{Re}HAPPENING 9 - Cunningham Centennial Comes To BMC Campus

{Re}HAPPENING 9 - Cunningham Centennial Comes To BMC Campus

Since 2010, Black Mountain College Museum + Arts Center (BMCM+AC) has hosted the {Re}HAPPENING inspired by John Cage's 1952 Theatre Piece No. 1, an unscripted performance at Black Mountain College considered by many to be the first Happening. The annual {Re}HAPPENING brings together dozens of contemporary artists whose work responds to and extends the legacy of Black Mountain College visionaries such as John Cage, David Tudor, Merce Cunningham, M.C. Richards and Robert Rauschenberg. The 2019 {Re}HAPPENING celebrates the influence of non-western music on such legendary artists by showcasing contemporary musicians who continue the legacy of experimental music within a global context. As part of the international Merce Cunningham Centennial Celebration, BMCM+AC will juxtapose these contemporary performances and installations alongside projections of historic Cunningham dance footage, including Variations V, a collaboration with John Cage and fellow BMC faculty Stan VanDerBeek.

Featured artists include: Arooj Aftab, Anjna Swaminathan & Rafiq Bhatia, Make Noise Music, Free Planet Radio, Kiranavali Vidyasankar, Sandhya Anand, Vinod Seetharaman, Adam Larsen, DJ Kutzu, Okapi and Edwin Salas and many more. Find the full Artist Lineup here: http://rehappening.com/2019-artist-lineup/


In 2009, Black Mountain College Museum + Arts Center board member Jolene Mechanic developed a fundraising idea that grew into the {Re}HAPPENING, a dinner and performance event inspired by John Cage's 1952 Theatre Piece No. 1, considered by many to be the first Happening.

The {Re}HAPPENING is a one-day event at the historic campus of Black Mountain College, 15 minutes from Asheville. It is part art event, part fundraiser, and part community instigator, providing a platform for contemporary artists to share their responses to the vital legacy of Black Mountain College by activating the buildings and grounds of the BMC campus with installations, new media, music, and performance projects.

General admission brings in hundreds of visitors annually. In addition to providing a forum for regional artists and an accessible, immersive, educational experience for attendees, every year the event is a community collaboration between local businesses and arts organizations.

Featured Artists:

Arooj Aftab, Anjna Swaminathan & Rafiq Bhatia Trio

Arooj Aftab is a neo-sufi and minimalist composer/singer who gracefully experiments and bends the lines between ancient mystic poetry, South Asian classical, jazz, soul, and electronic dreamscape musics. In 2018, Aftab was named among NPR's 200 Greatest Songs by 21st Century Women, and The New York Time's 25 Best Classical Songs of 2018. Aftab has collaborated with artists such as Meshell Ndegeocello, Vijay Iyer and more. She has performed at MoMA's Summer Series, and will be performing at the Brooklyn Museum's First Saturday this May 2019. Her latest album 'Siren Islands' was dubbed 'easily one of our favorite music of 2018' by The New York Times.

Anjna Swaminathan is a versatile violinist, composer, and multidisciplinary artist. A disciple of the late violin maestro M.S. Gopalakrishnan and H.K. Narasimhamurthy, she performs regularly in Carnatic, Hindustani and creative music settings. Anjna often engages in artistic work that ties together multiple aesthetic forms towards a critical consciousness. During the past few years, Anjna has delved into the realm of composition and is currently a fellow at the Gabriela Lena Frank Creative Academy of Music.

Heralded as "one of the most intriguing figures in music today" by the New York Times, composer, producer, and guitarist Rafiq Bhatia's music reconciles meticulous sound art with mercurial improvisation to deliver searing emotional intensity. His second album, Breaking English (2018, ANTI-) reveals "a stunningly focused new sound" (Chicago Reader) that is "mesmerizing" (XLR8R), "dark, powerful, inventive" (Stereogum), and "a thoroughly engaging experimental enterprise" (Wall Street Journal). "A guitarist who refuses to be pinned down to one genre, culture, or instrument" (New York Times), Bhatia is a member of the band Son Lux, and has appeared on recordings or in performance with artists across disciplines including Olga Bell, Sam Dew, Marcus Gilmore, Billy Hart, Heems, Helado Negro, Vijay Iyer, Lorde, Valgeir Sigurðsson, Sufjan Stevens, Moses Sumney, David Virelles, and numerous others.

