Featuring three sets:
~ Geoffrey Olsen (poetry)
~ Akeema Zane (poetry) + ELSZ (harp)
~ Devin Brahja Waldman (sax) + Jason Kao Hwang (violin) + Megumi Eda (dance) + Yushiko Chuma (dance)
ARAS is pleased to announce an evening of ekphrastic poetry and music. Coming from the Greek ek, "out," and phrasis, "speak," the verb ekphrazein means to call a visual object by name. It is the description of one artwork by another medium, thus allowing each form to illuminate and enhance the other. Come see what new forms arise as poets, dancers and musicians perform works in response to the symbol of ASHES.
The performances will be followed by a wine reception in the archive.
This event is funded in part by Poets & Writers with public funds from the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature.
ARAS (The Archive for Research in Archetypal Symbolism) is a pictorial and written archive of mythological, ritualistic, and symbolic images from all over the world and from all epochs of human history. The collection probes the universality of archetypal themes and provides a testament to the deep and abiding connections that unite the disparate factions of the human family.
Akeema-Zane is a writer, researcher and multidisciplinary artist of Afro-Caribbean descent. She debuted her first solo show, In-Room 1317 in 2014 - a performance reading of a collection of short stories on her boarding school experience as a part of an installation called new renaissance sessions. Her methodology is using intersectionality to configure a blueprint for a life that centers the literary, cinematic and performance traditions. The aforementioned has included being artist-in-residence, student and fellow at Groundation Grenada, Cave Canem, The Maysles Documentary Center; leading writing workshops with the likes of The Harlem Free School; and reading, performing and installing works at Nola Darling, The Schomburg Center, A.I.R Gallery, The New Museum, Cave Canem, No Longer Empty, etc. She has collaborated with various musicians as a featured artist and producer on songs, one of which is featured on the album BRWN by B. Cool Aid and most recently published liner notes to Tamara Renée’s debut album Conjur Woman. Her published works include: There's a Monopoly on Change, On Being the Daughter Discovering the Home of her Descendants…, Interlude, When Money Can't Buy You Home, and Nonsecular Non Sequitur. This year saw her performing with a collaborative for the Not Normal Festival at Brick Theater, in an experimental performance entitled Rotten Spring and in another collaboration hosted by Submerge 2017 at MINKA entitled 8 Rites. Additionally she lead writing workshops at Weeksville Heritage (Speaking Memory of Bones: Improvisational Dig) and Pioneer Works (The Poetics of Archival Praxis). She is in works to direct a short film project with artist and collaborator Joyce LeeAnn and is slated to release a poetry record with independent label Akashic Records in the coming year.
Devin Brahja Waldman is a saxophonist, drummer, synthesizer player and composer. He has collaborated with his aunt, poet Anne Waldman, since the age of ten. Waldman leads a NYC/Montreal group known as B R A H J A and is a member of Heroes Are Gang Leaders. Waldman is a co-producer for Fast Speaking Music, an independent poetry and music label in NYC.
ELSZ is a producer, vocalist and harpist based between Colombo (Sri Lanka) and Sydney (Australia). ELSZ is a daring, dynamic exploratory artist drawing together the acoustic with the electronic and experimental. Her distinctive productions, lyrical elegance and evocative live shows have reached audiences worldwide from her home towns to New York, London, Barcelona, Berlin, Paris and more. ELSZ weaves narrative poetry into universal themes that unfold the raw emotional life and an implicit questioning of phenomena such as love and violence. She casts a call to action through word and sound.
Geoffrey Olsen is a poet and prose writer living in Bedford-Stuyvesant, Brooklyn. He is the author of two chapbooks (End Notebook and Not of Distends * Address Panicked). He has work forthcoming in Vestiges_03. With writers Lyric Hunter and Sade LaNay, he collaboratively wrote and performed the piece "Tect Heart" in spring 2017. He is a graduate of the Pratt Institute MFA in Writing.
Jason Kao Hwang (composer/violin/viola) CD Sing House, was named one of the Best CDs of 2017 by Downbeat Magazine. As violinist, he has worked with Wadada Leo Smith, Yoshiko Chuma, Patricia Nicholson, Pauline Oliveros, William Parker, Reggie Workman, Anthony Braxton, Steve Swell, Tomeka Reid, and others. As composer, Mr. Hwang has received support from Chamber Music America, US Artists International, the NEA, NJSCA, Rockefeller Foundation, Meet the Composer and others. He has recently launched a gofundme campaign for his octet Burning Bridge to record his composition Blood in 2018.
Megumi Eda is a ballerina/contemporary dancer working professionally in Japan, Europe and America for over 25 years. She has begun to incorporate other art forms including sculpture and video into her own installations and performances. She has been collaborating with Yoshiko Chuma since 2014 as a performer and filmmaker.
Yoshiko Chuma is the artistic director of The School Of Hard Knock since 1980. Conceptual Artist, the director, the choreographers, the performer, the dancer and activist.