February 24, 7:30 pm
Center for Performance Research: 361 Manhattan Avenue, Brooklyn, NY, 11211

Radio gives order to chaos. Ask anyone on the street, “what is radio?”, and they’ll likely describe the radio spectrum, whose frequencies are leased and policed with bureaucratic rigor. But this commonplace experience of radio forgets the century of electrical, political, and commercial engineering that has domesticated such an enigmatic property of physics.

The cultural institution of broadcasting also gives order to chaos, domesticating drastic geopolitics into routine daily life. In Iceland and Aotearoa/New Zealand, radio has had an especially defining impact. The radio archives of these two “remote island nations” are full of little dramas in which the massive global forces of the last century play out on kitchen-counter stages.

Celeste Oram together with collaborators Ensemble Adapter and Keir GoGwilt present a zany live radio show that - with music, banter, and technological sleights of hand - plays between the gaps in this archive, and talks back to the 20th century from the vantage of the purportedly peripheral islands that they call home.

Iceland, Aotearoa, and the loose affiliation of island nations have all fared differently in the 20th century's sagas. But these island stories offer much to considerations of the future, and what constitutes personal & political self-determination in a globally indebted world. Because everywhere is far away from somewhere – yet no man, nor nation, is an island.

March 28, 7:30 pm
National Sawdust: 80 North 6th Street, Brooklyn, NY 11249

Developed over several years, Piano Realities is a spellbinding program of works for piano and electronics, created and produced in collaboration between soloist Ning Yu and Qubit. As one of the foremost pianists of her generation, Yu is a champion of adventurous contemporary works, particularly those that incorporate aspects of sonic technology. As such, this concert has been specifically designed to realize the full potential of National Sawdust’s Constellation audio system, a multichannel environment with dozens of speakers.

The concert features work by a group of composers—all based throughout the US and Europe—centered around the relationship between the grand piano and spatial audio. Yu will perform excerpts from David Bird’s Iron Orchid, a piece they developed together closely over several years. Also featured is the US premiere of Joanna Bailie’s new work, Marblepark, which aims to create, in the composer’s words “an impossible [acoustic] space,” while Aaron Einbond’s Cosmologies places the listener at the center of a larger-than-life grand piano. The program also includes the world premiere of Heather Stebbins’ All Things That Disappear, as well as the first North American performance of Alec Hall’s A dog is a machine for loving, a powerfully emotional cycle for piano and pre-recorded sounds, based on different dogs in his life.