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Works & Process at the Guggenheim Presents a virtual program featuring the premiere of Lisa Bielawa’s Broadcast from Home Chapter 15 with Film for Chapter 4 by Anthony Hawley
July 16, 2020 @ 7:30 PM - 9:00 PM
On Thursday, July 16, 2020 at 7:30pm, Works & Process at the Guggenheim will present a virtual program featuring premieres of two new works related to composer Lisa Bielawa’s ongoing project, Broadcast from Home, a significant new musical work launched by Bielawa in April 2020, which creates community during the isolation of the coronavirus (COVID-19) crisis by featuring contributions from the public. Works & Process has commissioned Bielawa to compose Chapter 15 of Broadcast from Home, as part of their Works & Process Artists (WPA) Virtual Commissions series, a response to the pandemic to provide financial and creative support for artists during these challenging times. Anthony Hawley has created a film response to Chapter 4 of Broadcast from Home. Both new works will be premiered during this free online event. The program also includes a discussion with Bielawa, Hawley, and Broadcast from Home participants violist Oriana Hawleyand baritone Gregory Purnhagen, moderated by project archivist Claire Solomon.
The piece requires community participation through testimonies and voices.
How is our world changing? What happens next? What does your heart say? How do you mark time? Everyone is invited to reflect on present experiences, and to submit responses to these questions here. Testimonies will form the libretto for Broadcast from Home.
Using testimonies, Lisa Bielawa will write original melodies. Through July 14, everyone is invited to record themselves singing melodies and encouraged to upload the recordings. Submitted voices will become the musical material for “Chapter 15” of Broadcast from Home.
Learn more about the melodies and how to share voices here.
Supported by the Works & Process Artists (WPA) Virtual Commissions fund, this program will take place virtually through Zoom, a free video conferencing software. Audience members should have access to a computer with Wi-Fi.
Suggested donation: $20. All donations will be devoted to Works & Process Artists (WPA) Virtual Commissions, with every dollar directly supporting an artist.
For more information, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Broadcast from Home
Launched on April 9, 2020 with Chapter 1, Broadcast from Home features written and recorded vocal contributions from the public. Bielawa collects new written testimonies each week and sets the testimonies to music. The melodic lines are posted on her website for people to learn, sing, record, and submit, after which she weaves them together into a new Chapter. With a new Chapter published every week, Broadcast from Home has grown to fifteen Chapters, featuring testimonies and recorded vocal lines from over 300 people across five continents.
Describing Bielawa’s composition process for this work, The Washington Postreports, “The collected lines (‘I want to sit across from you,’ ‘I don’t want to meet you for happy hour online’) are then layered and formed by Bielawa into spellbinding, sparsely accompanied socially distanced choral pieces that play with absence and presence, isolation and community, fear and solace – and sound an awful lot like the voices in your head.”
Bielawa says, “Broadcast from Home arose organically out of an unprecedented moment: worldwide stay-at-home orders in response to a global pandemic, and the universal feelings of shock, grief, disorientation, hope and fear that overtook us as we navigated our strange new isolation, and then the surge of calls for justice in the midst of it all. I am so grateful to the hundreds of people, sheltering in place from NYC to Nairobi to Melbourne to Rio de Janiero, who shared their personal experiences and raised their singing voices from their own homes to build this work with me. It stands as a document of the crisis through the lens of people’s most private experiences. Ironically, I have never felt more connected to people through my work than I did through this period of utter isolation. I’ve learned how transformative radical listening can be. The grain of individual voices (old and young, with so many regional inflections and varieties), the kinetic energy of bodies playing instruments in solitude, the moving accounts of people’s private experiences – all of these things gave solace and built community between and around us.”
NPR has featured Broadcast from Home, which aired on Morning Edition, and was included in the Washington Post’s list of four timely musical projects. The San Francisco Classical Voice interviewed Lisa for its Artist Spotlight series and the Houston Chronicle and CSO Sounds and Stories featured the project, as well. You can hear Lisa speak about the project in interviews on BBC’s New Music Show (38:17 in), WPR’s To The Best of Our Knowledge, ABC Sydney, Classical Classroom, and WWFM’s On a Positive Note.
