In this Special Edition of ResBods Podcast we catch up with Megan Schubert—RBF NYC 2013/14—and talk about how she programmed her two sets for the Festival, as well as her taste for the theatrical, and the perennial question: to talk or not to talk from stage?[ Listen on Soundcloud or Subscribe on iTunes!]
Megan Schubert, vocalist and composer, has performed music by Stockhausen for an audience under umbrellas in a torrential downpour for Make Music New York; world premieres at Carnegie Hall; with robots while locked inside a Van de Graaff Generator at Boston’s Museum of Science; on a bike flying by the audience in an installation piece at McCarren Park Pool, Brooklyn; in a giant potato sack while video was projected onto her frontside at Webster Hall; for inmates at a maximum security prison in Ossining, NY; with puppets at E 4th Street Fab! Fest; for Elliot Carter at a celebration of his 100th birthday; shared the stage on multiple occasions with such luminaries as Meredith Monk, Bang On a Can, and with many ensembles championing art music and experimental jazz of today.
In recent years, Schubert sang in the premieres of large works by Sasha Zamler-Carhart, Robert Ashley, Luigi Nono (with Ekmeles), Georges Aperghis, Bernard Rands, James Ilgenfritz, Sonia Megías, Jenny O. Johnson, Nick Hallett, Kitty Brazelton, Inhyn Kim, Nate Wooley (Psalms from Hell, and for Anna Sperber's The Superseded Third), Jonathan Bepler (with Matthew Barney for opera film River of Fundament and newest film REDOUBT (2019), for John Jasperse's Within Between, for Wally Cardona & Jennifer Lacey's The Set Up), Cally Spooner, Kristen Volness, Guy Barash, Christian Frederickson, Tino Sehgal (Public Art Fund production of "This You"), Charlie Looker, Matt Fagen, and in new productions of operas by Denman Maroney and Jason Cady. Schubert gave the Canadian premiere of David Lang's "death speaks" as part of the Honens Festival in Calgary, AB. Judd Greenstein, Tracy K. Smith, Will Rawls and Joshua Frankel's A Marvelous Order (as Jane Jacobs) received a pre-premiere/preview at Williams College, and the full premiere will be in NYC in 2020. QUARTET, a composer's lab produced by Schubert, presents 4 world premieres by and with Schubert, Gelsey Bell, Amirtha Kidambi, and Anaïs Maviel at Roulette March 3, 2019.
Schubert assists Moog synthesizer pioneer, composer, conductor and pianist Gershon Kingsley and opera director Rhoda Levine, and holds degrees from Bennington College and Manhattan School of Music where she studied with Lucy Shelton. She co-founded the Avant Music Festival and co-curated years 2010-2015. She currently studies opera with tenor/actor Anthony Laciura (Boardwalk Empire, MET opera). She is also a professional chorister and member of the Fifth Avenue Presbyterian Church chamber choir.
In this episode, ResBods catches up American soprano Christie Finn, who performed two seminal works of the contemporary classical repertoire on past Festivals: Georges Aperghis' complete "Récitations" (NYC '13) and Helmut Lachenmann's "Got Lost" (NYC '14). Christie discusses her journey with both of these mammoth works, and also updates us on her recent activities in Stuttgart, Germany.
American soprano Christie Finn is actively involved in the world of contemporary vocal performance and new music theater. Finn has performed as a soloist with the Asko | Schönberg Ensemble (Netherlands), CrossingLines (Spain), the Hezarfen Ensemble (Istanbul, Turkey), ICTUS (Belgium), Nadar(Belgium), Oerknal! (Netherlands), oh ton-ensemble (Germany),
VocaalLAB (Netherlands), and several ensembles in New York City, including ekmeles, the S.E.M. Ensemble, Experiments in Opera, and Tactus. She is a co-founder and member of the experimental music duo NOISE-BRIDGE, collaborating with clarinetist Felix Behringer, and Co-Artistic Director of ExVoCo. She is also a permanent member of Forum Neue Vokal Musik and Ensemble Hörwerk (currently on hiatus). All of these ensembles all based in Germany.
International festivals and concert series include the Bregenzer Festspiele (Austria), the Beijing Modern Music Festival, klarafestival (Brussels, Belgium), Hamburg International Music Festival, (Germany), Festival Mixtur (Barcelona, Spain), MUSICON (Durham, U.K.), and Resonant Bodies (New York City, U.S.A.) In the Stuttgart area, festivals include Musik am 13., Südseite Nachts, Klangraum, Sommer in Stuttgart, Konzertreihe für aktuelle Musik, tonArt (Esslingen a. N.), musica nova (Reutlingen), Zeitgenuss (Karlsruhe), and Opernfestspiele Heidenheim. Finn is a two-time winner of an interpretation prize at the International Stockhausen Concerts and Courses (Kürten, Germany) and was awarded a prize in the Karlsruher Wettbewerb für die Interpretation zeitgenössischer Musik 2014.
Highlights from the 2018-2019 season include the German premiere of Beat Furrer’s a sei voci with Voces Suaves (Basel) as part of the Staatsoper Unter den Linden’s Barocktage 2018 (Pierre Boulez Saal, Berlin); directing and performing with her ensemble ExVoCo in the Klangraum Festival (Stuttgart); and creating the role “Spider Woman” in the world premiere of Thierry Pécou’s staged Nahasdzáán: A Navajo Oratorio (Rouen, France). This season, Finn will also teach and perform as a guest lecturer at the Interpretation and Performance Practice Days in Saarbrücken (Germany), as well as work with students at the University of Bristol. Upcoming recording releases include Christopher Trapani’s Waterlines with Ictus; current collaborations include a new multimedia work by Anthony R. Green for her duo NOISE-BRIDGE.
In addition to her career as a professional singer, Finn is also an active poet. Composer Matt Aelmore set her poetry in the five-movement Pierrot Opera, and she collaborated with Chicago-based composer Christopher Fisher-Lochhead on his piece Tandem, written for NOISE-BRIDGE. For more information about Finn’s projects in music and poetry, please visit Passion-Flowers. For her rants about music, poetry, and aesthetics, please visit her blog: The Single Artificer.
Finn also serves at the Managing Director of the Hampsong Foundation (http://hampsongfoundation.org). Past work with the Hampsong Foundation include the radio series Song: Mirror of the World and the Song of America radio series, both syndicated through WFMT Chicago, among other projects.
A native of Kennett Square, Pennsylvania, she is a graduate of Staatliche Hochschule für Musik und Darstellende Kunst Stuttgart. Finn is also a graduate of the Manhattan School of Music’s Contemporary Performance Program, where she studied with Lucy Shelton. Finn holds a Master of Music in Voice from Southern Methodist University (Dallas, Texas), where she studied with Joan Heller, and a Bachelor of Arts in Music with a minor in Modern Languages & Linguistics from UMBC (University of Maryland Baltimore County). She currently resides in Stuttgart, Germany, where she sits on the Music Advisory Board for Kunstraum34 (http://kunstraum34.de) and is actively involved with the Stuttgarter Kollektiv für aktuelle Musik (http://skam.io).