Cellist Maya Beiser Set for Rubin Museum of Art's BRAINWAVE: MIND OVER MATTER Series Today
New York, NY - Cellist Maya Beiser will participate in the Rubin Museum of Art's Brainwave: Mind Over Matter series with cognitive psychologist Jamshed Barucha tonight, January 11, 2014 at 6pm at the Rubin Museum of Art (150 West 17th Street). Maya will perform composer Michael Harrison's Just Ancient Loops, a 25-minute piece with a film by Bill Morrison, and will converse with Barucha, the President of Cooper Union, about tonality and what effect music has on our psyche and wellbeing. The seventh annual Brainwave, a series of on-stage conversations, films and experiences, explores the role the brain plays in helping us overcome adversity, survive tests of endurance, and understand faith.
Composer Michael Harrison's Just Ancient Loops, with a film by Bill Morrison that presents a unique view of the heavens, unveils every aspect of the cello - from its most glorious and mysterious harmonics to earthy, rhythmic pizzicatos - all utilizing "just intonation," an ancient tuning system in which the distances between notes are based upon whole number ratios.
Just Ancient Loops was composed for Maya Beiser and dedicated to her. The work can be described as an "orchestra" of cellos as it gradually builds up to a climax of twenty-two independent, pre-recorded cello parts. Composed between 2007 and 2011, including approximately three weeks in the recording studio recording and mixing the tracks with Grammy Award-winning producer Adam Abeshouse, Just Ancient Loops is a large and complex work, devoted to exploring the enormous range and sonic possibilities of the cello when played in pure intonation. Each cello part was recorded by Maya, and in performance she plays the lead part supported and surrounded by all of the pre-recorded parts.
Maya Beiser's premiere of Just Ancient Loops at the Bang on a Can Marathon in June 2012 was highlighted in The New York Times, which reported, "Michael Harrison's Just Ancient Loops, an appealing mix of live and recorded cello lines, raga-inspired drones and Minimalist rhythms performed by Maya Beiser, was enhanced by Bill Morrison's film, recorded on archival and decaying celluloid, and repurposed for Georges Méliès-style fantasy and sublimity." Her recording of the piece as part of the album Time Loops was chosen as among NPR Music's top recordings of 2012.
Throughout her adventurous and versatile career, Maya Beiser has redefined the concert experience, creating music that transcends genres with large sonic and visual canvases. The Boston Globe declares, "With virtuoso chops, rock-star charisma, and an appetite for pushing her instrument to the edge of avant-garde adventurousness, Maya Beiser is the post-modern diva of the cello." New York magazine writes, "Beiser in not the sort of musician who zigzags around the planet playing catalog music for polite and sleepy audiences. She throws down a gauntlet in every program."
Maya has conceived, performed and produced her critically acclaimed multimedia concerts, including World To Come, which premiered as part of the inaugural season of Carnegie Hall's Zankel Hall; Almost Human, a collaboration with visual artist Shirin Neshat; and Provenance, which forms the basis of her best selling album. Top New York critics have consistently chosen her Carnegie Hall concerts on their "Best Of The Year" lists. Maya's last production, Elsewhere: a CelloOpera, premiered in October 2012 at Carolina Performing Arts followed by a sold-out run at the BAM Next Wave Festival. Elsewhere is an imaginative retelling of the Biblical legend of Lot's wife, created by Maya with director Robert Woodruff.
Raised in the Galilee Mountains in Israel, surrounded with the music and rituals of Jews, Muslims, and Christians, while studying classical cello repertoire, Maya has dedicated her work to reinventing solo cello performance in the mainstream classical arena. A featured performer on the world's most prestigious stages, Maya has appeared as soloist at the Sydney Opera House, New York's Lincoln Center, Carnegie Hall and BAM, London's Barbican, Royal Albert Hall, and South Bank Center, and the World Expo in Nagoya, Japan. She has collaborated with artists across a wide range of musical styles, including Brian Eno, Philip Glass, Steve Reich, Tan Dun, James Newton Howard and Carter Burwell, among many others.
In 2011, Maya was invited to present at the exclusive TED conference. Her TEDtalk performance has been watched by close to one million people and translated to 32 languages. In summer 2013, she was a featured guest alongside such luminaries as Yoko Ono, Marina Abramovi?, Isabella Rossellini, and Shirin Neshat at ICASTICA 2013, an international festival celebrating women artists working in all artistic fields in Arezzo, Italy.
Highlights of Maya Beiser's recent US tours include performances at the Kennedy Center in Washington DC, Royce Hall in Los Angeles, Kimmel Center in Philadelphia, Mondavi Performing Arts Center, Ravinia Festival in Chicago, Celebrity Series in Boston and International Festival of Arts and Ideas in New Haven. Other recent performances include major venues and festivals in Barcelona, Paris, Amsterdam, Torino, Tokyo, Taipei, Athens, Mexico City and Bogota. She has appeared with many of the world's top orchestras performing new works for the cello including the St. Paul Camber Orchestra, Montreal Symphony, Brooklyn Philharmonic, Sydney Symphony, China Philharmonic, and Shanghai Philharmonic among many others.