TRIADS: Arrangements in Site & Sound
TRIADS: Arrangements in Site & Sound explores the relationships between performances of classical music, physical sites, and the communities surrounding them. This performance series, film, and art installation premieres a newly commissioned work by composer Ledah Finck. Inspired by the embedded histories and acoustic languages of three separate locations—Clifton Mansion, B. Willow, and NoMüNoMü—different elements of Finck’s composition were performed at each of these sites over the course of three nights. The project will culminate in a film and installation, by Rachel Schmidt, that assembles these fragments and presents the piece in its entirety.
PERFORMANCE SERIES & SITES
Performed and presented in collaboration with Bergamot Quartet, Pants Trio, and Mind on Fire, this project uses classical music as a case study to question how the built environment implicates bodies and reinforces traditional hierarchies. Ultimately, TRIADS: Arrangements in Site & Sound subverts traditional methods of performance and consumption by breaking down the whole, scattering its components across space and time, and then reconstructing it through site-specific sound recordings and visual explorations.
Clifton Mansion serves as the headquarters for Civic Works’ community service programs and as an important resource for the neighborhoods surrounding Clifton Park. For over 200 years, Clifton Mansion has anchored the Clifton Park communities. Now care of the Mansion is stewarded through Civic Works, with large scale restoration work being conducted by the Friends of Clifton Mansion. The Clifton Mansion was originally built in 1802 as a Georgian style stone mansion, by Baltimore merchant Henry Thompson. The building was later purchased by Johns Hopkins, who transformed the mansion into a Victorian era Italian villa that served as his summer estate.
B.Willow—With a focus on Baltimore, we hope to bring more nature into people’s homes, businesses, schools, and organizations. Bringing more natural elements indoors is one way to blend the in with the out. If our reality entails a predominantly indoor lifestyle, we can still experience the vast benefits of nature through houseplants. This is not a call to disregard the outdoors (please spend as much time of your life exploring outside as you can!), this is a call to give yourself to the exact same feelings of rejuvenation and stress reduction indoors.
NoMüNoMü is an intersectional artist collective and curatorial platform in Baltimore working towards liberation from the perpetual systems of oppression and class domination that permeate throughout the art world.
#1: Clifton Mansion
2701 St Lo Dr
Baltimore, MD 21213
January 18, 2020 | 7:30-9pm
Featuring Pants Trio
220 W 27th St
Baltimore, MD 21211
February 2, 2020 | 7:30-9pm
Featuring Bergamot Quartet
705-709 N Howard St
Baltimore, MD 21201
February 22, 2020 | 7:30-9pm
“What marks the point at which a musician’s private sounds–tuning, warming up, practicing–becomes public material, consciously held outwards? In western traditions, this line may be clearest in classical music: imagine an orchestra concert, where the musicians sit onstage making sounds with their instruments (often unpleasant ones) until a sign is given for everyone to tune to the same pitch, after which the concert officially begins with the entrance of the conductor and his or her downbeat. The musical composition for TRIADS plays with this transition from personal to public, elongating transitions from the most basic and comfortable of instrumental/vocal noises, towards sounds that are more intellectually organized. I will explore the supposed differences between noise and music, using the venues’ specific environments to amplify that dialogue.”
— Ledah Finck, composer
As the sites were defined, Clifton Mansion, B.Willow, and NoMüNoMü, the composition began to shift and mold into an exploration of public and private practice as each site uniquely occupied both spaces at some point in their past. We also became increasingly inspired by the idea of a palimpsest, or something reused but still bearing visible traces of its earlier form, as it related to the format of this project and its sites. Not only did the piece itself reflect this idea of layering, but the three spaces themselves bore physical indication of their layered and complex histories, identities, and futures. The framework allows for the deliberate fragmentation of a single composition to be reassembled in a digital format that features audio and visual documentation of the live performances and the three sites themselves, building a physical palimpsest.
THE FILM & EXHIBITION
In light of the recent COVID-19 pandemic, the exhibition for TRIADS: Arrangements in Site & Sound has been postponed until further notice to ensure the health and safety of everyone involved in the project and our dedicated audience.
In response to this necessary postponement, we are adjusting our timeline in order to continue to bring to light the mission and goals of this project. In place of an exhibition this April-May, we will be releasing a short film, by Rachel Schmidt, alongside a digital publication that catalogs the project thus far on May 1.
