Guy Barash – Photo by Shimpei Takeda

5 questions to Guy Barash (composer, curator) about Eavesdropping

Eavesdropping, a bold concert series hosted by The Tank and curated by Guy Barash is about to kick off its third year on Thursday, October 18. Guy kindly answered 5 questions about his series…

What are audience members Eavesdropping on when they attend one of your concerts?

Audiences are Eavesdropping on something that is coming into being, to music as it is being created. The Tank’s intimate black box theater brings audiences close enough to become part of the creative process. In this unique experience, I am committed to presenting innovative repertoire that is relevant and intriguing.

What are you looking for when curating the series?

The rare combination of something that I didn’t hear before, and the right kind of attitude. Eavesdropping provides a stage for risk-taking artists that wish to explore non-conventional sound, and to present a relevant boundary-breaking artistic work. Shows often include multimedia elements, real time electronic processing, and performance art.

Guy Barash - Photo by Shimpei Takeda

Guy Barash – Photo by Shimpei Takeda

Your focus is on experimentation/exploration. How do you reconcile your desire to not play it safe and the need to fill the Tank (pun intended)?

I don’t pretend to present anything else than what I am. Audiences that attend concerts know what to expect, and come specifically for this. The experience that I offer is unique. Eavesdropping is very open to experimentation but is also carefully curated.

Can you tell us more about the opening concert of the season?

On Thursday October 18th at 7:00pm, the season opens with a multimedia extravaganza! Iron Dog creates spontaneous soundscapes where minimalist structures erupt into psychedelic onslaughts. The multiple roles of each performer are in full effect: Stuart Popejoy maneuvers synthesizer and bass collisions, Sarah Bernstein delivers distorted violin and enigmatic spoken word, and Andrew Drury commands a sonic sphere of drums and manipulated materials. In a collaborative process, the trio will perform alongside visuals by multi-media artist Billy Gomberg.

Coming up next on November 1 is Ghost Wife by Angel Lam. Award winning composer/storyteller Angel Lam tells a new story with her original music and visual projections. Through years of research and recent visits to China she discovered a forgotten diary that chronicles an adventurous journey in a culture now lost to time. In it, a young man saved the fate of a young girl who died three days before. Based on a true story, an untold secret from 1920’s China comes alive through a new presentation in the Chinese tea house style of storytelling.

This project will be presented in collaboration with visual artist and set designer Catherine Lan. Catherine Lan’s “Magic Window I” is a faux fur relief painting created based on “Ghost Wife”. Inspired by the Qing dynasty architectural ornaments, the furry fabric is being cut into a lotus shaped window frame, juxtaposing with paints that changes colors when viewed from different angle.

Proteus by Guy Barash at The Tank, May 21, 2010

The Tank is turning 10 this year. Is Eavesdropping joining the festivities?

Absolutely! Eavesdropping will celebrate The Tank’s 10th Anniversary with an amazing parade of multi-talented musicians at a special event dedicated to new music for toy instruments to honor The Tank’s decade of unlimited creation and exploration. Angélica Negrón, a talented composer and multi-instrumentalist plays with toys. Interested in creating intricate yet simple narratives that evoke intangible moments in time, she presents a set of three new songs for voice, accordion, toys, music boxes, old clock parts and electronics exploring the sometimes-overlooked magic in the ostensibly insignificant, the domestic, the mundane and the quotidian. She will be joined by Erin Heisel, Nicole Camacho and myself. Soprano Erin Heisel performs music for voice and toy instruments. She has performed at many venues in and beyond New York City, including international performances in Bolivia, the Czech Republic and Slovakia. Also interested in physical theatre, she has performed a wide variety of music and performance art pieces in addition to several opera roles. Flutist, composer and improviser Nicole Camacho is creating a name for herself as an eclectic musician via vibrant premieres of composers’ words, performing in the world of popular music, involving an element of multimedia in her solo performances, and composing new flute works with a language all her own. Born and raised in Long Island with a Puerto Rican heritage, she has taken her classical upbringing and turned it upside down in creating experimental music such as her extraordinary rendition of Ronen Shai’s Concerto for Piccolo and Game Boy. You’ll also catch myself, Guy Barash, in a solo performance of manipulated toy sounds as I too celebrate the Tank’s birthday. It’s going to be an unforgettable night!

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