BMCM+AC - Merce Cunningham Centennial Celebration with Historic Dance Films

As a part of the Merce Cunningham Centennial Celebration, a global series of performances and installations that honor the legacy of the legendary choreographer, dancer and BMC Faculty member, BMCM+AC will project historic dance films of the Cunningham Dance Company. These ongoing installations will occur alongside contemporary work by {Re}HAPPENING artists. Films will include Variations V (1966), Septet (1953 / 1964 performance), How to Pass, Kick, Fall and Run (1965) as well as later performances from the 1970s and 1990s.

The Merce Cunningham Centennial unites artists, companies, and cultural and educational institutions in a multifaceted display and celebration of Cunningham's vital impact. The Merce Cunningham Centennial, launched this past fall and continuing throughout all of 2019, celebrates the legacy of one of the most influential choreographers of our time with events reaching from Los Angeles to Havana to New Plymouth, New Zealand. The Centennial's breadth of activities and diversity of participating partners demonstrate the profound, enduring resonance of the choreographer's work and his approach to how the body moves in time and space.

South Indian Classical Music - Kiranavali Vidyasankar (Vocals), Sandhya Anand (Violin), Vinod Seetharaman (Mrdangam)

Award winning Carnatic musician Kiranavali Vidyasankar has charted out a unique identity for herself as a performer, scholar, teacher and writer. Her career as a performer has taken her to many renowned centers across India, USA, Canada and Europe such as the National Center for Performing Arts (Mumbai), India International Center (New Delhi), India Habitat Center (New Delhi), The Music Academy (Chennai), Cleveland Tyagaraja Festival (Ohio), Bharati Kala Manram (Toronto), Ethnological Museum (Hamburg) and Reitberg Museum (Zurich). She has also been invited to present talks, lec-dems and workshops on various topics pertaining to Carnatic music.

Sandhya Anand is a trained vocalist and violinist. She is a violin disciple of Sri T.V. Gopalakrishan and R. Swaminathan and has been trained in vocal music by Smt. Suguna Varadachari. A graded artist of All India Radio, she has performed extensively in India and abroad. She has won various awards and scholarships as a student of music.

Vinod Seetharaman started learning mridangam at the age of seven from Shri. Ardhanareeswaran. He had his advanced training under Bangalore Shri. Arjun Kumar and Sangeetha Kalanidhi Shri. Umayalpuram Sivaraman. Schooled in the pure classical music tradition under his Guru's guidance and tutelage, Vinod has developed into an accomplished artist. His performances has been widely acclaimed and appreciated by audiences at various musical events in India, United States of America, and Canada. He is one of the most sought after accompanist for artists on their concert tours. Some of the prominent artists he has accompanied include TN Seshagopalan, N.Ramani, TM Krishna, Sudha Raghunathan, etc.

Make Noise Music - John Cage Gymnasium

Local modular synthesizer makers Make Noise will take over the Camp Rockmont Gymnasium, built on the original campus as part of its new life as a summer camp for boys. Through experimental sound and synth performances from a roster of notable musicians and sound artists, Make Noise will imbue this space with the spirit of John Cage, marking his legacy on the grounds.

Make Noise was founded in 2008 by Tony Rolando, a self-taught electronic musical instrument designer who got started by obsessively reading amateur radio books at the public library, building electronics for artists, such as the light controlled mixer for Simon Lee's "Bus Obscura," working for Moog Music, and playing in bands for many years. After 3 years of isolation on a mountain top he founded Make Noise.

