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Sahra Motalebi, Sounds from Untitled Skies

Visual artist, composer, and singer Sahra Motalebi talks with Clocktower Radio about her piece Sounds From Untitled Skies, a series of six musical landscape portraits for the stage. The premiere of this 40 minute performance takes place at the Crowley Theater in Marfa, Texas on Saturday, April 25, 2015, presented by Marfa Live Arts. After the Marfa premiere, Sounds From Untitled Skies travels to The Hydra School Projects on Hydra, Greece for a live performance on July 4th, 2015.

The piece will also be presented as a live broadcast on Clocktower Radio in 2015. Marfa Public Radio will broadcast a live interview with Motalebi Thursday, April 23, 2015 at 6:30pm (CST).

The vocal and instrumental compositions in Sounds From Untitled Skies draw on classical European vocal music, Persian modal music and R&B, including abstract percussion, santur, choral sound-fields and rhythmic vocal beats, as well as harpsichord. The song-cycle and the staging aspire to conjure a spectral collision of experience, memory, concept, and fiction about specific places. Constructed as architectural maquettes, Motalebi’s stage sets utilize digital video to capture the visual language of 18th century European paper architecture, contemporary photography, and post-modern theater.

Sahra Motalebi's work has been performed and exhibited at SculptureCenter, New Museum of Contemporary Art, MoMA/PS1, Gladstone Gallery, Museum Ludwig, National Portrait Gallery/ Smithsonian Institute, Vancouver Art Gallery, and Gavin Brown’s Enterprise. She has also presented work in connection with Dominique Lévy, as well as for the 50th year Anniversary for Arts in Embassies for the US State Department. Motalebi has collaborated with artist Kai Althoff and performed with Antony Hegarty (Antony & the Johnsons). In addition to her work as an artist and performer, she has contributed to many projects at the intersection of contemporary art, architecture and performance, including music direction and production for Yves Klein’s Monotone Silence Symphony premiere in New York City, and as a global collaborator the U.S. Pavilion for the Venice Architecture Biennale. In 2007 Motalebi founded Static Recital an independent media imprint on which she releases her recording projects.


Clocktower Radio Profiles


The hosts of Clocktower Radio interview artists, writers, curators, producers, activists, thinkers and doers.