Alfred Summer Arts Festival
Making Meaning in an Uncertain World
Alfred University is piloting a unique summer festival for interdisciplinary collaboration July 10th-16th. It is designed as a creative incubator for you to interact with other artists in a masterclass setting.
Directed by Stanzi Vaubel, PhD, of The Indeterminacy Festival, the intention is to create opportunities to encounter the methodologies of other practitioners and discover how these methods might inform your work. Expect to bring your own creative practice into this forum of choreographers, dancers, writers, composers, musicians, and visual artists and discover how to “re-discipline” what you know within this unique festival forum.
Located in the countryside setting of Western New York you will cross-pollinate with other creatives more informally in our residential housing and over locally catered meals. Look forward to spending the week immersed in expanding your craft, attending special nightly events in a salon setting, all while preparing to make, share or perform your discoveries at the end of the week’s festivities.
We look forward to seeing you this summer!
Stanzi Vaubel, PhD
Director, Alfred Summer Arts Festival
8am-10am Rhythm, Movement, and Voice workshop with Sandy Silva
10am-1pm: Morning Masterclasses
2pm-5pm: Afternoon Masterclasses
7pm-10pm: Evening Salons
Finale Events: July 15 + 16
*Select from Sandy Silva's early morning intensive + one morning + one afternoon masterclass for a total fee of $500. Evening activities included. Some events ticketed separately.
Sandy Silva // Rhythm, Movement, and Voice
Sandy Silva was among the first to combine body percussion techniques and contemporary movement with percussive dance. Her work stands at the vanguard of contemporary artistry in traditional music and dance. Over the past three decades, Sandy has developed a personal vocabulary of movement and sound based on the percussive dance practices of Hungary, Appalachia, Cape Breton and Andalusia, and the idioms of circus, contemporary dance, and theatre. This class will connect voice, movement and percussion to explore different ways we can perceive, organize, and shape music through our bodies. Visual and sonic body music language will be introduced, enabling us to inhabit musical concepts drawing from intercultural rhythmic dance/vocal forms.
Kathy Kennedy // Low-Watt Radio and Echolocation
Learn to explore and even navigate our environment through sound. Echolocation is a process of determining where objects are in a space, by listening to their sonic reverberations. We will begin by exploring our voices and how sound is made in our bodies, and then outdoors, learning about how sound travels differently in unique spaces. This kind of attention to our environment through our voices allows for a new kind of spatial orientation. Gradually we will develop our own sound maps and add devices such as low-watt radio and geolocation to enhance this inquiry. All levels; beginners encouraged.
George Ferrandi // Still A Ray
sculpture / performance / collaboration
Participants in each three-hour session will fabricate and decorate an elegant paper lantern using processes from a traditional Japanese parade-sculpture technique called Nebuta. This workshop will teach methods for building the wire frame and applying the delicate washi paper. Together we’ll divine a lovely, luminescent presence in the festival parade. All levels; no background necessary.
Melanie Aceto // Animating Materials
How do we transform objects such as rope, water or 3,000 square feet of plastic into animated materials that communicate meaning, message, and beauty? In this workshop participants will learn how to "brainstorm" with materials to reveal their meaning making potential. We will start by getting to know our materials and use this discovery to inspire our relationship to movement. A background in movement is not necessary. All levels; beginners encouraged.
William Contino // Experimental Printmaking
Full-Day, Full-Week Intensive Workshop*
Focused on the development of images, utilizing the media of print, both traditional and digital, we will work with the tools, materials and processes that will open new possibilities into the creation of personal imagery. We will start in the print shop working with multiple methods of transfer, using traditional techniques and experimental forms to arrive at images. We will then move these images to a digital form, where editing and expanding with the aid of computer software and digital printing can advance these images to new, exciting, and perhaps unrealized results. All levels; beginners encouraged. *Workshop requires full 5 days of participation in both Morning and Afternoon workshop sessions.
