Sep 15, 2023

6:30 (doors), 7:30 (performance) 

Ellen Arkbro: Sculptures

$25, free for Blank Forms members

Ellen Arkbro’s Sculptures is a major new work by the musician and composer, and a focused extension of her long-standing interests in tonality, temporality, and resonance. Presented at the fulcrum between concert performance and sound installation, the piece grows out of the Arkbro’s personal practice of diffusing sustained chords into canorous spaces and listening closely to the results. Using the pipe organ at the Church of St. Luke and St. Matthew, Arkbro will build lush, spatially-contingent textures inviting audience exploration and contemplation, capped by an extended, seated activation of the sonic environment.

For nearly ten years, Arkbro has been working with lengthy, careful, elegiac duration, a quality seen across compositions such as Listening (2017), originally presented as a twenty-six-day long outing at the Stockholm Concert Hall, and the hyper-minimalist CHORDS series (2019). Despite her works’ scale and precision, the result is rarely dry conceptualism, drawing from a vivid array of musical vocabularies—Arkbro’s studies in just intonation with La Monte Young, Marian Zazeela, and Jung Hee Choi; jazz and blues scales and pop modalities; electroacoustic music and sound synthesis. Across her work, Arkbro prompts an active form of listening: time slowly morphs harmony into a three-dimensional and tactile layer, giving way to subtle, free-flowing, and highly idiosyncratic psychoacoustic phenomena. 

Ellen Arkbro (b. 1990) is a composer, musician, and sound artist working with precision-tuned intervallic harmony and installation. Arkbro composes for acoustic instruments, synthetic sounds, and combinations of the two. She has presented her site-specific work at Barbican in London, Kölner Philharmonie, Serralves in Porto, Oude Kerk in Amsterdam, Silent Green in Berlin, Ina GRM in Paris, and Tempelaukkio Kirke in Helsinki. In all aspects of her practice, Arkbro focuses on the qualities of harmonic sound that reveal listening as an active process of creative participation, inviting the listener to gradually transform into the sound itself.

The main entrance is up five steps of stairs. Alternatively, arrangements can be made to access a side ramp after a single step. Once inside, the women's restroom is up three steps and the men's restroom is down a flight of stairs. Please be in touch with with access requests and we will do our best to accommodate.

This program is made possible with generous support from the Consulate General of Sweden, New York and the Swedish Arts Grant Committee.