy Xiao

Bone and Air is an audience participatory visual and sound installation inspired by the idea of the juxtaposition of bone conduction (within the human body) and air conduction (receiving sounds via the ears). The audience members are invited to make certain sounds through the piece according to the graphic score as an ensemble to create a spontaneous heterophony that is unique each time.

Connective Tissue - written by Ryan Pratt, performed by Marina Kifferstein

The title refers to a process by which the piece was derived from the acoustic structure of the violin, in conjunction with a theory of proportional relationships, finely tuned by the ear of the performer. In lieu of relaying some version of the myth of Ariadne, the work instead calls attention to the perpetuation of myth in general with regard to what Diane Marie Keeling refers to as “colonizing cuts” made throughout history that constitute “exclusions of communities from history and world making.”

Tansy Xiao is an independent curator, artist, writer and the founder of Raincoat Society: a non-profit platform that centers the voice of artists with uncategorizable backgrounds. Facilitated with unconventional sound and found visuals, Xiao creates theatrical installations with non-linear narratives that often extend beyond the fourth wall. Her collaborating organizations include SPRING/BREAK Art Show, NARS Foundation, Radiator Gallery, Residency Unlimited, Fou Gallery, Chazan Family Gallery, Areté Gallery, Visible Poetry Project, New Adventures in Sound Art, among many others. Xiao is also the curator for the Multilingual Poetry Reading events at Brooklyn Art Library, as well as Game of Love x 3, a crowd-sourced side project for Queerskins at Tribeca Film Festival. Xiao has also been widely published on the multicultural and cross-disciplinary practice of art.

Ryan Pratt was introduced to music through his grandmother, a jazz pianist and vocalist. He has composed for NYC ensembles including Ensemble Pamplemousse, Wet Ink, New Thread Quartet, Chartreuse String Trio, Talea Ensemble, Yarn/Wire as well as many soloists. His works often explore the acoustic space of an instrument through a perspective of proportional relationships. Following the work of the late Maryanne Amacher, his compositions often evoke otoacoustic emissions (OAEs) (sound produced by the ear). A study of this particular psychoacoustic phenomenon led to the production of an analog device he created in 2014. Related research includes musical measurement and various tuning systems found in musics of the world which are sometimes described as “microtonal.” Earlier this year, Ryan participated in an online panel discussion on Mbira Dza Vadzimu music hosted by Residency Unlimited in Brooklyn. Ryan completed the DMA in composition at Columbia University in 2016 where he currently teaches Music Humanities.

Marina Kifferstein is a violinist and generative artist based in NYC. Equally comfortable in major international venues and DIY spaces, she enjoys a diverse career that encompasses contemporary chamber music, improvisation, composition, classical performance, and more. She is a founding member of TAK ensemble and The Rhythm Method string quartet, a member of the Lucerne Festival Contemporary Orchestra, and is a regular guest with the International Contemporary Ensemble, Wet Ink, and Talea. In addition to regularly conducting residencies at universities including Harvard, Columbia, Stanford, and Zürcher Hochschule der Künste, she is on faculty at the United Nations International School and the Composers Conference. She is currently pursuing a doctorate in music at the CUNY Graduate Center.

This program is made possible by New York City Artist Corps.

Exhibiting artistsToggle

Tansy Xiao

Tansy Xiao

Ryan Pratt

Marina Kifferstein


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