George Ferrandi // Be Coming small Birds
sculpture / performance / collaboration
Using a gorgeous illuminated-paper technique traditional to Japanese parade sculpture, each participant in Be Coming small Birds will fabricate one small bird structure--just large enough to rest on your head! Build a bouquet of Warblers, Waxwings and other Alfred-indigenous passerines! This workshop will teach the traditional “Nebuta” methods for building the wire frame, applying washi paper, patterning with a wax resist, and (time permitting) pigmenting with water soluble dyes. The resulting spectacular lantern sculptures can be carried or worn in the festival parade. All levels; no background necessary.
Jonathan Golove // Learning to Play Experimental Instruments
This workshop will be held in Collaboration with: Matias Homar and Bill Sack.
Explore new approaches to music making. Participants will be introduced to tools and devices that have been designed by artists and composers to facilitate discovery of sounds free from pre-existing rules and techniques. These novel instruments will help enhance a sense of play and reward individual and collective creativity. Composers and sound engineers experienced in experimentation will lead participants in a week of musical exploration from experimenting with pre-existing instruments, to building an instrument, to an end of the week ensemble performance. No background or experience necessary, beginners and non-musical participants welcome.
Bill Gilbert // Walking Constellation Maps
In the attempt to connect earth and sky we will bring the constellation Cignus the Swan down from its place flying the Milky Way in the night sky and walk it onto the ground in Alfred, NY. As we progress along our path, we will document each star point in a photograph, a journal entry, and a gathered sample material/object. After successfully locating each star point, we will return to campus to construct a presentation of the walk based in a compilation of the photographs and journal entries and a physical rendering of the constellation using our materials/objects to mark the various star points. All are welcome.
Vincenzo Di Nicola // The Manifesto in the 21st Century
Since the 19th century, the manifesto has been a vehicle for protest in the form of an announcement – a manifesto – literally, a “showing” from the Italian – implicitly or explicitly of a rupture/hiatus and a call for change. We will explore the manifesto in art (Marinetti’s Futurist Manifesto), in politics (Marx & Engels’ Communist Manifesto vs. Mussolini’s Fascist Manifesto), and in culture (Di Nicola’s Slow Thought Manifesto) and therapy (Di Nicola’s Slow Therapy) in the spirit of community and conviviality (Illich). In the workshop component of these explorations, participants will be tasked with writing their own manifesto to be shared by the end of the week.
Sunday July 10th
Opening Night Party
Hosted at the Cohen Center for the Arts, “The Cohen Barn” // Lantern making with George Ferrandi // Live Music by The Badgeman + Emerging Artists
Monday July 11th
Creating an Open System
7pm - 9pm
Hosted at Miller Performing Art Center with Festival Visiting and Emerging Artists
Tuesday July 12th
Commedia Dell’arte and Other Influences
Hosted at Susan Howell Hall with Jasmine Nagano (piano) and Ana Kim (cello)
Selections from the Light Matter Film Festival
Hosted at The Bandstand // Curated by James Hansen and Eric Souther
Wednesday July 13th
How to: Slow Down
Hosted at Miller Performing Arts Center // Music by Thelonius Garcia / Choreography by Melanie Aceto / Writing by Vincenzo Di Nicola / joined by emerging artists // Photo credit: Paul Hokanson, Continuum, choreography: Melanie Aceto, 2017
Thursday July 14th
A Letter from the Treetops + Dance Party
7pm - 10pm
Hosted at the Cohen Center for the Arts, “The Cohen Barn” // Performance and music by Jesse Chandler // Collaboration by visiting and emerging artists // Followed by: DJ set by John Lewis
Friday July 15th
Be Coming Birds
Hosted on Main Street followed by a performance at the Village Hall // Parade artwork designed by George Ferrandi / music composition by Kathy Kennedy / Village Hall choreography by Sandy Silva
Saturday July 16th
Making Meaning in an Uncertain World
Hosted at the Cohen Center for the Arts, “The Cohen Barn” // Choreography by Melanie Aceto / visual installation designed by Bill Gilbert / music by Jonathan Golove with Matias Homar and Bill Sacks / after show by emerging artists // Photo credit: Michael Mandolfo, Indeterminacy Festival 2019
Jesse Chandler grew up in the mountains of Woodstock, NY, where he absorbed the town’s rich and storied musical history. He studied classical and jazz piano and woodwinds from the age of 7 and received a bachelor’s degree in performance from the New School/Mannes College of Music in NYC.
