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Performance for Sounders

April 6, 2pm3:30pm.

In conjunction with her solo exhibition, to reverberate tenderly, artist sonia louise davis invites musicians Rena Anakwe, Sarah Galdes, and Sugar Vendil to improvise with her three steel instruments, or sounders, for the second of two performances in the gallery space. Performers will use percussion, string, voice, and other experimental techniques to respond to the exhibition’s multi-sensory environment and davis’ large-scale mural, score for Queens Museum (2023).


davis’ custom sounders reference the organic swoops and geometric linework of the artist’s graphic notation, which is a recurring motif in her work across media. There are strings to be plucked or bowed; a conical bell shape that amplifies the voice; and several resonators, such as hollow tubing, rattles, and cymbal-like discs. While taking influence from free jazz, Guatemalan artist Joaquín Orellana’s custom marimbas, and West African instruments across history, davis’ vivid monochromatic instruments encourage performers to make an original, unexpected sound. For the artist, her sounders level the playing field towards a new kind of improvisation: if you create a never-before-seen instrument, then no one is an expert.


This performance will be followed by a talkback with the artist and collaborators.


RSVP ticket required.