Vital Vox Festival ~ 2012/13 (A Review)

Performing excerpts from Erosion: A Fable on the festival’s 1st night, The Loom Trio are (L to R): Sasha Bogdanowitsch. Kate Hamilton and Raphael Sacks
(Photos courtesy of Neva Cockrell)

loom trio

The 4th Annual Vital Vox Vocal Festival (2012/13)
featuring Pamela Z, Sasha Bogdanowitsch and The Loom Ensemble and Trio, Unearthish (Sarah Bernstein and Satoshi Takeishi), Philip Hamilton, and Lisa Karrer with David Simons
Roulette, Brooklyn, NY
Monday, March 25th, and Tuesday, March 26th, 2013

After its postponement from the planned October dates last year due to Hurricane Sandy, The 4th annual Vital Vox Festival at Roulette finally commenced a year and a half after its last appearance in November 2011, and this year’s show was focused on the use of vocals with electronics. Displaying, as always, a variety of styles, abilities, and combinations of instruments, I can say with great certainty that all of these acts proved that they have immense creativity with a technology that continues to astound, titillate and baffle me.

First Night–Monday, 3/25
The show began ever so radiantly with Philip Hamilton, and the beginning of his set was without effects, displaying only the depth of his dynamic vocal in a stark but rich atmosphere. He then progressed to using delay effects and looping for the rest of his sequence titled Vocalscapes: Solitude. His use of electronics, which later on during the Q&A he revealed was being used for the first time ever, was astonishingly rhythmic in its musicality, and his sharp and muscular voice provided a crisp, bright, worldly and invigorating breath of fresh air that set the pace for the rest of the evening’s program. Continue reading

Vital Vox Fest 2012/13 ~ A Preview

vital-vox---marzo---FRENTE2013

The 4th annual VITAL VOX: A VOCAL FESTIVAL–an event that explores the myriad power of the human voice in its solo and ensemble forms across a multitude of genres–will take place at 8pm on Monday, March 25th and Tuesday the 26th at Roulette, located at 509 Atlantic Avenue in Brooklyn, NY. Tickets are $15 ($10 Students/Seniors/Members) and can be purchased at roulette.org. More information on the festival and the performers can be found at vitalvoxfest.com.

Having been postponed from last October due to Hurricane Sandy, the Vital Vox Festival is now finally returning to the stage.

Over the course of two diverse evenings, Vital Vox will explore the theme of ‘vox electronics,’ featuring artists who expand their sonic vocabulary with electronics of all kinds. Performances will draw from wide-ranging international influences and genres including jazz, experimental, contemporary, free improvisation, world music, interactive electro-acoustic and audio sampling.

Having seen the 2011 festival at Roulette with the likes of Iva Bittova, Gelsey Bell and Judith Berkson, I can say it was a really fascinating couple of nights, and it looks to be just as exciting this year!

Festival founders and curators Sabrina Lastman and Sasha Bogdanowitsch had just a little time to stop and discuss this year’s show. Continue reading

Vital Vox Fest 2012 ~ A Preview

The 4th annual VITAL VOX: A VOCAL FESTIVAL–an event that explores the myriad power of the human voice in its solo and ensemble forms across a multitude of genres–will take place at 8pm on October 29 and 30 at Roulette, located at 509 Atlantic Avenue in Brooklyn, NY. Tickets are $15 ($10 Students/Seniors/Members) and can be purchased at roulette.org. More information on the festival and the performers can be found at vitalfoxfest.com.

Over the course of two diverse evenings, VITAL VOX will explore the theme of ‘vox electronics,’ featuring artists who expand their sonic vocabulary with electronics of all kinds. Performances will draw from wide-ranging international influences and genres including jazz, experimental, contemporary, free improvisation, world music, interactive electro-acoustic and audio sampling.

Having seen this festival last year with the likes of Iva Bittova, Gelsey Bell and Judith Berkson, I can say it was a really fascinating couple of nights, and it looks to be just as exciting this year!

Festival founders and curators Sabrina Lastman and Sasha Bogdanowitsch had just a little time to stop and discuss this year’s show.

CM: Can you talk about the festival this year and how it is different this time?

S&S: The festival is in its 4th year and this year it focuses on a new selection of artists to us who are composer performers, just like in years past. The main different aspect in this year’s festival is the two day theme of new vocal music with electronics of any kind, shape and size. For some artists this means processing & live looping, others it means interactive video and computer programs. The world of electronic music is an ever growing field and has brought a huge new palette to vocal music.

CM: Are there any specific people we should look out for at these shows?

S&S: As curators of the festival we are happy to bring artists that come from different musical backgrounds and vocal approaches. In the festival, we are interested in intermingling different generations of artists. For instance, those that have had long careers in the field mixed with younger musicians who are still developing their careers. We would like people to experience the festival in its entirety:

The October 29 program includes vocalist Philip Hamilton performing “Vocalscapes: Solitude”, vocalist/composer Sabrina Lastman performing her original piece “An Encounter with ‘El Duende’”, and Unearthish—a duo comprised of violinist/composer/vocalist Sarah Bernstein and percussionist/electronic musician Satoshi Takeishi—performing Bernstein’s compositions.

[Pictured right Pamela Z courtesy of Ars Electronica]
The October 30 program includes composer/vocalist/video and performance artist Lisa Karrer in collaboration with composer/multi-instrumentalist David Simons performing “Collision Theory: Works & Premieres for Voice & Multi-Media”, composer/vocalist/multi-instrumentalist Sasha Bogdanowitsch performing his new song cycle “Mirror Upon Mirror”, and composer/performer Pamela Z performing works for voice, live processing and video.

CM: Will there still be a Q&A segment at the end of the concerts? Those are always wonderful and informative.

S&S: We will have a talk back with artists and audience each night, so people will have the opportunity to interact with artists to get to know a little bit more about their work and creation process, etc.

UPDATE: The 2012 Vital Vox Vocal Festival, which was scheduled to take place October 29 and 30 at Brooklyn’s Roulette, has been postponed due to Hurricane Sandy.

New dates will be announced soon. Apologies for the inconvenience.

For more information, contact Jill Strominger: jstrominger@gmail.com (617) 270-8853

Learn more about the Vital Vox festival at vitalvoxfest.com