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the "impact Performance" WINNERS

After an evaluation process consisting of three tiers of judges – Artists, Thought Leaders, and Presenting Partners – followed by a Deliberation Period, we are absolutely thrilled to announce the Winners of Ariel AVANT’s inaugural competition, “Impact Performance,” an open call for performance proposals and engagement events designed to generate productive conversation and offer positive means of action around a social justice issue.


New Morse Code

New Morse Code (Hannah Collins, cello; Michael Compitello, percussion) is dedicated to enriching contemporary culture by advocating for new expressions in music and art. The duo strives to present bold, engaging performances of new works while catalyzing collaboration with instrumentalists, actors, dancers, and visual artists.

“Collins and Compitello are much more than accomplished instrumentalists.
They are, it seems, not just playing for the future of music,
but vibrantly living in and shaping it.”

– New Haven Independent 

“The Language of Landscapes”

featuring the works of Christopher Stark and Viet Cuong, and with a new 30′ commissioned work by Andy Akiho 

Christopher Stark (b. 1980), The Language of Landscapes, 22’
Viet Cuong (b. 1990), New Commissioned Work, 8’
Andy Akiho (b. 1979), New Commissioned Work inspired by OSIRIS-REx with new video component by Hannah Wasileski, 30’

“The Language of Landscapes” is a concert of works for cello, percussion, electronics, and video which engages the audience in a conversation about the challenges and urgencies of climate action and responsible consumption while also presenting optimistic possibilities for renewable energy, scientific discovery, and innovative technologies in space exploration. The program will open with Christopher Stark’s The Language of Landscapes, commissioned for New Morse Code in 2014 by Chamber Music America. Stark’s work draws the audience into the sound world of climate action and responsible consumption by creating soundscapes made from dozens of natural field recordings in combination with sounds from synthetic materials and digital manipulation, as a way of repositioning the listener and opening their ears. The Language of Landscapes will be paired with a newly commissioned work by Andy Akiho inspired by the OSIRIS-REx project on the Bennu asteroid. Akiho will use sound from the OSIRIS-Rex mission to comment on the extent to which space exploration can power a more sustainable future for earth. These two works—both with video and electronics—will be bridged by a new work from composer Viet Cuong, focusing on renewable energy.


Argus Quartet

“Our Land”

New commissioned work by: Anne Leilehua Lanzilotti

Improvisations by Argus Quartet, 5-10min
Katie Balch (*1991), Drip Music, 11min
Ted Hearne (*1982), from Exposure: movements 1 and 2, 11min
Juri Seo (*1981), from Infinite Season: Winter-Spring, 13min
Anne Leilehua Lanzilotti (*1983), Ahupuaʻa, 15min

This project juxtaposes two versions of how land has been treated by those who own it, live on it, or till its soil: the pollution, brutalization, and destruction of Navajo and Lakota lands and peoples through uranium mining in the 1940s-50s; and the Native Hawaiian concept of ahupuaʻa, sustainable community regions designed to give each community access to crops, fresh water, and oceanfront, through the division of slices of land. Through these two examples, the performance tells a story about the effects of humans’ and societies’ treatment of their lands. The performance will be a single, through-line experience: the first half, exploring destruction, will give way to the second, which promotes health, hope, and inclusivity. Spoken texts, fixed media, images, lighting, and improvisations between works thread the evening together into a unified experience. Most of the works on the program, including pieces by Katie Balch and Juri Seo, were written for and premiered by the Argus Quartet in past seasons. The newly commissioned work by Anne Leilehua Lanzilotti, a composer of Native Hawaiian descent (Kanaka Maoli), draws inspiration from the structures and language of that culture.


Latitude 49

“Don’t say a word”

New commissioned work by: Shelley Washington

Gity Razaz (b. 1986): New Work (Commissioned by Chamber Music America), 15 min
Shelley Washington (b. 1991): New Work, 15 min
Annika Socolofsky (b. 1990): Don’t say a word, 40 min

Don’t say a word is a curated concert program of music and visual art of feminist expression built by a creative team of women for exactly the time in which we find ourselves. Don’t say a word sets its sights on the deeply problematic gender inequalities that lullabies and nursery rhymes have perpetuated for centuries. It’s time to retell those old lullabies for a new, queer present through a new genre of song: feminist rager-lullabies. All eight lullabies were recently commissioned and premiered, with the song cycle presented in its entirety in October 2019 at Princeton University’s Princeton Sound Kitchen. Our program is curated to feature Annika’s work as the central feature, with composers Gity Razaz and Shelly Washington deepening and expanding the program’s voice. We wanted to embrace a diverse range of female-identifying perspectives and experiences, where the concert experience is itself a representation of three American women with unique backgrounds, ethnicities, and experiences. Shelley Washington has written music that comments on issues of identity and injustice towards women (including exploring the repulsive pervasiveness of sexual harassment in her work BIG Talk). Annika and Shelley are colleagues and friends with an ongoing collaborative relationship, ensuring an open and creative exchange. Additionally, Annika suggested the involvement of Iranian-American composer Gity Razaz, resulting in a recent commission through Chamber Music America, expected in September of this year. Beyond the music itself, we have commissioned the brilliant media artist and filmmaker Xuan to create visual projections and media art for these works. This multidisciplinary performance will allow for the aural and visual to blend, sharing the experiences of self-acceptance, gender discrimination, and the staggering importance of inclusivity. 

Heart Award WINNER

Quadre: The Voice of Four Horns

“Our Time, Our Stories”

New commissioned work by: Nina Shekhar

Jamie Keesecker (1981), The Impetuous Winds, 4:40
Michael Kaulkin (1967), By Hook or By Crook, 6:44
Nathan Pawelek (1968), Midlife Crisis, 11:01
Daniel Wood (1974), A Streetcar Named, 8:45
Mark Adam Watkins (1971), Shepherd’s Call, 3:17
Christopher Wiggins (1956), Fanfare for Quadre, 1:57
Nina Shekhar (1995), revolve, 10:00 (commission)
Daniel Wood (1974), In Time, 16:21

Quadre – The Voice of Four Horns performs with collaborators Kristopher Grant (multimedia artist) and James Kassis (percussion). The performance presents stories connected to the theme: Homelessness: Hope, Humanity, and Heart. The stories reflect challenges and opportunities told through families struggling to get by. Poignant and interpersonal, they are read by the 6 performing artists on stage or broadcast onto the screen using original content, news articles, fiction, non-fiction, and poetry for source material. Shekhar’s revolve serves as the climax of the program. Raw, gorgeous, inviting, and personal, it chronicles the lives of homeless youth through the often revolving door of their situation. Intertwining samples by artists that have been homeless, audiences reflect on what home means to them. As part of a visual call for entries that Quadre is doing this season, art will flash on the screen, devolve, and reconstitute itself as Grant affects the visuals of each piece. Using the uplifting work done by social organizations such as the United Way, multimedia artist Kristopher Grant brings subtle awareness to the issue of homelessness by creating an interactive installation in the lobby.