By Luke Martin
Tonight (Nov. 13) and tomorrow (Nov. 14) at Automata in Los Angeles, The Reader’s Chorus, organized by CalArts faculty Sara Roberts and L.A.-based artist Jordan Biren, will perform a varied program of 11 new works by members of the ensemble and a poem by Robert Lax.
The Reader’s Chorus is an experimental choir—a group of performers who arrange, write and read texts in a group situation, often seeking to manipulate and discover new timbral combinations, rhythms and methods of sonic and visual spatialization in performance. The group consists of composers and musicians, visual artists and filmmakers and writers and poets, many from both CalArts and the L.A. area.
Initially brought together by Roberts and Biren to perform Robert Lax and John Beer’s rarely heard Black White Oratorio, the group has grown even further, now with a dedicated corps of performers and composers focused on expanding the repertoire and possibilities for The Reader’s Chorus. For this show, members present new works created for the Chorus, which have been developed and arranged in laboratory rehearsal situations.
The rest of the members of The Reader’s Chorus are: CalArts faculty Clay Chaplin and Jen Hutton (Critical Studies MFA 13), alumni Casey Anderson (Music MFA 09), Jenica Anderson (Music MFA 15), Kate Brown (Film/Video MFA 04), Tuni Chatterji (Film/Video MFA 02), Drew Corey (Music BFA 16), Morgan Gerstmar (Music MFA 14), Eric Heep (Music MFA 16), Samantha Hopkins (Music BFA 16), Heather Lockie (Music MFA 11), Luke Martin (Music MFA 16), Laura Steenberge (Music MFA 08), Davy Sumner (Music MFA 16), Haruko Tanaka (Art 03), Christine Tavolacci (Music BFA 06) and Tim Tsang (Music MFA 16), with Lyman Chaffee and Carolyn Chen.