YOUNG PEOPLE’S CHORUS OF NYC AND VISIONINTOART COLLABORATE
IN THE WORLD PREMIERE OF EPIPHANY: THE CYCLE OF LIFE,
A CHORAL INSTALLATION PRESENTED BY BAM ON NOVEMBER 4-7, 2015
(September 22, 2015) – Epiphany: The Cycle of Life, a co-production of the Young People’s Chorus of New York City and VisionIntoArt (VIA), is a multidisciplinary and immersive performance experience created by filmmaker and “visual poet” Ali Hossaini to be presented by BAM during the 2015 Next Wave Festival. Based on Mr. Hossaini’s original video installations “Epiphany” and “Ouroboros,” Epiphany: The Cycle of Life comprises world premiere choral compositions by Paola Prestini, Zimbabwe’s Netsayi, and Sarah Kirkland Snider; librettos by Niloufar Talebi and Nathaniel Bellow; theatrical concepts and stage direction by Michael McQuilken; scenic and lighting design by Maruti Evans; projection design by Brad Peterson; and costume design by Nicholas K.
Epiphany will premiere in four one-hour performances, taking place from Wednesday, November 4 through Saturday, November 7 at 7:30 p.m. in the Fishman Space inside BAM Fisher at 321 Ashland Place in Brooklyn, NY. Remaining tickets are $25 and available online at www.bam.org or by calling (718) 636-4100.
Epiphany was conceived by Mr. Hossaini following the death of his mother, and he describes the project as a journey of the soul through the afterlife. He explains: “Epiphany came from a desire to reflect on mortality and beyond. I was with my mother when she died. As she became inanimate, her world became animate. I tried to imagine her world where everything came alive. Epiphany is an artistic journey into the mortal passage; a requiem that celebrates life from its ultimate vantage.”
Mr. Hossaini, who sang in a choir as a boy, envisioned his video installation accompanied by children because they are “close to the origin of life.” For that reason, YPC plays an intrinsic part in Epiphany with the choristers taking a central role in the realization of Mr. Hossaini’s story as they lead the audience – a constant physical presence moving within the environment – through a maze of tunnels filled with light, reflection and sound into an otherworldly space of pulsating walls and 3D video that takes inspiration from the four classical elements: earth, air, fire, and water.
Francisco J. Núñez, YPC Founder and Artistic Director, conducts YPC, musicians from the American Contemporary Music Ensemble (ACME), and percussionists David Cossin, Ibrahim Thiokho Diagne, and Ian Rosenbaum in this musical ode to life. Between the two works, Zimbabwean composer and singer Netsayi also joins the YPC and ACME in a performance of her own compositions set to her texts. A trailer for Epiphany can be viewed here.
Mr. Núñez said, “I am very excited to be working with these three wonderful composers and filmmaker Ali Hossaini on this epic journey as told through the voices of children. ‘Epiphany’ is a production that stretches the idea of spirituality and presents an extraordinary opportunity for our children to be an integral part of this mystical creative process: weaving together ecumenical texts, music, imagery, and movement to convey the poignant essence of life.”
Named one of the “Top 100 composers in the World under 40” by NPR, Ms. Prestini is also the founder and Visionary-in-Chief of VisionIntoArt and VIA Records, and serves as Creative Director and Executive Director of Brooklyn’s National Sawdust, where VIA is soon to take up residence. As Ms. Prestini explained: “When Ali Hossaini originally created ‘Epiphany’ and ‘Ouroboros’ as art installations, I immediately fell in love with them. As we teamed up with our current collaborators, we saw a through-line between the struggle of life and death and cosmic release (our musings with infinity and the history of the universe). Told through children’s perspectives, this tale gains a new dimension-one that in these current violent and senseless times, holds deeper truths, and hopefully helps open our eyes to the sacred place our youth hold in society. Three female composers’ sound worlds take the audience through an immersive installation that includes tunnels, reveals, and multi-channel film. Scored for the Young People’s Chorus of New York City, ACME, and three incredible percussionists, this work is one I am proudest of to date.”
The Young People’s Chorus of New York City is a multicultural youth chorus internationally renowned not only for its superb virtuosity and brilliant showmanship, but as a model for an inclusive society that is being replicated globally. Founded in 1988 by Francisco J. Núñez, a MacArthur “genius” Fellow, YPC has heightened an awareness of the ability of a youth choir to rise to unforeseen levels of artistry. Its repertoire spans four centuries and includes works from the renaissance and classical traditions to gospel, folk, pop, contemporary, and world music. YPC has also invigorated the repertoire for young voices by commissioning and premiering over 80 works from today’s most distinguished composers through its Transient Glory and Radio Radiance new music programs. More information from www.ypc.org.
Founded in 1999 by Paola Prestini, VisionIntoArt (VIA) is a non-profit production company dedicated to fostering collaborative, interdisciplinary new music. Providing integral, comprehensive support from fund-raising, commissioning, and incubation to performance, recording, marketing, and beyond, VIA is the sustaining force behind more than 70 original productions to date, with a portfolio that reads like a who’s who of contemporary music, art, and such interdisciplinary fields as science and conservation; as New York magazine observes, “You couldn’t ask for a better one-stop survey of what’s happening in new music now.” To document and disseminate the company’s work, 2014 saw the launch of VIA Records, hailed as “an essential new voice in the future of American classical music” (Q2 Music). More information from www.visionintoart.com.
EPIPHANY: THE CYCLE OF LIFE
Presented as part of the 2015 Next Wave Festival at BAM
Fishman Space inside BAM Fisher
321 Ashland Place, Brooklyn, NY
Wednesday, November 4, 2015 at 7:30 p.m.
Thursday, November 5, 2015 at 7:30 p.m.
Friday, November 6, 2015 at 7:30 p.m.
Saturday, November 7, 2015 at 7:30 p.m.
Paola Prestini (composer), Niloufar Talebi (librettist), and Ali Hossaini (video artist): Epiphany
Netsayi (composer) intermezzo
Sarah Kirkland Snider (composer), Nathaniel Bellows (librettist), and Ali Hossaini (video artist): Ouroboros
Original Video Installations and Concept by Ali Hossaini
with a story developed by Nathaniel Bellows, Maruti Evans, Michael McQuilken, Netsayi, Paola Prestini, Sarah Kirkland Snider, and Niloufar Talebi
Theatrical Concept and Stage Direction by Michael McQuilken
Scenic and Lighting design by Maruti Evans
Costume Design by Nicolas K.
Projection design by Brad Peterson
Sound Design by Nicholas Pope
Tickets are $25 and available online at www.bam.org or by calling (718) 636-4100.