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Tuesday April 5th, 8:00pm
Gentle Sheers 03
Muyassar Kurdi/ Al Margolis / Walter Wright, Gabi Losoncy, Mel Bentley, Flandrew Fleisenberg and Jim Strong

An evening of interdisciplinary performance and theater works curated by visual/sound artist and Vox Partner, Jim Strong. Gentle Sheers is the latest moniker for his ongoing series promoting local/international performance in sound, poetry, dance, film and theater.

Muyassar Kurdi/ Al Margolis / Walter Wright
Gabi Losoncy
Mel Bentley
Flandrew Fleisenberg and Jim Strong

Muyassar Kurdi/ Al Margolis /Walter Wright:

Muyassar Kurdi
“Chicago resident Muyassar Kurdi is the final act, delivering a Dadaistic performance that falls between musical absurdity and autistic choreography. Completely concentrated upon her bizarre ritual, the singer – dressed in black – emits tortured vocalisations and cries worthy of Yoko Ono in full flight, all of it juggling with electronic effects and white noise. It’s incredibly in-your-face and perturbing but makes you smile too: the sheer pleasure of making a racket…”
~ Mulhouse in L’Alsace (France)

Kurdi is a musician, performance artist, dancer, filmmaker and educator from Chicago, Illinois.

In performance, she explores the relationship between abstract sound and meta-primordial movement, obliquely confronting ideas of masculine subjugation by re-appropriating and then distorting hegemonically, sexualised, figurative motion and juxtaposing it with random, abrasive and jarring acoustic and electronic sound components along with wordless vocalisations.

A joyfully self-exorcizing ritualist, Kurdi studied voice and dance with legendary vocalist, dancer and ECM recording artist Meredith Monk via The House Foundation for the Arts as well as learning Japanese dance tradition Butoh with Tasdashi Endo, director of the Butoh Center MAMU and Butoh Festivals in Germany, and Mexican master of the form Diego Piñon.

In 2016, she will release her latest album Ascending on pre-eminent avant-garde UK label Golden Lab Records and is set to return to Europe in January to deliver a series of workshops, residencies and performances across both the continent’s mainland and the UK.

Kurdi’s engaging, lively workshops are focused on motion, voice and theatrical techniques with an emphasis on freedom of movement, spontaneity, meditative improvisation and the relationship between body and voice. She encourages participants to free their voices with wordless song and phonemes and builds interdependence between sound and movement through exercises built on trust, listening and slow, concentrated, ‘soul’-generated theatrics.

– University of Illinois at Chicago, Masters of Arts, Linguistics, 2013
– University of Illinois at Chicago, Bachelors, Cultural Anthropology, 2011
– Taught at Dominican University: ESL Drama/theatre class, Summer 2013
– Studied with Meredith Monk Ensemble, House Foundation in NYC, Winter 2015
– Taught Voice and Movement Workshop at University Galleries in Chicago, Spring 2015
– Studied Butoh with Tadashi Endo Butoh, Outerspace in Chicago, Summer 2015
– Studied Butoh with Diego PInon Butoh, Performance Art Gallery in Chicago, Fall 2015
– Studied with Mortimaru Dance Company Workshop in Vienna, Fall 2015

Walter Wright
Walter Wright is an interdisciplinary artist whose practice includes computer programming, electro-acoustic music, and video performance. His focus is on “improvisation as a way of being present in the world.”

Al Margolis
If, Bwana was born on New Year’s Eve 1984, making music that has swung between fairly spontaneous studio constructions and more process-oriented composition. A recent review of Margolis’s work says: “Let it be declared that Al Margolis/If, Bwana is some sort of evil genius working with raw materials which are never adapted to a genre or a context, because they create one in that very moment. Those sources are radically altered up to an utterly unrecognizable state, anarchic manifestations moving in compact determination.” (Massimo Ricci, Touching Extremes).

Al Margolis has been an activist in the 1980s American cassette underground through his cassette label Sound of Pig Music; was
co-founder of experimental music label Pogus Productions, which he continues to run. Active under the name If, Bwana since 1984, making music that has swung between fairly spontaneous studio constructions and more process-oriented composition.

He has recorded and/or performed with Pauline Oliveros, Ione, Joan Osborne, Monique Buzzarté, Katherine Liberovskaya, Adam Bohman, Ellen Christi, Fred Lonberg-Holm, Jane Scarpantoni, Ulrich Krieger, David First, and Dave Prescott, among others.

Gabi Losoncy:

Gabi Losoncy is a Philadelphia field recording artist. A former member of Good Area, she continues her work in live, incidentally mixed environments with linear, occasionally cut but otherwise unaltered segments recorded on her cell phone. In addition to the releases available on the Gabrielle Losoncy YouTube page which serves as her central hub, she has released work on Alien Passengers, c a d u c., and Kye.

Mel Bentley:

Mel Bentley co-organizes Housework at Chapterhouse, a reading series in Philadelphia, and is currently pursuing an MFA in poetry at Temple University. Mel’s book Obstacle, Particle, Spectacle was released from 89plus/Luma Foundation. Chapbooks &parts and Stub Wilderness were released from Damask Press and Well Greased Press, respectively. Mel’s work has appeared in Boog City, Fact-Simile, small po[r]tions, Elderly, Bedfellows, NO INFINITE, and Poems in a Room, a small collection released in conjunction with an exhibition of the same name.

Flandrew Fleisenberg/ Jim Strong:

Flandrew Fleisenberg and Jim Strong are active members of the Philadelphia Free Improvisation community. Both artists blur the boundaries of sound and movement in performance with their distinct approach and instrumentation. These highly adept improvisers utilize an ever-shifting invented language reaching a fluid range of dynamics amidst a consistent sense of play.

Flandrew Fleisenberg

Jim Strong

Gentle Sheers 03
April 5, 2016 @ 8:00 pm
April 5, 2016 @ 11:00 pm
Vox Populi
319 N 11th Street, Third Floor
Philadelphia, PA 19107 United States