In an evening of kaleidoscopic sound and movement, Sugar Vendil shares a set of new solo compositions for piano, voice, and live electronics, as well as a preview of her ensemble piece Antonym: the opposite of nostalgia with her performance group and collaborators, Isogram.

March 23, 2024
7:30 pm
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In an evening of kaleidoscopic sound and movement, Sugar Vendil demonstrates her range as an interdisciplinary artist. Vendil will share a set of new solo compositions for piano, voice, and live electronics, and a preview of her ensemble piece Antonym: the opposite of nostalgia with her performance group and collaborators, Isogram. While contrasting in scale and form, both works stem from Vendil’s childhood experiences, where boredom and loneliness yielded creativity and self-reliance (e.g., being a sort of one-womyn-band in her solo project) and a desire to reflect on those experiences as a grown-up (Antonym).

Antonym: the opposite of nostalgia is a memoir of a Filipinx childhood that excavates insignificant yet indelible experiences and incorporates field recordings of NYC, using the four seasons as a cyclical time frame and context for memory.

Sugar Vendil / Isogram:

Cindy Lan, performer, violinist

Annie Nikunen, performer, flutist

Marie Lloyd Paspe, dancer, vocalist

Annie Wang, dancer, vocalist

Sugar Vendil, composer, choreographer, performer, pianist

Antonym is a National Performance Network (NPN) Creation & Development Fund Project co-commissioned by Living Arts Tulsa, High Concept Labs, National Sawdust, and NPN. More information: Antonym is also supported by MAP Fund and New Music USA Project Grant. Special thanks to the following organizations for providing development and/or showing opportunities for Antonym: NPN (2023 Development Funds); Mabou Mines Resident Artist Program (2019); High Concept Labs Artist in Residence program (2019) and Partner-Artist-in-Residence program (2023); Movement Research at Judson (2023).

Featured video from ​​Makenna Finch for Movement Research at Judson.

Vendil's new work for piano, voice, and electronics was made possible by a grant from the American Composers Forum with funds provided by the Jerome Foundation.

About Sugar Vendil

Sugar Vendil (she/they) is a composer, pianist, and interdisciplinary artist who is forging new creative pathways as a second generation Filipinx American.  She started her artistic life as a classical pianist, and after spending nearly a decade searching for her own voice, her practice evolved into making music and performances that integrate sound, movement, and unconventional approaches to the piano. She has a keyboard/synth duo, Vanity Project, with composer Trevor Gureckis. Vendil is based in Lenapehoking, known as Brooklyn, where she lives with her partner and toddler, who she hopes will pursue dance and volleyball but will not force him/them. 

Vendil’s work germinates from a kinesthetic and improvisatory approach, drawn directly from lived experiences. Her sense of physicality and artistic autonomy is evident in her work, whether it is music, performance, or visual scores.

Vendil was awarded a 2022 NPN Creation Fund grant and 2021 MAP Fund grant to support Antonym: the opposite of nostalgia, which is being co-commissioned by Living Arts Tulsa, High Concept Labs, and National Sawdust. Antonym is a finalist for NEFA’s NTP Creation and Touring Fund. 

Commissions include music for 3.1 Phillip Lim’s F/W 2024 show, Simple Tasks 2 on Jennifer Koh’s Grammy-award winning album Alone Together; a Chamber Music America commission to write for The Nouveau Classical Project (2008-2021); ETHEL’s Homebaked 2019, and ACF | Create. She scored films by Jih-E Peng’s May We Know Our Own Strength (2021) and GATHER (2023), both art films centered on works by visual artist Amanda Phingbodhipakkiya, and The Rite of Spring (2024), written and directed by Nick Nocera. In early 2024, her visual scores were part of the National Arts Club’s 2020 Fellows group exhibition, Light, Line, and Sound. She showed two ink-on-paper scores, and trapunto etude (2024), a beaded and embroidered canvas score inspired by the art of Pacita Abad.

Vendil loves dancing and collaborating with other makers. She is part of choreographer Emily Johnson/CATALYST’s She is part of Johnson’s Being Future Being and was a musical collaborator with treya lam for Marie Lloyd Paspe and Almasphere’s bumalik. Vendil composed the music for Phil Chan’s Ballet des Porcelaines in 2021, and premiered composer-saxophonist Darius Jones’ LawNOrder at The Stone and Being Caged in ICE at Roulette in 2018. This year, she is dancing in Adrienne Westwood’s [ ]. 

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Mar 23

Sugar Vendil / Isogram: scenes from childhood