What started as a re-visioning of jettisoned music technology has grown into a crew of folks working together in Asheville, NC, to design and build some pretty strange, but thoughtful modular synthesizers. In their words, "We see our instruments as a collaboration with musicians who create once in a lifetime performances that push boundaries and play the notes between the notes to discover the unfound sounds. We want our instruments to be an experience, one that will require us to change our trajectories and thereby impact the way we understand and imagine sound."

Adam Larsen - Quiet House Doors

Adam Larsen will recreate Hazel Larsen Archer's iconic photograph, Quiet House Doors (1948) as a physical installation. The Quiet House was built in 1942 as a memorial to Mark Drier, a young boy who died in an accident in 1941. This space was created as a secular space of gathering, meditation and mindfulness. Hazel Larsen Archer, faculty of photography, captured the beauty of its design and intention in her photographs, following the light cast through the trees surrounding the structure. In Adam Larsen's installation, a projector will cast moving, dappled sunlight onto a recreation of the original Quiet House door which will be held within the renovated building as it stands today. The piece asks the question of whether or not a fabrication can elicit an emotional response - akin to the original Quiet House's intent.

Over the past 16 years Adam Larsen has designed nearly 200 productions in theatre, dance, symphony and opera. Projects have ranged from intimate to extravagant and have appeared on Broadway and in many of the major Opera and Symphony halls across the country. In addition, Adam has directed two feature length documentaries about disability. His first, Neurotypical, about autism from the perspective of autistics, premiered on the the PBS series P.O.V and his second, Undersung, about caregivers of severely disabled family members, is available on Amazon.

Free Planet Radio

Free Planet Radio will highlight {Re}HAPPENING 9's global context by bringing its world-jazz-classical music blend to the stage. Based in Asheville, Free Planet Radio consists of two-time Grammy winner Eliot Wadopian on bass; River Guerguerian on an extensive array of global percussion instruments including Middle Eastern frame drums and doumbek, the Indian kanjira, African djembe, and Western drum set; and Chris Rosser exploring melody on the 17-stringed Indian dotar, Turkish cumbus oud, guitar, piano and melodica. Together they make music that weaves the improvisatory element of jazz, and the subtleties and harmonic vocabulary of Western classical music, with Middle Eastern, Indian and North African melodic and rhythmic structures. They have performed with jazz singer Lizz Wright, poet Robert Bly, Turkish instrumentalist Omar Faruk Tekbilek, bluegrass violinist Casey Driessen, flute virtuoso Rhonda Larson, Armenian singer Mariam Matossian, and Persian violinist Farzad Farhangi.

About Black Mountain College

Founded in 1933, Black Mountain College was one of the leading experimental liberal art schools in America until its closure in 1957. After the Bauhaus in Germany closed due to mounting antagonism from the Nazi Party, Josef and Anni Albers readily accepted an offer to join the Black Mountain College faculty. During their 16-year tenure in North Carolina, the Alberses helped model the college's interdisciplinary curriculum on that of the Bauhaus, attracting an unmatched roster of teachers and students including R. Buckminster Fuller, Elaine and Willem De Kooning, John Cage, Merce Cunningham, Mary Caroline (M.C.) Richards, and Robert Rauschenberg.

The Black Mountain College Museum + Arts Center (BMCM+AC) was founded in 1993 by arts advocate Mary Holden to celebrate the history of Black Mountain College as a forerunner in progressive interdisciplinary education and to celebrate its extraordinary impact on modern and contemporary art, dance, theater, music, and performance.

The Museum is committed to educating the public about the history of Black Mountain College and promoting awareness of its extensive legacy through exhibitions, publications, lectures, films, seminars, and oral histories. Through our permanent collection, special exhibitions, publications, and research archive, we provide access to historical materials related to the College and its influence on the field.

BMCM+AC provides a forum for multifaceted programming in a dynamic environment in downtown Asheville, North Carolina. Our goal is to provide a gathering point for people from a variety of backgrounds to interact - integrating art, ideas, and discourse. More about BMCM+AC: http://www.blackmountaincollege.org/.

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