The Anagram Ensemble: I Looked at the Eclipse by James Ilgenfritz & Sarah Krasnow

9 Dec 2019

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Mon, 09 Dec
20:00 – 22:30

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Composer James Ilgenfritz’s Anagram Ensemble presents I Looked At The Eclipse—a new opera that blends video, theater, language games, free improvisation, and chamber music


Composer James Ilgenfritz’s Anagram Ensemblepresents I Looked At The Eclipse—a new opera that blends video, theater, language games, free improvisation, and chamber music. The bilingual work is presented in French and English. Using a solar eclipse as a metaphor for a widespread epidemic of problematic human interactions that range from the mundane to predatory, the work is a surreal vision of self-regulation in a society obsessed with shifting culpability and consequence.

Anagram Ensemble also gives the World Premiere of Pittsburgh-based Colombian-American composer Federico Garcia De Castro’s Themuru, for two guitars, two percussionists, clarinet, saxophone, viola, cello, and bass. The title is itself a reference to Anagram—”Themuru” is the name given by the Ancient Greeks to the practice of finding hidden and mystical meaning in words by changing the order of the letters.

The evening begins with James Ilgenfritz’s In The Summer Every Truth Is Like A Saturday. Originally composed for and premiered by the Vienna-based studio Studio Dan, this slight re-orchestration finds Anagram Ensemble’s core performers mixing found objects, jazz-influenced improvisation, and chamber music precision to explore a permeable boundary between performative conceptual actions.

Adam Matlock – voice
Anaïs Maviel – voice
Anne Rhodes – voice
Megan Schubert – voice
Thomas Buckner – voice
Sarah Krasnow – voice
Pauline Kim Harris – violin
Stephanie Griffin – viola
Meaghan Burke – cello
James Ilgenfritz – bass
Margaret Lancaster – bassoon
Vasko Dukovsky – bass clarinet
Sara Schoenbeck – bassoon
Dan Blake – woodwinds
Jenn Baker – trombone
Chris Nappi – percussion
Brian Chase – percussion
Ty Citerman – guitar
James Moore – guitars
Yuri Zupancic – video
Stephanie Sleeper – Choreography
TBD – conductor

Founded by James Ilgenfritz in the early 2000s, The Anagram Ensemble integrates chamber music and jazz improvisation, while incorporating esoteric texts and concepts from the literary and philosophical worlds, as well as unorthodox traditions in the visual and performance art world.

Composer and bassist James Ilgenfritz, recognized in The New Yorker for his “characteristic magnanimity” and his “invaluable contributions to New York’s new-music community as a composer, improviser, collaborator, and organizer,” leads The Anagram Ensemble and performs regularly as a solo bassist. His trio Hypercolor (with Lukas Ligeti & Eyal Maoz) recently released their debut CD on John Zorn’s label Tzadik. James’s 2017 solo CD Origami Cosmos features works by Annie Gosfield, Miya Masaoka, Elliott Sharp, & JG Thirlwell, and his international jazz quartet MiND GAMeS released their second CD Ephemera Obscura on the Portuguese label Clean Feed in July 2017. In June 2018 James presented his second residency at John Zorn’s venue The Stone, now located at the New School’s Black Box Theater, featuring world premieres of Ilgenfritz compositions for the Momenta Quartet, flutist Margaret Lancaster, The New Thread Saxophone Quartet, and the Kathleen Supove/James Moore/Jennifer Choi trio, as well as works for solo contrabass by John King, Anthony Donofrio, and Lucie Vitkova. James has performed throughout the US, Canada, the Czech Republic, Germany, Hungary, Indonesia, Italy, Poland, and Switzerland. James’s notable performances include work with composer/improvisers Pauline Oliveros, Roscoe Mitchell, Rufus Reid, Anthony Braxton, “Blue” Gene Tyranny, and many others. James has received grants from New Music USA and American Composers Forum. He holds a BA in Music Performance from University of Michigan and a MA in Contemporary Music Performance from UCSD, and directs the Suzuki bass program at Brooklyn Conservatory of Music.

Sarah Krasnow is a director, performer, dramaturg, writer, and French teacher. Recent productions include Secrets of Green-Wood, a shadow puppet play, at the Brick Theater, and I Looked at the Eclipse, a theater-dance-music collaboration, at Triskelion Arts. Sarah recently appeared in the feature film Madame de Void, directed by Felix Bernstein and Gabe Rubin, which was on view at David Lewis Gallery in July 2018. In 2016-2017, Sarah performed in and served as dramaturg for the Motherland series by performance artist Cecilia Corrigan at Issue Project Room and the Brick Theater. Sarah also directed her own translation of Le Problème by French playwright François Bégaudeau for the 2015 ARACA Project. You can also catch her on The Deuce, The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, and Billions. BA: Vassar College. MFA: Yale School of Drama. MA: Université d’Avignon.

Stephanie Sleeper is a costume designer, performer and choreographer. Her work has been shown at Roulette, Incubator Arts, NTHCC’s Happening Series, at Joe’s Pub, The New York City Greek Film Festival, Fuse, Music at Gretna, dança em foco – International Festival of Video Dance, Triskelion Arts, The Festival of New Musics, The Women’s Art Center, as well as the Wired Arts Fest, St. Marks on the Bowery, Raw Material, Waxworks, and Williamsburg Freefest. She also co-produced the experimental performance series Studio A.I.R. for 8 years.

Born in 1980, Yuri Zupancic is an artist from Dodge City and Lawrence, Kansas, USA now based in Paris, France. Largely self-taught, he creates and exhibits paintings, drawings, sculptures, video art, installations, and hybrids of these mediums. Raised in the great landscapes of the American West, he continues to find inspiration in nature while exploring the contemporary human condition and the ambigous effects of modern technology. Yuri’s works have been exhibited at galleries, museums, art fairs, and unconventional spaces in Paris, London, Berlin, New York, San Francisco, Aspen, Sydney, and been published by Huffington Post, WIRED, Juxtapoz, and many others. Yuri is also the co-founder of PRYZ Agency, which works with international artists, estates, and art institutions to organize and facilitate exhibitions and publications.


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