Sounding Bodies: Embodied Architectures
Presented in collaboration with The Ghiberti Foundation at Grace Cathedral
In our very first partnership with the Grace Cathedral, we present two series of performances expanding the architecture and acoustics of the French Gothic Cathedral. For the first installment, four artists and ensembles reimagine organic architectures of the body as vessels for sound within the Cathedral and city infrastructure. Gabriel Gold will inhabit the body of the cathedral with vocal layering and metallic percussion. Kadet Kuhne will demonstrate through sound and video performance how our bodies can be vessels that can adapt to the rapidly evolving world around us, followed by musician and vocalist Agnes Szelag and dancer Amy Lewis drawing our attention from the physical structure surrounding us to the architecture of the body and the female form. Finally, Joe Lasqo and Ensemble reimagine how a future programmed body could reshape the world with living structures.
***ONLINE SALES HAVE ENDED BUT TICKETS ARE AVAILABLE AT THE DOOR***
7:30pm – Gabriel Gold
7:55pm – Kadet Kuhne
8:35pm – Agnes Szelag and Amy Lewis
9:10pm – Joe Lasqo and Ensemble
*To note: Anyone sensitive to flashing lights should be aware that there will be some during the third performance.
Parking Available at: Grace Cathedral Garage, 1051 Taylor St, San Francisco, CA 94108
Rideshare apps are also recommended to get to the venue
If taking Bart, get off at Embarcadero Station and catch the #1 Muni Bus at Sacramento + Davis Street
Musician Agnes Szelag and dancer Amy Lewis present ONA, a meditation on the meaning of form, architecture, and the feminine – with the body as a focal point of cosmic awareness. Our bodies speak our interior architecture to the outside world, and our voice is shaped by our architecture and carries our tune. In the performance, Szelag and Lewis seek to bring awareness to the feminine experience as a tool for re-imagining and reshaping our world through layers of voices and sine waves as they illuminate and fragment the female form.
Agnes experiments and designs in the convergent space between composition and improvisation, video and performance, the material and immaterial, producing electro-acoustic works, installations, and textural video pieces. As a composer, Agnes writes for her own performances and releases as well as collaborations such as myrmyr, Dokuro, Evon, Oakland Active Orchestra, and other ensembles. She performs using cello, voice, and electronics – often incorporating visual media into her solo performances. As an installation artist, Agnes prefers to work with specific, forgotten sites, but has also transformed gallery spaces, buildings, and objects.
Gabriel Gold’s performance will start the evening with a performance that is part his on-going Sacred Resonant Spaces Project, a project founded in site-specific works this time focusing specifically on Grace Cathedral. Through vocal arrangement and handpan percussion he will sonically and prayerfully explore the acoustic environment of the cathedral as a resonant body.
Gabriel Gold is an internationally renowned Multi-Instrumentalist, Sound Healer, Composer and Researcher of Acoustics, specializing in the study of Sacred Resonant Spaces. To Gabriel, wordless vocalization is the heart of his work, both solo and choral, a foundation he often accompanies with the Handpan, Crystal Singing Bowls and a selection of exotic, ethereal sounding acoustic instrumentation. When not touring internationally, Gabriel calls San Francisco, CA his home.
Joe Lasqo and Ensemble (Jorge Bachmann, David Hatt, Bill Thibault, Nan Busse and Maxxareddu) will present Vāstu Vidyā (वास्तु विद्या) 2.0 — (“Architectural Wisdom 2.0”) a multimedia performance which uses the ancient Vedic architectural principles that were used to build Angkor Wat, but now under the direction of an 21st-century AI-agent. The AI-agent generates plans and, joined in a team with four humans, builds “living structures” for the future (the “2.0”) — structures which consist of sound, light, and information as well as physical elements, and are intended for both human and trans-human or software inhabitants.
Pianist / laptopist Joe Lasqo studied classical music in India; computer/electronic music at MIT, Columbia, Berkeley/CNMAT; has been a long-time performing modern & avant jazz musician; & has lived, played and listened in several Asian and European countries (now in San Francisco). He’s keen on the application of artificial intelligence techniques to improvisation and the meeting of traditional Asian musics with the 21st century.
Sculptor, electronics master, photographer, and engineer Jorge Bachmann is a multi-disciplinary, mixed-media and sound artist. Since the early 80s, Jorge has been exploring the strange, unique and microcosmic sounds of everyday life, collecting field recordings. The sound atmospheres created are meant for deep listening and are composed in symbiosis with the sculptural installations.
Bill Thibault received a Ph.D. in Information & Computer Science from the Georgia Institute of Technology (thesis: “Application of Binary Space Partitioning Trees to Geometric Modeling and Ray-Tracing”). As a Ph.D. candidate he worked at Bell Labs (now Lucent Technologies) in Murray Hill, NJ. After graduating, he took positions on the faculty of the Dept. of Math & Computer Science at California State University, East Bay and more recently, with Obscura Digital.
Nan Busse has been creating dance-based art works since receiving her MFA from UC-Irvine. Collaborating with choreographer Christopher Beck, she made pieces performed at Centerspace (Project Artaud) & New College; and with her partner, poet Tobey Kaplan, participated in the Link inter-disciplinary performance series.
David Hatt has been Assistant Cathedral Organist at St. Mary’s Cathedral in San Francisco since 1998. He holds an M.A. degree from U. C. Riverside and studied organ with Raymond Boese and composition with Barney Childs. He has appeared three times with the SF Symphony.
The evolution of the built environment is a mirror of our intimate relationship with the material world, and the experiential characteristics and qualities that spark when architecture and the human body unite. The layers of beliefs, perspectives, and subjective experiences that create consciousness are manifested into form, making the invisible visible. Touching on the relationship between constructed spaces and the human body, and the power and limits of the will, Sedimentary Noise references Samuel Beckett’s Happy Days, in which the central character sinks deeper and deeper into a mound of earth. Although Beckett’s Winnie cries out wearily, she also expresses the playwright’s admiration of our durability: “That is what I find so wonderful. The way man adapts himself. To changing conditions.” In Sedimentary Noise, the subject is being slowly buried in sand within a tall transparent cylinder, layer by layer, shielded from suffocation by a gas mask. As with Beckett’s character, there is an acceptance of this predicament as well as a denial of responsibility for its formation – an allegory for the ways in which humans endure and persist as an embodied encapsulation of space and time.
Kadet Kuhne is a visual and sound artist who generates synthetic stimuli as an investigation of subjectivity through systems of control and technological mediation. With a preoccupation of what constitutes consciousness, Kadet aims to prompt pre-verbal emotional and physical responses to the invisible forces of particles and vibration that construct all matter. Taking form in video, installation, album releases, performance, interactivity, 3D printing and 2D print, Kadet’s works have been presented internationally. Kadet received a Masters in Integrated Media and Music Composition in Experimental Practices from the California institute of the Arts in 2004.
Grace Cathedral is an Episcopal church and the 3rd largest Episcopal cathedral in the United States. It is a spiritual crossroads in one of the world’s most dynamic and beautiful cities. It is a renowned landmark, visitor destination and a regional magnet where diverse people come to celebrate, find solace, peace and quiet, connect with others, serve and be served and learn. It is also home to a loving congregation of about one thousand households. Just like our visitors, our congregation includes families and singles, children and seniors, and a diversity of ethnicities, races, sexual orientations, interests and backgrounds as wide as the world itself.