The short film will showcase visual documentations of each site and its corresponding live performance and assemble the audio fragments and present the collective composition by Ledah Finck.
We want to thank you all for being patient and understanding during this trying time. We will continue to share project updates and information with you as the situation continues to unfold, so please stay tuned!
The exhibition, by Rachel Schmidt, features three site-specific video-projection based installations that come together to present the collective composition by Finck. Each individual installation is made up of sculptural elements that reflect the atmosphere and architectural design found in each of the three sites and the corresponding live performance experiences. The audio, recorded by Anastasia Kupstas, is synced to create an audio environment that layers each performance into one convergent sound. Speakers spread throughout the space will connect the viewer with each live performance and site, inviting them into each space and performance with a collective understanding of the project that wasn’t possible during the live experiences.
Hannah Davis is a curator, photographer, vocalist, and educator residing in Baltimore, Maryland. She is a current MFA Curatorial Practice candidate at the Maryland Institute College of Art (MICA) and her recent projects include Everyday, Everyday, Everyday, Everyday Freedoms at the Meyerhoff Gallery in conjunction with the For Freedoms public art initiative, and Bodily Constructs at Pilot Primer Demo. She holds a B.A. in Arts Administration and Mass & Digital Communication (double major) from the University of Kentucky. In 2019, Hannah was a Curatorial Fellow for MICA’s GRAD SHOW 3 working with guest curators Darren Jones and Manuela Paz. She was also awarded the Meyerhoff Internship Fellowship in the Summer of 2019 and completed a month-long internship at the Centre for Contemporary Art Derry~Londonderry in Northern Ireland.
Ledah Finck is a violinist, violist, improviser, and composer splitting her time between Baltimore, Maryland and NYC. A passionate performer, creator, and curator of contemporary classical music, she is an active member of experimental duo The Witches, the Bergamot String Quartet, Nick Dunston’s Atlantic Extraction, and earspace ensemble. She holds undergraduate and master’s degrees in violin performance and composition from the Peabody Conservatory. Her music embodies a desire to create and share a sound world in which the classical tradition, the folk music with which she grew up in the Blue Ridge Mountains, and extensive improvisatory elements can be in productive dialogue.
THE VISUAL ARTIST
Rachel Schmidt is an installation artist based in the Washington, DC region. She uses time-based media and installation to explore urbanization and its impact on ecosystems, future landscapes, and the role that myth plays in our understanding of the environment. Rachel received her MFA from the Maryland Institute College of Art in Baltimore before moving to Warsaw, Poland for a year of artistic research. From 2012-2016 Rachel worked as an Exhibition Coordinator at the Smithsonian Hirshhorn Museum and has been an artist in residence at the Arlington Arts Center, Taipei Artist Village, Vermont Studio Center, and the Taller Portobelo Norte in Panama. She has exhibited internationally and throughout the US and has been reviewed in Sculpture Magazine, Washington Post, and numerous other print and online publications.
Bergamot Quartet is dedicated to interpreting the music of living composers and cultivating the voice of the string quartet as a living and blooming entity. In the 2018-2019 season, they made appearances with flutist Claire Chase performing Anthony Cheung’s Real Book of Fake Tunes and were featured on the Evolution Contemporary Music Series, the St. David’s Episcopal Church First Fridays Series, In the Stacks at the George Peabody Library, and the Hedgelawn Series at The Mainstay in Rock Hall, MD. This past season, Bergamot Quartet completed academic residencies at Towson University, University of Maryland Baltimore County, and the University of Baltimore and a week-long residency with the El Paso Pro-Musica Young Artists Development Series. The Bergamot Quartet is Ledah Finck and Sarah Thomas, violins; Amy Tan, viola; and Irène Han, cello.
Violinist Sarah Thomas performs and teaches in the Baltimore area and is committed to engaging the community through chamber music in fresh and exciting ways. In addition to her work with the Bergamot Quartet, she is a member of the ensemble Chamber Encounters, which comprises a series of several chamber music concerts per season. She also has a private violin studio at the Chamber Encounters Music Academy. In the 2018-2019 season, Sarah was co-director of the Peabody String Sinfonia, a conductorless chamber orchestra that performs in community venues in Baltimore. In her hometown of Memphis, TN, Sarah directs a summer String Chamber Music Workshop, as well as the Chamber Music with Friends concert series. In her free time, Sarah can be found reading, drinking coffee, or going on long walks with friends. Sarah holds a Bachelor’s and Master’s Degree in Violin Performance from the Peabody Conservatory with Violaine Melançon.
