The Kennedy Center Presents Amanda Gookin's Forward Music Project
Cellist Amanda Gookin takes a major step forward in her mission to make classical music an active force for political good with her Forward Music Project on March 29 at 9:00 p.m. inside Dupont Underground. Praised for "Gookin's focus and ferocity-coupled with expert technical work" (The Strad), Forward Music Project is presented by National Sawdust Projects-the producing arm of National Sawdust. As part of DIRECT CURRENT's initiative to take Kennedy Center artists and programming out into the world beyond the traditional concert hall, Forward Music Project reaches new Washington-area audiences at Dupont Underground, a reclaimed 75,000-square-foot art exhibition and performance space built inside the only underground station in D.C.'s old streetcar system.
Forward Music Project commissions seven original multimedia works for cello by some of today's most forward-thinking composers: Leila Adu, Angélica Negrón, Amanda Feery, Allison Loggins-Hull, Nathalie Joachim, Jessica Meyer, and Morgan Krauss. Pushing the boundaries of traditional writing for cello, Gookin's performance incorporates singing, chanting, staging effects, and projection art in collaboration with video and projections designer S. Katy Tucker (NSO Pops: West Side Story, the Ring Cycle). The stylistically contrasting compositions focus on the first-person perspectives of women, highlighting issues from the LGBTQ+ community and reproductive rights to harassment and human trafficking.
Amanda Gookin's Forward Music Project will be performed on Friday, March 29 at 9 p.m. at Dupont Underground. Tickets ($20) are available at the Kennedy Center Box Office, on the Kennedy Center website, and via phone through Instant Charge, (202) 467-4700; toll-free at (800) 444-1324. For all other ticket-related customer service inquires, call the Advance Sales Box Office at (202) 416-8540.
Praised for her "delicate and fierce musical approach" (San Francisco Classical Voice) and "expert technical work" (The Strad), cellist Amanda Gookin champions the future of music through the creation and bold performance of new works, and a dedication to education, culture, and community engagement. She is the co-founder of innovative string quartet, PUBLIQuartet, specializing in the performance of new music and improvisation, and serves on faculty at Mannes School of Music and Purchase College, leading courses on career development and the history of women in music. She has been sought after to speak on activism through music by TEDxMidAtlantic, Houston Public Media Classical Classroom, and I Care If You Listen.
Gookin initiated the Forward Music Project in 2015, commissioning new works for solo cello by today's most forward-thinking composers who explore the female experience and encourage social change for women and girls. During the 2018-19 season, she will be in-residence at National Sawdust in Brooklyn, and will bring Forward Music workshops and performances to the Kennedy Center DIRECT CURRENT Festival in Washington; The Wallis in Los Angeles; OK Electric Festival in Tulsa; and Classical:NEXT in Rotterdam, Netherlands.
S. Katy Tucker is a video and projections designer based in New York City. Tucker began her career as a painter and installation artist, exhibiting her work at a variety of galleries, such as the Corcoran Museum in Washington, D.C. and Artist's Space in New York City. Her work in theater and opera has been seen around the world, including Broadway; Off-Broadway; the Metropolitan Opera; the Sydney Opera House, Carnegie Hall; the New York City Ballet; the Kennedy Center; BAM, The Park Avenue Armory, among others. She has collaborated with musicians including: Paul McCartney, Paola Prestini, Jeff Ziegler, and the Brooklyn Youth Chorus. Recent productions include Dmitri Tcherniakov's Prince Igor at the Dutch National Opera and Metropolitan Opera, the Ring Cycle with Francesca Zambello at San Francisco Opera, Iron & Coal with Kevin Newbury, If You Listen with R.B. Schlater, and sets and video for Orphée at Banff Center with Joel Ivany and West Side Story at the Kennedy Center with Francesca Zambello. Upcoming: Silent Voices with Kevin Newbury, The Park Avenue Armory Gala with Stefan Beckman, set and video design for Parsifal at IU Opera Theater and Florencia en el Amazonas at Houston Grand Opera.
DIRECT CURRENT, the Kennedy Center's two-week celebration of contemporary culture, returns for a second season. Training its focus on new works, interdisciplinary creations in which artistic worlds collide, and innovative responses to topical concerns, the 2019 spring immersion showcases some of the most provocative, original, and pioneering voices in the arts today. DIRECT CURRENT takes place on March 24-April 7 at the Kennedy Center and beyond, extending throughout the District of Columbia through collaborations with a number of alternative venues to expand the growing audience for contemporary culture in the nation's capital.