[art-event id="6900"]

Birdheart with Friends

Oct 11, 2015 • 7pm

An intimate and stunning chamber piece of animated theatre and live music, with two cellos, a sheet of brown paper, and a box of sand. A show about transformation, loneliness, and the urge to fly, BIRDHEART holds a hand-mirror up to humanity and offers it a chair. Through a series of animated images built in front of the audiences’ eyes BIRDHEART creates something achingly beautiful from the humblest of beginnings. For its world premier at National Sawdust, Julian Crouch and Saskia Lane are joined on stage by extraordinary musicians Mark Stewart and Jeffrey Zeigler.

Commissioned by VisionIntoArt and National Sawdust’s Curator in Residence program. BIRDHEART was part of the 2013-14 New Victory Labworks Artist Residency and Watermill Artists Residency, with additional support from the St. Ann’s Warehouse Puppet Lab, the Henson Foundation and in part, by public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the city council. Special thanks to the Dillon Gallery.

About Julian Crouch

Julian Crouch is a Brooklyn-based independent director, designer, writer, maker, teacher, illustrator, and musician, whose career has spanned theatre, opera, ballet, film, and television. Initially a mask and puppet maker, with much of his life based in London, in the mid-1990’s co-founded London’s Improbable Theatre Company. Improbable’s productions, which included ANIMO, 70 HILL LANE, LIFEGAME, SPIRIT, STICKY, THE HANGING MAN, THE WOLVES IN THE WALLS, and PANIC, have gained far-reaching national and international recognition.

About Saskia Lane

A San Francisco native, Saskia Sunshine Lane (double bass, voice, composition, ukulele) began her classical training early on with the violin and took up the bass the day she turned 11. Her musical path eventually put her on a train bound for New York City (true story), where she received her Masters Degree from The Juilliard School. Currently, Saskia tours internationally with Dan Zanes & Friends and nationally with her critically acclaimed trio The Biddies. She can also be seen playing klezmer and other raucous styles with the Isle of Klezbos, and bluegrass heehaw with her fun-loving quartet Hey Sailor.  Saskia has shared the stage with a wide variety folks, from Jay-Z and Beyonce to Marc Ribot and the Kronos Quartet. Most recently she had the pleasure of performing with Frank Ocean as part of the Metropolitan Museum of Art Costume Institute Gala.

Recent theatrical credits as both composer and performer include Jedermann for the Salzburg Festival, The Devil and Mister Punch for Improbable Theatre at the Barbican, London, and Ivanov and The Seagull at Checkhov at Lake Lucille, New York.  A prolific song-writer, Saskia’s music can also be heard in the play Massacre (Sing To Your Children) by José Rivera and Asolo Repertory Theater’s staging of Macbeth. A recipient of a Henson Foundation Grant, Saskia is joining forces with esteemed designer/director Julian Crouch for the development of a new show, BIRDHEART. In addition to return appearances in Salzurg’s Jedermann this summer, Saskia looks forward to taking on Brecht’s Three Penny Opera as part of the Festival’s 2015 season.

Dedicated to outreach and education, Saskia works as a Teaching Artist through Weill Music Institute at Carnegie Hall’s Musical Connections Program, performing in homeless shelters, hospitals, correctional facilities, and senior centers. She also teaches songwriting to underserved populations throughout New York. Additionally, you can hear her sing and play with her bandmates in the children’s program they created for CarnegieKids (known here as the Itty Biddies), now moving into it’s fifth season.

About Jeffrey Zeigler

Deemed by the New York Times as “excellent”, and a player who performs “with unforced simplicity and beauty of tone” Jeffrey Zeigler has been the cellist of the internationally renowned Kronos Quartet for eight seasons. As cellist of one of the most celebrated and influential ensembles of our time, Zeigler has performed thousands of concerts worldwide, has premiered over 200 works and has collaborated with many of the world’s most versatile and innovative composers and performers. In the process, Zeigler has played an integral role in redrawing the boundaries of the string quartet medium.

Zeigler has been the recipient of the Avery Fischer Prize, the Polar Music Prize, the President’s Merit Award from the National Academy of Recorded Arts and the Chamber Music America Richard J. Bogomolny National Service Award among others.

About Mark Stewart

Multi-instrumentalist, singer, composer and instrument designer Mark Stewart has been heard around the world performing old and new music. Since 1998 he has recorded, toured and been Musical Director with Paul Simon. A founding member of the Bang on a Can All-Stars, the comic duo Polygraph Lounge with keyboard & theremin wizard Rob Schwimmer, Mark has also worked with Steve Reich, Sting, Anthony Braxton, Bob Dylan, Charles Wourinen, Cecil Taylor, Meredith Monk, Stevie Wonder, Phillip Glass, Hugh Masakela, Iva Bittova, Bruce Springsteen, Ornette Coleman, Edie Brickell, Don Byron, Joan Baez, Paul McCartney, Jimmy Cliff, the Everly Brothers, Fred Frith, Alison Krauss, David Krakauer, Bobby McFerrin, David Byrne, James Taylor, The Roches, Aaron Neville and Marc Ribot. He has worked extensively with composer Elliot Goldenthal on music for the films Midsummer Night’s Dream, The Tempest, Across the Universe, Titus, The Butcher Boy, The Good Thief, In Dreams and Heat, often playing instruments of his own design and construction. He has designed instruments for TFANA’s productions of Midsummer Nights Dream & King Lear and is the inventor of the WhirlyCopter, a bicycle-powered Pythagorean choir of singing tubes and the Big Boing, a 24 ft. sonic banquet table Mbira that seats 30 children playing 490 found objects. He is on the faculty of the Manhattan School of Music & a Visiting Lecturer at MIT. Stewart can be heard on Warner Bros., Sony, Sony Classical, Point/Polygram, Nonesuch, Label Bleu, Resonance Magnetique, Cantaloupe and CRI recordings. He lives in New York City making his living playing and writing popular music, semi-popular music and unpopular music.