He now lives in Denton, TX and plays with the acclaimed indie rock bands Midlake and Mercury Rev and has appeared on numerous recordings with musicians such as Norah Jones and Lucinda Williams. He has toured the world and shared stages with acts like Neil Young and Pearl Jam.
His solo project, Pneumatic Tubes, release their first album ‘Sunfrost’ in 2021, from which all proceeds went to a local charity. The 2nd Pneumatic Tubes album, ‘A Letter from TreeTops,’ is released in February 2022 on Ghost Box Records. A new Midlake album ‘For the Sake of Bethel Woods’ is released in March 2022 with a world tour to follow.
Jesse looks forward to collaborating with festival artists this summer at Alfred and is planning to record the follow up to ‘A Letter from TreeTops’ during his residency. Entitled Octopolis (named after the largest conglomeration of octopuses in the world) the album will be recorded with no overdubs, loosely inspired by the almost “alien” consciousness of the octopus.
Selected emerging artists will join us in Alfred from North America and Europe to teach classes, offer concerts, workshops, as well as create side-by-side with visiting artists and participants to collaborate on this year's festival.
Ben Zucker Composer; Musician; collaborating with: Anthony Braxton, Gareth Davis, Myra Melford, Karen Borca, The Crossing, The Vocal Constructivists, Rinde Eckert, and the San Francisco Choral Artists; compositions, awards, and performances with: Mivos Quartet, the Los Angeles Percussion Quartet, Khorikos, Ensemble Entropy, the San Francisco Contemporary Music Players, DOCNYC, the Darmstadt Fereinkurse, Art Omi, Trinity College Dublin, Nordic Percussion Festival, Ostrava New Music Days, Ear Taxi Festival, and the Banff Centre; solo albums with: Not Art Records, Dinzu Artefacts, Verz Imprint, and I Low You; teaching: Northwestern University doctoral candidate
Michaela Neild interdisciplinary artist, educator, and body-based researcher, University at Buffalo (BFA), currently graduate teaching fellow in Dance at The Ohio State University; artistic director: “Dancing Through Difficulty” offering integrated arts programming to adults 60 years and over, presented: American College Dance Association, The Graduate Theater Syndicate Colloquium, the Engaged Scholar Consortium; certified: Pilate’s instructor and somatic practitioner; trained and performed: Melanie Aceto Contemporary Dance, Anne Burnidge Dance, RK-Co Dance, and John Lehrer Dance Company.
Max Erwin Lecturer in the Department of Music Studies at the University of Malta; University of Leeds (PhD); funding: Leeds Anniversary Research Grant; publication: Cambridge University Press, Tempo, Music & Literature, Twentieth-Century Music, Perspectives of New Music, Revue belge de Musicologie, Nuove Musiche, and Cacophony; compositions performed in North America, Europe, and Australasia, and scored more than 30 film, TV, video game, commercial, and multimedia projects
Jeanne Côté Performer; composer; teacher at the Cooperative of Music Teachers of Montreal; McGill University (MA), Conservatory of Music of Montreal (BA); Music Competition Festival Sherbrooke, founding member of Quatuor Andara, summer tour in France; residencies in Portugal and Belgium to focus on the music of young Quebec composers.
