Joan La Barbara, The Voice is the Original Instrument
Saturday 9 December, 4-6pm
Clothworkers Centenary Concert Hall
School of Music
University of Leeds
In December 2017, we were extremely thrilled to invite Joan La Barbara to the University of Leeds, as part of a unique afternoon of conversation and performance.
La Barbara is a composer, performer, sound artist, and actor, renowned for her unique vocabulary of experimental and extended vocal techniques, influencing generations of composers and singers.
It was truly a remarkable opportunity to see and hear this phenomenal artist in the UK in collaboration with London Contemporary Music Festival.
After speaking with students from across the faculty, La Barbara presented her work to the public in a rare and unique performative lecture.
La Barbara spoke about the development of her new opera Dreams of Water Beyond One's Depth, inspired by the life and work of the American visual artist Joseph Cornell, and the iconic British writer Virginia Woolf. Following this talk the extraordinary soprano Peyee Chen will be responding to La Barbara’s oeuvre with a programme of vocal experimentation.
Joan La Barbara, composer, performer, sound artist, and actor, is renowned for her unique vocabulary of experimental and extended vocal techniques, influencing generations of composers and singers. In 2016 she received the Foundation of Contemporary Arts John Cage Award. Commissions include scores for multiple voices, chamber ensembles, orchestra, interactive technology, dance, video and film, including a score for voice and electronics for Sesame Street broadcast worldwide since 1977. Her music from "Erin" is a featured part of Jóhann Jóhannsson's filmscore for "Arrival" (2016). Recordings of her work include: "ShamanSong"; "Sound Paintings", "Voice is the Original Instrument"; "Tapesongs" "73 Poems” and “The Early Immersive Music of Joan La Barbara”. Her multi-layered textural compositions were presented at Brisbane Biennial, Festival d'Automne à Paris, Warsaw Autumn, MaerzMusik Berlin, and Lincoln Center among many others. joanlabarbara.com
Peyee Chen is a soprano with a particular interest in contemporary and Baroque music. Appearances as a soloist include the Gavin Bryars Ensemble, Adelaide Festival, Club Transmediale Festival, Edinburgh Contemporary Music Ensemble, Lucerne Festival with the Lucerne Festival Academy Orchestra conducted by Sir Simon Rattle and Barbara Hannigan, Pierrot Lunaire on the York Spring Festival, The Light Show as part of Southbank Centre’s Harmonic Series, and world premieres at Spitalfields Festival, GEMdays, Tête à Tête Opera Festival, and the Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival.
In collaboration with London Contemporary Music Festival.