Announcing JACK’s Inaugural JACK Studio Artists
After receiving 443 applications from 34 states across the United States and 44 countries around the world, we are thrilled to announce the inaugural JACK Studio (formerly Fulcrum Project) artists: Eduardo Aguilar (Mexico), Khyam Allami (Iraq/United Kingdom), inti figgis-vizueta (United States), Brittany J. Green (United States), Elliot Reed (United States), and Olivia Shortt (Canada).
Each artist will receive $5,000, workshops, recording sessions, and performances with all travel expenses covered. A concert of JACK Studio works will be presented by Kaufman Music Center on May 2, 2020 as part of the 10th season of Ecstatic Music at Merkin Hall. Throughout the process, JACK will help pair artists with mentors for additional guidance and inspiration.
JACK Studio is made possible with generous support from the Adele and John Gray Endowment Fund, Anthony B. Creamer III, Peter Pohly, Elena Siyanko, John White, and a 2019 Avery Fisher Career Grant. JACK is also deeply grateful for our institutional partners, who make this possible through general operating support.
Meet the Artists
Eduardo Aguilar was born in 1991 in the town of Ocotlán de Morelos in the state of Oaxaca, Mexico. He studied composition at the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM), where he was supported by the PUIC, a scholarship system for indigenous students and members of original towns. His thesis "Self-reflection" was distinguished with honors in 2018, in which Eduardo investigates his own creative process addressing issues around concepts of idea, imagination, perception, representation, thought, design, and reality. Pictorial scores, a black umbrella, percussion machines, paper, bags, or instructions for musicians to build sculptures with their instruments are elements that appear in his compositions. He has expanded his musical practice to create audiovisual projects, from videos and documentaries to GIF collages. In his works one encounters scripts, poems, graphics, or instructions to recite text. Recent multidisciplinary projects involve: poetry and graphics; geophysics and performance; history, scene, dance, and music; poly-sensorial sculptures and spaces; humor and text.
Khyam Allami is a multi-instrumentalist musician and composer whose multi-faceted work navigates a progressive approach towards Arabic music, with a focus on its musical system of maqām. Born in 1981 in Damascus, Syria to Iraqi parents and raised in London from the age of 9, he has straddled a distinctive path from young violinist, to rock drummer, to oud player, and much more. Since the release of his 2011 debut solo oud album Resonance/Dissonance, he has performed continuously at venues and festivals across Europe and the Arab world. He holds a BA and Masters in Ethnomusicology from SOAS, University of London, has composed for theatre, film, and dance, and founded the independent label Nawa Recordings. Currently he is undertaking a PhD in composition at the Royal Birmingham Conservatoire (UK), while working on various projects including his second multipart solo album Kawalees.
inti figgis-vizueta (b. 1993) is a Brooklyn-based composer whose music focuses on combinations of various notational schemata, disparate and overlaid sonic plans, and collaborative unlearning of dominant vernaculars. She/they often write magically real musics through the lens of personal identities, braiding a childhood of overlapping immigrant communities and Black-founded Freedom schools—in Chocolate City (DC)—with Andean heritage and a deep connection to land(s). Reviewers say her music constantly toes the line between "all turbulence" and "quietly focused" (National Sawdust Log). inti has most recently been named one of JACK Quartet's inaugural JACK Studio artists; won the 2019 Hildegard Competition from National Sawdust, which culminated in the commission and premiere of Openwork, Knotted object // Trellis in bloom // lightning ache; been featured in the 2019 Underwood New Music Readings, which included the American Composer's Orchestra reading Symphony for the Body; and participated in the 2019 Mizzou International Composer's Festival, which featured Alarm Will Sound premiering Primavera Crown. inti loves reading poetry, particularly Danez Smith and Joy Harjo. She also curates for score follower, an online archive championing universal access to contemporary musics. inti honors her Quechua grandmother, who was the only woman butcher on the whole plaza central and used to fight men with a machete.
Described by Chicago Classical Review as “cinematic in the best sense” and “searing,” Brittany J. Green’s (born 1991) music is centered around facilitating collaborative, intimate musical spaces that ignite visceral responses. The intersection between sound, movement, and text serves as the focal point of these musical spaces, often questioning and redefining the relationships between these elements. Green’s music has been featured at New York City Electronic Music Festival, SPLICE Institute, Chicago Impromptu Fest, and West Fork New Music Festival. Recent work includes collaborations with Elizabeth A. Baker, Crossing Borders Music, the Margins Guitar Collective, and a residency with the Young Composers Project. Brittany will begin doctoral studies as a Dean’s Graduate Fellow at Duke University in fall 2019 and holds degrees from the University of North Carolina at Pembroke and East Carolina University.
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Elliot Reed is a Los Angeles-based performance artist designing conflict systems with bodies in time. His work has shown at The Getty Museum, Dorothy Chandler Pavilion, Commonwealth and Council, Residency Inglewood, The Broad Museum, Geffen Contemporary at MOCA, OUE Skyspace, The Hammer Museum, University of Chicago, University of Southern California, and UCLA, in addition to giving artist lectures at the School of The Art Institute of Chicago, University of Minnesota, Macalester College, and teaching a performance studies and sound course January 2019 at California Institute of the Arts (CalArts). Recent projects include CURB ALERT!, an improvised performance with hired actors from Craigslist in Austin Texas; America's Procession, a sequential dance co-choreographed with Elliot's deceased great grandmother; and international performances in Tokyo, Osaka, London, Berlin, Paris, and Mexico City. In 2019, he received the Los Angeles Rema Hort Mann emerging artist grant, and a danceWEB scholarship for ImPulsTanz performing arts festival in Vienna.
Olivia Shortt (she/her/hers: Anishinaabe from Nipissing First Nation) is a Tkarón:to-based multi-disciplinary artist who works as a saxophonist and multi-instrumentalist, improviser, composer, sound designer, theatre artist, teacher, activist, curator, and producer. She's performed in a variety of places and venues found up, down and all-around. She had her Australian debut in 2017 performing new works in Melbourne, her Lincoln Center debut performing with the International Contemporary Ensemble, her film debut acting and playing saxophone in acclaimed filmmaker Atom Egoyan’s upcoming film Guest of Honour, and recorded an album two kilometres underground with her duo Stereoscope in the SnoLAB (a Neutrino Lab in Northern Ontario, Canada). Her own performance-art-storytelling-work has been featured multiple times at Native Earth's Performing Arts' Weesageechak Festival in Toronto, Canada. As an activist, she works in a number of capacities as a consultant, and is an alumnus of the 2018 cohort of the artEquity facilitator training program (New Orleans), as well as a member of the 2019 cohort of the Toronto Arts Council’s Leaders Lab and was an organizer and co-founder of the Toronto Creative Music Lab (TCML).