Matias Homar Performer, teacher, composer; PhD, Composition at The University of Buffalo, UNLP, primary, high schools, workshops and courses for artists, member of Imaymana Dúo, research and premiers presented in Argentina, Cuba, the United States, Spain and Canada, currently developing interactive devices that make use of sensors to create and manipulate sound through body motion, in 2021 received Buffalo CSE Innovation Award
Thelonious Garcia Performer, teacher, composer, McGill University, BA, Piano Jazz Performance (2021), studied with pianist Marianne Trudel, Muriel Blaisse (France) and Menahem Presller (USA)
Dominic Giambra Freelance choreographer, performer, and dance instructor, trained at Configuration School of Ballet in Buffalo, NY. A member of MOVI Buffalo which brings together local teachers and dancers around a variety of genres. Creative research combines environmental science (BS) with ballet technique, utilizing ecological concepts to create choreographic art.
Jasmine Nagano Soloist: The Couer d’Alene and Washington-Idaho Symphonies, festivals: Bowdoin International Music Festival, Banff Piano Master Class, Beijing International Music Festival, and St. Lawrence String Quartet Chamber Music Seminar, staff pianist: Interlochen Arts Camp and Castleman Quartet Program, Bachelor of Music in Piano Performance from Northwestern University Bienen School of Music, Master of Music in Keyboard Collaborative Arts, University of Southern California Thornton School of Music
Ana Kim Performs on modern and historical instruments with ensembles including: the American Classical Orchestra and Boston Baroque, participated in festivals: Yellow Barn, Verbier Academy, Music@ Menlo, International Musicians Seminar at Prussia Cove, received Doctorate at the University of Southern California, studied Historical Performance at Juilliard, teachers include János Starker, Ralph Kirshbaum, Laurence Lesser, and Phoebe Carrai, teaching experience: Festival Catarina in Brazil, Pacific Union College, and currently with Browning School
Stanzi Vaubel, PhD, began her training as a classical cellist at The Juilliard Pre-College. She received her BA from Northwestern University, her MFA and PhD from The University at Buffalo in the Media Study Department while on teaching fellowship. She received a Fulbright Fellowship in 2019, allowing her to bring The Indeterminacy Festival to Canada. She has collaborated on projects at Robert Wilson's Watermill Center, and has performed at such venues such as Tanglewood, The Long House, and Carnegie Hall. She has worked as a producer for New York Public Radio and produced a series entitled "The Gift" for Chicago Public Radio (WBEZ). Her audio documentaries have been featured on WBEZ, BBC, and spotlighted by The Third Coast Audio Festival.
Her work has been commissioned by The Whitney Museum of American Art, The Burchfield Penney Arts Center, KANEKO, UnionDocs, Public Space One, and Free City Festival. During her time in Buffalo she created site-specific immersive productions, SITES DO THINGS TO PEOPLE (2015), EXCURSIONS INTO UNKNOWABLE WORLDS (2016) staged at the Hi-Temp Warehouse.
In 2016 she founded The Indeterminacy Festival focused on creating large-scale collaborative events, which trained participants how to “re-discipline” in the 21st Century. The festival has been hosted by The University at Buffalo, McGill University, Hallwalls Center Art Center, and forthcoming in 2022 with The University of Malta. IF has received external support from the Fulbright Foundation, New York Council for the Arts, Techne Institute, The Mark Diamond Research Fund, suoni per il popolo, and hosted at such venues as the grain silos at Silo City, Penn Dixie Fossil Park, Sala Rossa, KANEKO, The Burchfield Penney Arts Center, Public Space One, and The Free City Festival.
Past festivals include UNCERTAINTY (2017), EMERGENCE (2018), and PASTFUTURE/FUTUREPAST (2019) and CREATING AN OPEN SYSTEM (2020). During the pandemic year of 2021, Vaubel founded a Creative Development Program in collaboration with McGill University's Building 21 which introduced selected students to international artists and researchers in a bi-weekly seminar program. The festival will return in 2022 with RE-DISCIPLINING IN THE 21ST CENTURY.
Policies for our Summer Workshops can be found on our Alfred Summer Arts Workshop page.