Image of a clear night sky with many stars

THE ALIEN (Dear Interlocutor)

A contemporary/mixed media presentation by Diana Dabby, Jenny Olivia Johnson, and N. Adriana Knouf
Nov 10, 2018, 7:30 PM
Houghton Chapel
Free and open to the public

In this concert, three proferssors—N. Adriana Knouf from CAMS at Wellesley, Jenny Olivia Johnson from Music at Wellesley, and Diana Dabby from Electrical Engineering and Music at Olin—will present recent compositions and sound art inspired by the idea of the alien: the extraterrestrial, the other. Engaged by the possibility of contact with beings across barriers both local and extreme, all three artists explore modes of alterity that might exist past our solar system, here on Earth, or even within our own bodies.

Dabby will present a recent composition titled Parallel Lives-Distant Mirrors, which explores parallel universes in Iraq and the United States; the 5-movement work features live acoustic instruments with special sound-focusing technology by Kevin Brown of Brown Innovations. Knouf will present recent sound art work on radio and satellite transmissions beyond the boundaries of Earth's atmosphere, as well as performance works that address her recent research on SETI (the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence). Johnson will present musical works that address how trauma can cause one to feel alienated from one’s own body, how the romanticized notion of “the alien” in popular films and TV shows can mitigate human feelings of otherness and alienation, and a recent immersive performance-installation, More Things in Heaven and Earth, about the fantasy of being able to make contact with the dead.

These works will be performed in the immersive, reverberant setting of Houghton Chapel by vocalist P. Lucy McVeigh ’11, flutist Yong Su Clark, pianists Eliko Akahori and Jongsun Lee, students of Johnson’s and Knouf’s, and by the composers and sound artists themselves.

Concert generously supported by the Wilson Fund.

Image Credit:

N. Adriana Knouf