THE RASA PROJECT is a multimedia performance that confronts the escalating climate crisis featuring works by inti figgis-vizueta, Reena Esmail, and John Cage.
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National Sawdust presents the world premiere of THE RASA PROJECT, a multimedia experience that confronts the escalating climate crisis. Created by a team of musicians, software engineers, neuroscientists, and visual artists, this cross-disciplinary performance reimagines John Cage's fascination with indeterminacy by immersing the audience in real-time, A.I.-generated projections. The program—featuring the New York premiere of 2019 Hildegard Winner inti figgis-vizueta's INBHIR, Reena Esmail's exhortative Varsha वर्षा, and Cage's monumental Sonatas and Interludes—invites a poignant reflection on the decay of the planet.
JOHN CAGE Sonatas and Interludes for prepared piano (1946-48)
inti figgis-vizueta INBHIR (Many Waters) for solo cello (2020)—New York premiere
JOHN CAGE 4’33”(1952)
REENA ESMAIL Varsha वर्षा for solo viola (2019)
Wong Foo Jeng, Arthur Siyun Li, Nacho Ojeda, Landon Wilson, prepared piano
Teagan Faran, violist
Clara Cho, cello
Srujanee Mishra, playwright
Yejia Sun, dramaturg
Alexandra He, digital artist
Yuie Wang, software engineer
Concept by Landon Wilson and Peng Guan
Underwritten by IACS (International Asian Culture Society)
About Woo Foo Jeng
Wong Foo Jeng is a Malaysian composer and pianist. He is a recipient of the New Chamber Ballet Commission, winner of the El Paso Original Music/New Ideas Competition, and a finalist of the American Prize in Composition. Foo Jeng’s performance highlights include collaborations with: ArtBasel, Richard Koh Fine Arts, Kuala Lumpur Performing Arts Center, Ilham Gallery, Malaysian Jazz Piano Festival and Borneo Jazz Festival. His goal is to create abstract experiences of life and to reflect upon the time that we live in.
About Arthur Siyun Li
Arthur Siyun Li is a Hong Kong-Canadian composer and pianist based in New York. Li is an active performer and exponent of new music. As the winner of the Eisenberg-Fried Concerto Competition at the Manhattan School of Music (MSM), he makes his concerto debut in September ‘23 with the MSM Philharmonia Orchestra and conductor David Chan performing Alfred Schnittke’s Concerto for Piano and String Orchestra. Recent appearances include performances at Tenri Cultural Institute and MSM’s Neidorff-Karpati Hall with the BeComEnsemble, the Mostly Modern Festival as a fellow, the Scotia Festival of Music, and City Lyric Opera's U.S. premiere of Elizabeth Raum's chamber opera, The Garden of Alice. Li has been commissioned by Tactus, the resident contemporary ensemble at MSM, as the winner of the Tactus Commission Prize. His compositions are characterized by dialectics of continuity and fracture, appearance and disappearance; instruments and ensembles as spatializations of meaning; sonic realizations of the layered relationships between music and poetics; and studies of the treatment and experience of time. The first student to pursue concurrent graduate degrees at MSM, Li is set to receive dual MMs in composition and piano in May ‘24. He studies composition with Susan Botti and Reiko Füting and piano with Alexandre Moutouzkine, with additional mentorship from composers Chen Yi and Chinary Ung and pianists Dang Thai Son and Andrew Armstrong.
About Nacho Ojeda
Nacho Ojeda is a musician, pianist, and interdisciplinary performer based in New York City. Born in Sevilla, Spain in 1995, he began his studies at the age of 5. He earned his Bachelor of Music in piano performance in the Royal Conservatory of Music of Madrid and a Master of Music in classical piano performanc ein the SIbelius Academy in Helsinki, Finland, as well as a master's in Contemporary Performance in the Manhattan School of Music under renowned musicians Paggy Kampmeier and Anthony de Mare. Nacho centers his art-making in the music of our time and the inventive possibilities New Music provides in terms of performance and collaboration among artists of different disciplines. He understands composition, performance, and improvisation as three sides of the same process-music-making-and approaches music with passion and intention regardless of genre.
About Landon Wilson
Landon Wilson is a pianist, producer, and arts administrator living in New York City. He is the Company Manager of AMOC* (American Modern Opera Company) and studies at Manhattan School of Music as an undergraduate President’s Award recipient. Landon has created work at Carnegie Hall, The Clark Art Institute, and the Ojai Music Festival, where, in 2023, he was selected as the Rothenberg Production Fellow. His teachers include Tatiana Tessman and Jeffrey Cohen.
About Teagan Faran
A native of Buffalo, NY, Teagan Faran is a multidisciplinary musician focused on enacting social change through the arts. She has collaborated with the International Contemporary Ensemble, Alarm Will Sound, and the Cabrillo Festival Orchestra. Recent recording features include albums with Carlos Simon, loadbang, and Diamanda Galás. Also active in the world of tango music, she has performed with Victor Lavallén and the Orquesta Escuela de Emilio Balcarce.
Faran attended the University of Michigan and the Manhattan School of Music. She was a fellow of the Fulbright Program, Turn the Spotlight, Dee Dee Bridgewater’s Woodshed Network, and OneBeat. Faran teaches at DePauw University and is a certified personal trainer.
About Clara Cho
Clara Cho is a Korean cellist based in New York City. Committed to a diverse array of both classical and new music, she is a fierce advocate of the music of our time, working closesly with living composers to develop emergeing repertoire and presenting new works in the context of innovative performance programs. Clara recently completed her M.M. in classical cello at the Manhattan School of Music, where she also holds her B.M. under the tutelage of Julia Lichten.
About Alexandra He
Alexandra He is an interdisciplinary artist, activist, and academic committed to challenging societal norms and fostering personal growth. With a background in computational art and a Bachelor's degree in Art and Science, specializing in Computational Art, from Tsinghua University, as well as a Master's degree in Public Administration from Columbia University, Alexandra seamlessly combines digital mediums, light installations, acrylic on canvas, architecture, and interactive sculpture to create captivating and thought-provoking visual expressions. Her work inspires introspection and empowers individuals to break free from limitations, embracing a future brimming with boundless possibilities. A passionate advocate for social change and a fashion model, Alexandra actively promotes diversity, inclusivity, and body positivity within the industry. Through her art and activism, she strives to awaken individuals to their own truth and contribute to the creation of a more vibrant and equitable world.