Violist Amy Huimei Tan is dedicated to working with a wide range of repertoire from performing Classical Orchestral works to workshopping newly composed pieces. Amy’s previous musical engagements include performing at the Aspen Music Festival and School, the Chautauqua Institution Music Festival, the National Orchestra Institute, the International Music Festival of the Adriatic, and the Banff Center for Arts and Creativity. Passionate about connecting with people through the creation of new musical experiences, Amy has worked and collaborated with composers and various chamber ensembles including the University of Michigan’s Contemporary Directions Ensemble, the Peabody String Sinfonia and Peabody’s Now Hear This where she was recently featured in a side-by-side performance with Alarm Will Sound.
Cellist Irene Han is a dedicated chamber musician, passionate about performing a wide array of styles. As a soloist and a chamber musician she has performed at Musique en Graves, Musique à Hourtin, Festival de Musique a Flaine, Sowebo Arts and Music Festival, Festival ils Prennent la Place, Evolution Contemporary Music series and the Banff Festival. Raised in Paris, France, she holds prizes from the Bellan Competition, the Fontainebleau Competition, as well as a unanimous first prize from the CRR of Paris, a Degré de Perfectionnement from the CRR of Lyon, a Bachelor of Music from the Manhattan School of Music and a Masters Degree from the Peabody Institute of Music where she was awarded the Israel Dorman Memorial Award in strings and the Grace Clagett Ranney Prize in chamber music. Her passion projects include working with movement and free improvisation.
Allison Clendaniel is an interdisciplinary artist in Baltimore, Maryland. Her work encompasses sound, classical & extended vocal technique, performance art, movement, technology, and theatre. A versatile performer and improviser, Allison has composed and played music for voice, synthesizer, piano, computer, cello, and theremin in both solo and collaborative environments. She currently focuses her artistic attention at the intersection between technology and acoustic instruments.
Bonnie Lander is a multifaceted professional musician whose career encompasses performance, curation, composition, and improvisation, complimented by a strong teaching and community work portfolio. Immersed in the eclectic world of new and experimental music Bonnie has performed in a great variety of concert programs, with a wide selection of collaborators in improvised music, new opera, new chamber music, and composition.
Kristen Toedtman exudes warmth and excellence on stage, whether in front of an orchestra or behind her guitar. Known for her collaborative spirit and prowess with tight harmonies, she has shared the stage as soloist or in small ensemble with the Los Angeles Philharmonic, the Philip Glass Ensemble, Frank Zappa’s Mothers of Invention, Musica Angelica, Bang on a Can All-Stars, the Britt Festival Orchestra, Corona Del Mar Festival Orchestra, and Baltimore Concert Artists. She is a long time singer with the Los Angeles Master Chorale, founding member of the Baltimore Afrobeat Society, and frequent collaborator with singer-songwriters Moira Smiley, Brendan Hines and David Poe.
THE SOUND ENGINEER
Anastasia Kupstas is a multi-dimensional artist, musician, and audio engineer. She has recorded and mixed many genres of music from classical to rock and R&B, and she has honed her skills in her work for NPR’s Invisibilia podcast and in spaces like Aggregate Studios (Virtue and Vice Studios, Rift Studios) in Brooklyn. Since the beginning of her saxophone career, Anastasia has been fascinated with modern and contemporary music. She has collaborated with numerous composers in the creation of new works, including the performance of world premieres of works by Peabody colleagues Cameron Falby, Atticus Hebson, Tianrun Long, T.J. Martin and Gen Tanaka. She often experiments with other art media in conjunction with music, including visual art and auxiliary electronic music.
THE COMMUNITY PARTNER
Mind on Fire is the result of countless late night discussions about the future of classical music, and whether it is a tradition that must be preserved. It is also the result of discussions about the future of classical musicians—although they study a type of historical performance, these musicians are contemporary artists of the time, finding their inspiration from the events happening around them. The ultimate result—Mind on Fire—is a cooperative of highly trained musicians whose goal is to eliminate barriers—the barriers between audience and musician, between classically-trained musicians and artists from every discipline, and the barrier between any music lover and the tools needed to make the music of their dreams.