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Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra Presents CURRENT: HEARTBEAT An Evening Of New Classical Music

Includes works by Washington, Aeryn Santillan, Susanna Hancock, Sugar Vendil and Darian Donovan Thomas

Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra (LACO) caps its season with Current: Heartbeat curated by noted interdisciplinary composer Shelley Washington (she/her) and featuring a range of compelling new classical music in an intimate and relaxed setting during L.A. Pride, taking place Saturday, June 11, 2022, 8 pm, at Boomtown Brewery in Downtown Los Angeles.

Featuring Experience Design by Boss Witch Productions and Projection Design by Hsuan-Kuang Hsieh, the program features a coterie of leading-edge composers and production artists, and includes six dynamic and introspective works by five living composers. It is open to adults 21 years and older; all advanced ticket purchases include a drink ticket.

"The event was specifically set on June 11 to coincide with pride and is designed to complement the larger pride celebration," says Washington. "It's queer-friendly; the cohort of participating composers and production artists is strongly aligned with the queer community. The artwork being presented is at the intersection of gender and identity."

Washington, who regularly incorporates poetry into her work, contributes a multi-movement piece, Uniforms, that explores the ways in which clothes can shape our perceptions of ourselves and others.

Also showcased are two pieces by Aeryn Santillan (she/her/they), a composer, guitarist and bassist whose music is heavily influenced by the DIY punk scene: Reconnect for string quartet, electric guitar and drum machine, and Makeshift Memorials, a string quartet dedicated to the victims of mass shootings and their surviving loved ones.

Sugar Vendil (she/her), a composer, pianist, choreographer and interdisciplinary artist whose work ooh wo aa oo wa o, scored for a vocalizing ensemble of flute, clarinet, violin, cello and piano, is being presented as well, does double duty as the pianist for the program. She began her artistic life as a classical pianist, and after spending nearly a decade searching for her own voice, her practice evolved into writing her own music and making performances that integrate sound, movement, and unconventional approaches to the piano.

Additionally, LACO performs the first movement of Darian Donovan Thomas' (they/them) Fluid Suite, a violin suite in three movements orchestrated for violin and electronics that the composer describes as a meditation "on the idea of a body of water interacting with vastly different civilizations over millennia." The multi-instrumentalist and interdisciplinary artist is noted for combining genres and mediums in unexpected ways.

The other piece on the program is Susanna Hancock's (she/her) platforms, inspired by the late evenings she has spent on New York City subway platforms. She says, "I could never escape the anxiousness of being on a platform where nearly nothing was happening; when there was no train coming or going, not another person in sight, and nothing to give me any tangible perception of time. (The work's) tension is not derived from any sort of overstimulation, but rather not enough."

The concert begins with a roundtable discussion featuring the composers, collaborators, and guest artists in conversation about representation and authenticity in classical music. Washington, Vendil, Hancock, and Carmina Escobar and Madeline Falcone from Boss Witch Productions, appear in person, with pre-recorded comments by Santillan and Thomas.

LACO recognizes the generous support of the Colburn Foundation and the Mellon Foundation. Steinway is the official piano of Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra. The Orchestra also receives public funding via grants from the City of Los Angeles Department of Cultural Affairs, the Los Angeles County Arts Commission and the National Endowment for the Arts. LACO gratefully acknowledges Hogan Lovells US LLP for generous pro bono support.

General admission tickets are $35 and may be purchased online at or by calling LACO at 213 622 7001 x1. All advance purchases include a free drink ticket. Discounted tickets are also available by phone for seniors 65 years of age and older and for students.

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