with additional performances by
- pianist Qingyi Wu with Ju-eh
- vocal performers Imoni Cole-Palmer and Eric Hertenstein with Hwarg
Ju-eh+Hwarg is an experimental operatic duo with a dramatic stage presence. The two musical personalities collaborate and collide, using Ju-eh’s unique countertenor voice and Hwarg’s electronics to create a sound universe all its own. On October 7th, they present an entrancing dreamscape of soaring vocals, electronics, environmental sound, and poetry that investigates space, memory, and personal identity. The effect is abstract but accessible, dangerous and beautiful.
The two artists began collaborating with the shared idea that it is important for people to have alternative ways of relating to sound and to live performances. As historical opera speaks for the people of its time, Ju-eh+Hwarg create operatic works representing their modern thoughts and feelings with the aid of technology. While Hwarg is a knowledgeable electronic composer who wants to create drama, Ju-eh is a traditional opera singer who wants to break the rules.
‘Music can only be alive when it is already there, living with the artist’, says Ju-eh. As an opera singer who has trained for over ten years, Ju-eh sees the need to create musical drama using inspiration from his very own experience, ranging from intense psychological struggles to intimate activities like brushing his teeth every morning.
‘I want to find out what theatrical drama means within experimental music,’ says Hwarg. As a Brooklyn-based composer and performer, Hwarg is active in the electronic music and rock scenes in New York. While he sometimes takes the creative role of crafting an immersive sound world that envelopes its audience, Hwarg is also interested in exploring how theatrical elements can impact not only people’s visual and auditory experiences, but their perceptions and emotions.
Please join Ju-eh+Hwarg for this innovative program mixing voice, electronics, environmental sound, and poetry.
More about the artists:
Ju-eh (Juecheng Chen) is a conceptual virtuosic countertenor from Canton, China. With 10 years of classical singing training in Europe, he specializes in presenting what classical music can be today. Ju-eh is known for his Improvised Opera Salon series in New York and his performance with Sylva Dean and Me at Venice Biennale; his future engagements include Meredith Monk's opera Atlas with LA Phil in 2019 among others.
Hwarg (Howie Kenty) is a Brooklyn-based composer and performer. His music, called “remarkable” with “astonishing poetic power” by the International Compendium Prix Ars Electronica, is stylistically diverse, encompassing ideas from contemporary classical, electronic, rock, sound art, theatre and everything in between, occasionally with visual and theatrical elements. Throughout all of his creations runs the idea that the experience of a piece is more than listening to the music; there is a wholeness of vision and an awareness of environment that attempts to fully draw the audience into his works. Besides regularly premiering pieces internationally, Howie plays guitar in the progressive rock band The Benzene Ring.
About Rockwood Music Hall:
Rockwood Music Hall is a music venue at 196 Allen Street on the Lower East Side of Manhattan, New York City. The venue features three stages and a record label of the same name. Artists who have performed at Rockwood include Lady Gaga, Jessie J, Mumford & Sons, and Billie Joe Armstrong.