The weekly installments of Broadcast from Home will be put on hiatus after Chapter 15 is released, as Bielawa begins work on Voters’ Broadcast, a new project created to stimulate voter registration and engagement around the Presidential Election. Bielawa explains, “The organic moment of a monolithic, shared reality has begun to transform and fragment, as different parts of the world grapple and react. Testimony submissions are slowing as people begin to take up the challenging work of reengaging with the world. It feels like the right moment for me to step back and observe, and rest. But I will continue to communicate with this community as we move into this new phase.”
Broadcast from Home is made possible through the collaboration of lead partner Kaufman Music Center and the Mannes School of Music, with support from Joe and Nancy Walker, James Rosenfield, and an anonymous donor. Chapter 15 is created in partnership with the musicians of zFestival. To be a part of Chapter 15, you can upload yourself singing the melodies composed by Bielawa at http://lisabielawa.net/broadcast-from-home from July 9-14.
Broadcast from Home is a follow-up to Lisa Bielawa’s earlier works for performance in public performances – Airfield Broadcasts (spatialized works for hundreds of musicians on the field of former airfields), and Mauer Broadcast (a participatory work for public performance, for the 30th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall last year).
Lisa Bielawa: Lisa Bielawa was recently awarded a 2020 Discovery Grant from OPERA America’s Grants for Female Composers for her opera in progress, Centuries in the Hours, which was premiered in September 2019 as a five-song orchestral cycle by mezzo-soprano Laurie Rubin and the River Oaks Chamber Orchestra (ROCO), co-commissioned by the ASCAP Foundation Charles Kingsford Fund. Centuries in the Hours brings forward the lives of American women; through the opera, dozens of manuscripts rejoin the flow of public discourse. Based on extensive research undertaken by Lisa Bielawa at the American Antiquarian Society in 2019, resulting in a collection of 72 American women’s diaries spanning three centuries, the opera asks the question: What if these women could be lifted out of their historical contexts and respective life circumstances to encounter one another?
Bielawa is a Rome Prize winner in Musical Composition and takes inspiration for her work from literary sources and close artistic collaborations. Her music has been described as “ruminative, pointillistic and harmonically slightly tart,” by The New York Times. She is the recipient of the 2017 Music Award from the American Academy of Arts & Letters and was named a William Randolph Hearst Visiting Artist Fellow at the American Antiquarian Society for 2018. In 1997 Bielawa co-founded the MATA Festival, which celebrates the work of young composers, and for five years she was the artistic director of the San Francisco Girls Chorus.
She received a 2018 Los Angeles Area Emmy nomination for her unprecedented, made-for-TV-and-online opera Vireo: The Spiritual Biography of a Witch’s Accuser, created with librettist Erik Ehn and director Charles Otte. Vireo was filmed in twelve parts in locations across the country and features over 350 musicians. The Los Angeles Times called Vireo an opera, “unlike any you have seen before, in content and in form.” Vireo was produced as part of Bielawa’s artist residency at Grand Central Art Center in Santa Ana, California and in partnership with KCETLink and Single Cel. In February 2019, Vireo was released as a two CD + DVD box set on Orange Mountain Music and it is coming to the stage in 2021 as VIREO LIVE, a hybrid film-opera 90-minute experience.
Her work has been premiered at the NY PHIL BIENNIAL, Lincoln Center, Carnegie Hall, The Kennedy Center, SHIFT Festival, Town Hall Seattle, and Naumburg Orchestral Concerts Summer Series, among others. Orchestras that have championed her music include the The Knights, Boston Modern Orchestra Project, American Composers Orchestra, the Orlando Philharmonic, and ROCO (River Oaks Chamber Orchestra). Premieres of her work have been commissioned and presented by the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, Brooklyn Rider, Seattle Chamber Music Society, American Guild of Organists, the ASCAP Foundation Charles Kingsford Fund, and more. She is recorded on the Tzadik, TROY, Innova, BMOP/ sound, Supertrain Records, Cedille, Orange Mountain Music and Sono Luminus labels.
