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we continue to sustain ourselves is an evening-long work for two contrabass clarinets, viola, percussion, and interactive media. Working with feedback as a broadly defined phenomena, this work becomes a way to devise other forms of relation and being, where our bodies intersect, play, and intervene on and with technological systems built as extensions of ourselves. A meditation for queers of color, feedback becomes a metaphor that articulates our orientations as it registers our proximities. It reveals itself in the space between the input and output and overwhelms us with a trace of what has always existed. Here, we are made present in the recognition of our past and in the insistence of our continuation – the ongoing loop where the past is amplified until its not, where the future is held under the conditions of space, and where the present is contingent on the then and there. For feedback that was previously always avoided, hushed, and excluded from audio systems, we envision its presence as a reminder to sustain our our bodies and ourselves. Though noisy in its recurrence, this feedback offers us a moment of refuge, a moment of forever, a moment of always.
alejandro t. acierto, contrabass clarinet, electronics, and media
Ammie Brod, viola
Zachary Good – contrabass clarinet
Ryan Packard, percussion and objects
alejandro t. acierto is an artist and musician whose work is largely informed by the breath, the voice, and the processes that enable them. He has exhibited artworks at the Film Society of Lincoln Center, Issue Project Room, MCA Chicago, Art Institute of Chicago, and Roman Susan and presented performance works at Rapid Pulse Performance Art Festival, the Brooklyn International Performance Art Festival, the KANEKO, Center for Performance Research, and Center for New Music and Technology. Recent projects were shown at the 2019 Havana Biennial in Matanzas and Boundary Gallery in Chicago. Noted for his “insatiable” performance by the New York Times, Acierto has performed written and improvised music extensively throughout the US and abroad as a soloist and chamber musician. He is also a clarinetist and founding member of the Chicago-based new music collective Ensemble Dal Niente.
Acierto has held residencies at Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture, VCCA, Banff Centre, High Concept Laboratories, LATITUDE, Chicago Artists’ Coalition and was an FT/FN/FG Consortium Fellow and a Center Program Artist at the Hyde Park Art Center. A 3Arts Awardee, he received his undergraduate degree from DePaul University, an MM from Manhattan School of Music, an MFA in New Media Arts from University Illinois at Chicago (UIC) and was an inaugural Artist in Residence for Critical Race Studies at Michigan State University. He is currently an Andrew W. Mellon Assistant Professor of Digital Art and New Media at Vanderbilt University.
Violist Ammie Brod is a member of Chicago-based new music collective Ensemble Dal Niente, performing in venues from Mexico City to the Metropolitan Museum of Art and working with composers such as George Lewis, Chaya Czernowin, Anthony Cheung, Enno Poppe, Eliza Brown, and Katherine Young. She recently commissioned a number of pieces for a solo project revolving around the concept of memento mori, including tonight’s work. In her spare time she works as a professional floral designer and enjoys hosting epic potlucks and coming up with new and interesting homemade ice cream flavors.
Zachary Good is an instrumentalist (clarinets and baroque recorders) and performer from Pittsburgh, PA. Based in Chicago, he is a freelancing musician, middle school band director, and founding member/co-artistic director of the interdisciplinary performance group, Mocrep. For their 19/20 season, Zachary is performing with the new music sextet, Eighth Blackbird. Frequent collaborators include the International Contemporary Ensemble, Manual Cinema, and the trio, ZRL (with Ryan Packard and Lia Kohl). Zachary is a graduate of Oberlin Conservatory and DePaul University.
Ryan Packard is a percussionist, composer and sound artist based in Chicago, IL. His sound installations have been featured at the MCA Chicago, Graham Foundation, Defibrillator, Hyde Park Arts Center, Galeria Labirynt, High Concept Labs, Constellation Chicago, and Experimental Sound Studio. His compositions have been performed by Fonema Consort, Ensemble Chartreuse, Seth Parker Woods, The Morton Feldman Chamber Players, and the AndPlay Duo. As an improviser and collaborator, Ryan performs regularly with Nelly Agassi, Dave Rempis, Brandon Lopez, Jasper Stadhouders, Oscar Jan Hoogland, ZRL (Zach Good and Lia Kohl), John McCowen, Nestle (Cyrus Pireh and Rob Lundberg), ombra di organo (Keefe Jackson and Manuel Troller), Kieran Daly, Jason Roebke, RGB (Paul Giallorenzo and Charlie Kirchen), Daniel Wyche amongst many others. He is in the newest reincarnation of the NYC experimental indie rock band, Skeleton$; Chicago’s Wei Zhongle; and collaborates with the Michael Albert Music Group, Slow Mass and VV Lightbody. He’s a member of Fonema Consort and has performed with Ensemble Dal Niente, Joshua Abrams & Natural Information Society, MOCREP, a.pe.ri.od.ic ensemble, Chicago Composer’s Orchestra, Nate Kinsella’s Birthmark and Architek Percussion Quartet as a founding member. Ryan has a masters of music from McGill University and bachelor of music from the Oberlin Conservatory of Music.