Mar 3, 2022, 7:30pm

Judith Hamann + Nora Fulton


Composer and cellist Judith Hamann presents “Loss,” a composition that instructs the artist to hum beyond the limits of their vocal range. Written specifically for the artist by composer Sarah Hennies, “Loss” sets into motion an act of guaranteed failure. Deliberately challenging the boundaries of Hamann’s body and voice, the composition gestures toward the potentiality for futility, failure, and unbecoming to operate as methods in themselves. Featured in the artist’s recent release, Music for Cello and Humming (Blank Forms Editions, 2020), the piece is part of Hamann’s ongoing investigations into the acts of shaking and humming as sonic-corporeal expressions. Scholar and writer Nora Fulton will present a reading as part of the program.

Judith Hamann is a cellist, composer, and performer who, in their process-driven and embodied practice, considers the ways sound operates as a subject, object, and actant. Trained in contemporary classical performance, they frequently challenge the boundaries of their instruments, whether the cello, voice, or body, considering how sonic thresholds offer generative sites of instability and movement. Their practice frequently crosses disciplines, incorporating improvisation, field recording, electro-acoustics, performance, and site-specific response, and is often collaborative in nature. Hamann, who received a Doctor of Musical Arts from UC San Diego, trained with renowned cellists including Charles Curtis and Séverine Ballon, and has worked with artists including Éliane Radigue, Tashi Wada, and La Monte Young. In their recent research, Hamann examines the acts of shaking and humming as formal and intimate encounters; interrogates ‘collapse’ as a generative imaginary surface; and considers the ‘de-mastering’ of bodies, both human and non-human, in settler-colonial heritage instrumental practice and pedagogy.


Nora Fulton is a poet and PhD student, currently living in Montreal. She is pursuing her doctoral studies in the Department of English at Concordia University, and her research focuses on philosophy, trans theory, and poetics. She is the author of three books of poetry—Life Experience Coolant (Bookthug, 2013), Presence Detection System (Hiding Press, 2019), and her recent publication Thee Display (The Centre for Expanded Poetics & Anteism, 2021)—and has been published in Social TextHominternSome Magazine, and elsewhere. Additionally, she contributed liner notes to Judith Hamann’s recent solo albums, Shaking Studies (Blank Forms Editions, 2020) and Music for Cello and Humming (Blank Forms Editions, 2020).

This program is part of a three-night series of performances by Hamann, and is made possible by the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of the Office of the Governor and the New York State Legislature.