7:30pm doors • 8pm show
FERUS Festival 2019: Angélica Negrón's "Chimera"
with Kayla Cashetta and maenu
The FERUS festival is an annual showcase of untamed voices. Presenting the latest in cutting–edge new music with an emphasis on performances that push the envelope, the festival invites artists to perform their newest work in music, multimedia, and beyond. A showcase for all that National Sawdust stands for as a venue, FERUS transcends traditional tropes to let audiences Hear It New!
This double-header features two vibrant National Sawdust initiatives. Chimera, a National Sawdust Project-in-Residence, is a shimmering new opera from composer and multi-instrumentalist Angélica Negrón. This work in progress stars Alexis Michelle (a contestant from season nine of RuPaul’s Drag Race), Miz Jade, and Desmond is Amazing and features members of The Knights ensemble, Shayna Dunkelman, recorded vocals by glass harp player Cindertalk (Johnny Rodgers) and fearless soprano Ariadne Greif, and versatile singer and sound artist Fay Victor. Directed by Jorinde Keesmaat, Chimera will present a riveting exploration of the complexities of identity and self-presentation. The work will be developed over the course of the coming year, with a full production set for the early months of Season 5.
Chimera will be paired with a performance from Kayla Cashetta, one of the winners of last year’s Hildegard Competition, and her all–female band maenu. Now its second year, the Hildegard Competition is a testament to National Sawdust’s determination to expand the representation of voices in the new music space, promoting emerging trans, female, and nonbinary composers and nurturing them with mentorship, a professional performance and recording, and considerable financial support. Together, these two performances present a spectacular portrait of National Sawdust’s vision of a flourishing artistic community.
This program is supported, in part, both by the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council and by the Dutch Culture USA program of the Consulate General of the Netherlands in New York.
Puerto Rican-born composer and multi-instrumentalist Angélica Negrón writes music for accordions, robotic instruments, toys and electronics as well as chamber ensembles and orchestras. Her music has been described as “wistfully idiosyncratic and contemplative” (WQXR/Q2) and “mesmerizing and affecting” (Feast of Music) while The New York Times noted her “capacity to surprise” and her “quirky approach to scoring”. Her music has been performed at the Bang on a Can Marathon, the Ecstatic Music Festival and the 2016 New York Philharmonic Biennial and she has collaborated with artists like Sō Percussion, loadbang, American Composers Orchestra and Face the Music, among others. Angélica is currently a doctoral candidate at The Graduate Center (CUNY), where she studies composition with Tania León. She’s a teaching artist for New York Philharmonic’s Very Young Composers Program and Lincoln Center Education working with learners of all ages on creative composition projects. Angélica was the 2014-2015 Van Lier Fellow at American Composers Orchestra and was recently selected as one of the recipients for NYFA’s 2016 Artists’ Fellowship Program.
maenu is an all female band whose music is a marriage of lyric-centered songwriting, organic instruments, and experimental electronic sounds. Its members, Kayla Cashetta, Angelina Torreano, and Madeline Mondrala, met while attending SUNY Purchase Conservatory of Music. Four years later they decided to meld their aesthetics to create the eclectic sound of “maenu”. Each member is an artist in their own right. Kayla is a composer and a recent winner of National Sawdust‘s Hildegard Competition, Angelina is front woman of indie/grunge band Citris, whose latest single premiered on NPR’s “All Songs Considered”, and “Madelin” is a solo indie/pop artist whose latest music video premiered on Billboard.