Anthony Hawley: Born in 1977, Anthony Hawley is a New York-based artist and writer. Recipient of fellowships and awards from the MacDowell Colony, the Hermitage Artist Retreat, and Arte Studio Ginistrelle among others, he has exhibited throughout the United States and abroad. His solo exhibitions and performances have been presented at Spazju Kreattiv in Valletta, Malta; Vox Populi in Philadelphia; Dolphin Gallery in Kansas City; the Museum of Nebraska Art; the Salina Art Center and elsewhere. In April 2016, CounterCurrent, The Menil Collection, and Aurora Picture Show presented his work “Fault Diagnosis” in Houston, TX. A five-day multimedia event, “Fault Diagnosis” appeared across the city of Houston engaging audiences with new technologies, live performance, video, and a 1985 Nissan Pulsar NX. In the summer of 2018, the Salina Art Center in Kansas presented another incarnation of the project along with a new installation in “Anthony Hawley: Fault Diagnosis & Birdless.” In general, his hybrid practice is driven by a fascination with narrative, story, and the fictions we construct.
Most recently, with violinist Rebecca Fischer, he formed TheAfield, a multidisciplinary collaboration for violin, video, and electronics. The duo has premiered new and original works at venues such as National Sawdust in Brooklyn, Bay Chamber Concerts in Maine, the North Dakota Museum of Art, and the Harare Festival of the Arts in Harare, Zimbabwe.
Hawley writes regularly on art and film for The Brooklyn Rail, Hyperallergic, Artforum online, Frieze, art-agenda, BOMB and others. His poems and have been published widely in The Paris Review, The New Republic, Denver Quarterly, Verse, The Colorado Review and many more. He is the author of two full-length collections of poetry and several chapbooks. He is also the author of the forthcoming artist book, A Book of Spells, collecting his complete Drawings for Donald, a year-long daily drawing project.
Hawley received his BA and MFA in Writing from Columbia University as well as an MFA in Art Practice from The School of Visual Arts.
He currently teaches in the Hunter College MFA Studio Art Program and at BFA Visual Arts program at The School of Visual Arts.
Works & Process Artists (WPA) Virtual Commissions, a direct response to the pandemic, was launched to financially support artists and nurture their creative process during these challenging times. Works & Process, the performing arts series at the Guggenheim, is granting more than $150,000 in commissioning funds to artists who have been or were supposed to be featured at Works & Process. Artists from a wide variety of genres have been commissioned to create new works, less than 5 minutes long, while social distancing, that will premiere on Facebook, Instagram and YouTube (@worksandprocess) every Sunday and Monday at 7:30pm and can be viewed anytime after.
WPA Virtual Commissions Playlist
Works & Process Artists (WPA) Virtual Commissions has been supported by Jody and John Arnhold, Stuart Coleman and Meryl Rosofsky, Antonio Convit and Tim McGraw, Lucy Dobrin, Adam Flatto, Bart Friedman, Bond Koga, Jayne Lipman, Bonnie Maslin, Nina Matis, Eve Mykytyn, Michele and Steven Pesner, Cynthia Hazen Polsky, Stephen Kroll Reidy, Denise Saul, Annalyn Swan, Shelby White and many others. Virtual video design supported by Anupam and Rajika Puri. New music for dance supported by The Charles and Joan Gross Family Foundation.
Works & Process at the Guggenheim: Described by The New York Times as “an exceptional opportunity to understand something of the creative process,” for 35 years, New Yorkers have been able to see, hear, and meet the most acclaimed artists in the world, in an intimate setting unlike any other. Works & Process, the performing arts series at the Guggenheim, has championed new works and offered audiences unprecedented access to generations of leading creators and performers. Most performances take place in the Guggenheim’s intimate Frank Lloyd Wright-designed 273-seat Peter B. Lewis Theater. In 2017, Works & Process established a new residency and commissioning program, inviting artists to create new works, made in and for the iconic Guggenheim rotunda. In 2020, Works & Process Artists (WPA) Virtual Commissions was created to financially support artists and nurture their creative process during the pandemic.
Lead funding for Works & Process is provided by the Ford Foundation, the Christian Humann Foundation, Leon Levy Foundation, Mertz Gilmore Foundation, NYC COVID-19 Response and Impact Fund, Stavros Niarchos Foundation, Rockefeller Brothers Fund, and Evelyn Sharp Foundation, with public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council and the National Endowment for the Arts.
Works & Process has received support from the U.S. Small Business Administration Paycheck Protection Program and NYC Employee Retention Grant Program.