Loudspeaker: A Symposium for Extra-Normal Vocals
The Cooper Union, Frederick P. Rose Auditorium (41 Cooper Sq., Manhattan)
Free with RSVP: rsvp@performa-arts.org

Performa is pleased to announce Loudspeaker: A Symposium for Extra-Normal Vocals, a concert/symposium that considers the historic grounding of extended vocal technique as well as current developments within contemporary avant-garde performance. Pioneered by New York-based vocalists such as Joan La Barbara, Yoko Ono, Laurie Anderson, Meredith Monk, and Diamanda Galas, participants will demonstrate the range of sounds of which the voice is capable, from vocal rills and ululation (Joan La Barbara and Meredith Monk) to melisma (Whitney Houston and Beyoncé) and death growl (Napalm Death). The various formats and approaches to the voice will be presented and demonstrated by pioneering vocalist Joan La Barbara; writer, musician, and Performa 11 contributor Jace Clayton; Performa 13 commissioned artist Florian Hecker; contemporary vocalist Gelsey Bell; musician and composer Alex Waterman; and Performa 13 Curator Mark Beasley. The symposium will also feature key video works of vocal performance.

Loudspeaker suggests the numerous ways in which the affects of the Modernist avant-garde have over time been adopted and adapted by pop form. One of the key themes of Performa 13 developed by Mark Beasley is the voice in performance. A series of vocal concerts, commissions, and related presentations will look at the myriad forms of the voice as communicative material. These projects continue Performa’s investigation of experimental and avant-garde music through numerous public concerts: Music for 16 Futurist Noise Intoners (curated by Luciano Cessa and Esa Nickle); A Fantastic World: A Select History of Experimental Music (curated by Mike Kelley, produced and co-curated by Mark Beasley), both Performa 09; and Fluxus and Otherwise (curated by Mark Beasley and Zach Layton), Performa 11.

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