Brooklyn-based composer, musician, and producer Faten Kanaan brings her modern minimalism counterpoint to the National Sawdust stage with an opening improvised set from JJJJJerome Ellis on hammered dulcimer, tenor saxophone, piano, electronics, and voice.
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Brooklyn-based composer, musician, and producer Faten Kanaan uses counterpoint as a narrative tool to create music that is mysterious, smudgy, bittersweet, and deeply melodic.
From the repetitive structures of modern minimalism and early music/baroque influences - to more languid textural ebbs & tides, there's a warmth in her use of synthesizers that gives her work a curiously timeless feel. Composing intuitively, her music has often been described as 'strange', mostly because it creates its own world- one that isn't easily categorised. In symbiosis with technology is an appreciation for the vulnerability of human limitations and nuances, and her live performances highlight her use of the piano keyboard as an extension of the self.
JJJJJerome Ellis is a blk disabled animal, stutterer, and artist. He prays, reads, gardens, cycles, wanders, and plays. Through music, literature, performance, and video he researches relationships among blackness, disabled speech, divinity, nature, sound, and time. Born in 1989 to Jamaican and Grenadian immigrants, he grew up and lives by a heron rookery in Virginia Beach, USA.
His diverse body of work includes: contemplative soundscapes using saxophone, flute, dulcimer, electronics, and vocals; scores for plays and podcasts; albums combining spoken word with ambient and jazz textures; theatrical explorations involving live music and storytelling; and music-video-poems that seek to transfigure historical archives.
JJJJJerome collaborates with James Harrison Monaco as James & Jerome. Their recent work explores themes of border crossing and translation through music-driven narratives. They have received commissions from the Metropolitan Museum of Art and Ars Nova.