Thursday, June 29, 2017 - 7pm & 10pm
80 N 6th St, Brooklyn
$29 advance/$34 door
Save 25% on advance group buys of 4 tickets or more
Co-presented with National Sawdust
In association with Asia Society
Born from Taiwanese and East Timorese immigrant parents and a Stanford University graduate for traditional music study, 2016 Doris Duke Artist Jen Shyu is a groundbreaking and acclaimed multilingual vocalist, composer, multi-instrumentalist, dancer, producer, and Fulbright scholar. She has performed her music at Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center and the Metropolitan Museum of Art, among other prestigious venues worldwide. She has been named “one of the most creative vocalists in contemporary improvised music” (The Nation). Shyu has collaborated with artists like Steve Coleman and Anthony Braxton - and her collaboration with Mark Dresser made her the first female and vocalist as band leader on Pi Recordings.
For these special performances at National Sawdust, Shyu will premiere Nine Doors, a solo ritual music drama through both narrative and abstract, integrative music-movement methodologies via the voice, Taiwanese moon lute, gayageum, piano, and electronics. It is a confluence of stories, myths, influences and the Japanese biwa, the last of which is a new instrument in her family. Shyu will sing in languages including Japanese, Javanese, Indonesian, Taiwanese, Mandarin, Tetum, Korean, and English. This mythical work is inspired by two factors. One is Shyu’s 12-plus years of study of traditional music from four specific countries: epic storytelling (Pansori) and East Coast shaman music (DongHaeAhnByeolShinGut), both from Korea; music from sub-districts Aileu and Ataúro from East Timor; Hengchun Folk Song with moon lute from Taiwan; and Ledhekan, which combines Javanese dance with improvisational singing (Sindhenan) from Indonesia. Nine Doors was also inspired by the loss of a friend (Sri Joko Raharjo "Cilik"), his wife and infant son who died in an automobile accident. Raharjo's daughter, who survived the accident, is the main character in this drama.
Jen Shyu: composition, vocals, Taiwanese moon lute, gayageum, biwa, piano, dance, electronics
Alexandru Mihail, Director
Kristen Robinson, Set & Props Designer
Solomon Weisbard, Lighting Designer
Naoko Nagata, Costume Designer
Her voice, a wonder of technical control and unrestrained emotion, tells a story dotted with well-researched facts and wild poetic allusions. She claims both as her truths - Wall Street Journal
This concert is presented as part of WMI’s Counterpoint Series.