Dominican University Screens ETHEL'S DOCUMERICA Tonight

Dominican University's Performing Arts Center presents ETHEL's Documerica tonight, February 20th at 7:30 p.m. in the Lund Auditorium.

Pairing ETHEL's dynamic playing with the evocative imagery of the EPA's Project Documerica in a synthesis of score and projections that explores Americans' connection to their environment, ETHEL's Documerica is a landmark visual and musical snapshot of America in the tumultuous 1970s.

A multimedia meditation interweaving over 3,000 vintage photographs from an astonishing trove of images from the National Archive, ETHEL commissioned the composer Mary Ellen Childs, Grammy Award-winning jazz drummer Ulysses Owens, Jr., Chickasaw Nation's Jerod Impichchaachaaha' Tate and James Kimo Williams to create a work that seamlessly fuses contemporary composition with stunning projections by renowned artist Deborah Johnson of big sky vistas, ghost towns, mountains, and slices of urban environments. Coupled with ETHEL's own original works, the commissioned music explores a range of American styles and genres - blues, jazz, Native American traditional, bluegrass, and old-time string band - filtered through a distinctly 21st-century lens.

Throughout the program the music is in constant dialogue with the projections, in an arc that is by turns urban, rural, pastoral, and gritty. Extrapolated from the archive's images are stunning references to strip mining, political protest, car culture, pollution, unemployment, inflation, fashion trends, recreational pastimes, natural beauty, and urban decline, bringing an era fraught with social upheaval into dialogue with the present.

SPECIAL NOTE: Set the stage for the ETHEL concert - come see This Changes Everything, a One Earth Film Festival pre-screening. Thursday, February 11 at 7:00 p.m. in Lund Auditorium. The Box Office is open Tuesday-Friday Noon-6pm. Call (708) 488-5000 or visit

Founded in 1998 and based in New York City, ETHEL is comprised of Ralph Farris (viola), Dorothy Lawson (cello), Kip Jones (violin), and Corin Lee (violin). The new-music quartet has been called "unfailingly vital" (The New York Times) and invigorates the contemporary music scene with exuberance, intensity, imaginative programming, and exceptional artistry.

At the heart of this new-music quartet is a quest for a common creative expression that is forged in the celebration of community. As cultural and musical "pollinators," they bring its collaborative discoveries to audiences through multi-dimensional musical repertoire and community engagement.

Always striving to demonstrate the unifying power of music, ETHEL has initiated innovative collaborations with an extraordinary community of international artists, including David Byrne, Howard Levy, Iva Bittová, Jill Sobule, Andrew Bird, and Ensemble Modern. Over the past five years, ETHEL has premiered 100+ new works by 20th and 21st century composers. Learn more about ETHEL on their website.

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