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Found Sound Nation: A Living Together

A recording of the January 2016 Found Sound Nation concert and pop-up gallery exhibition at Pioneer Works, with sets from Black Sea Hotel and Jonah Parzen-Johnson, and an interview with participating visual artist Alix Pentecost-Farren. Presented in collaboration between Found Sound Nation and the visual arts collective Nomadique, ‘A Living Together’, explored the nature of symbiosis in performance.

In the second part of this program recording, and in anticipation of the then-upcoming event, FSN concert series curator Nandi Plunkett discusses the mission of the series: to diminish boundaries in music in a setting that creates a direct, intimate relationship with the audience. Plunkett is joined by a few of the evenings' performers, including solo synth saxophonist Jonah Parzen-Johnson, bandmembers of the psychedelic folk group Alpenglow, and interspecies installation artist Dana Hemes. Following the interviews, you hear Parzen-Johnson perform a set and a recorded track from Alpenglow's album.

Alix Pentecost-Farren is an artist and illustrator. Her work has included comics, films, murals, animations, and installations. She went to school for art and design at the North Carolina School of the Arts and then studied illustration and filmmaking at the Rhode Island School of Design before moving to Brooklyn, NY. Her work has been published by Harlequin Creature and Keep This Bag Away From Children and exhibited at Rhode Island Independent Publishing Expo and the Society of Illustrators Museum of Comic and Cartoon Art Festival.

Black Sea Hotel’s is a NY-based a cappella trio (members: Shelley Thomas, Sarah Small, and Willa Roberts) that draws their inspiration from the rich traditions of Balkan folksong. The group gathers material from master singers, archival field recordings, and large mid-century choral arrangements, creating original, three-voiced compositions. In spring 2015, the trio recorded an original arrangement with Yo-Yo Ma and his Silk Road Ensemble.

Jonah Parzen-Johnson is a saxophonist living in Brooklyn, NY. He writes lofi music for solo saxophone and analog synthesizer. Imagine the raw energy of an Appalachian Folk choir, tempered by a lofi, almost vocal aesthetic. His carefully assembled analog synthesizer breathes with his saxophone, building independent melodic layers to support his sound, or soaring above his extended technique driven saxophone playing. All performed live, without any looping or recorded samples.

Alpenglow is a band intensely influenced by its surroundings. They made their 2014 EP, Chapel, while living in a ramshackle house in a Vermont mountain town, population 588, once home to Robert Frost. The album, which has a reverent and spacious sound, was produced by Jesse Lauter (The Low Anthem, Elvis Perkins, Langhorne Slim) and was recorded in a stone chapel down the road. After moving to Brooklyn, Alpenglow’s music gained an urgency and intensity that was not there before.

Dana Hemes constructs system-based, visual experiments with human and nonhuman participants to explore interspecies dialogues, examining how these interactions can change the meaning of communication. She holds an MFA in Studio Arts from Montclair State University, and a BFA from NYU in Photography and Imaging. She has been artist-in-residence at Whitecliffe College in Auckland, New Zealand and with the School of Making Thinking, in New York and exhibited at Whitecliffe College, Cardiff School of Art and Design, and at MagnanMetz Gallery in New York. She has lectured at SVA and at MSU, and lives and works in New York.

Found Sound Nation is a collective of musicians and artists curating events, workshops, and performances around New York City. Their projects include The Young Composers Workshop, Street Studio, and OneBeat. Operating under the overarching FSN ethos that encourages the diminishing of boundaries in music-making and music-listening – be they ethnic, cultural, or stylistic – this concert series features a diverse curation of artists, both local and international.


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This series is devoted to highlighting the artists, events, and innovative programs brought to you by Pioneer Works in Red HookBrooklyn