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Digital Culture Speaker Series: Composing Jewish — An Artist Talk

This event last occurred Nov. 5, 2020

This event has been moved online. Join the discussion on YouTube:


Composing Jewish — An Artist Talk // Lainie Fefferman

Abstract: Composer/performer/experimenter Lainie Fefferman will discuss the ways in which her feminism and her Judaism have been provocation and inspiration in her recent work. She will focus in on three pieces as examples and points of departure: "Tekiah," a liturgical work for bagpipe and electronics; "Here I Am," an oratorio in 9 movements; and "White Fire," a song cycle as feminist meditation on her Jewish heritage through processed vocals and live electronics. She will discuss the generative concepts of these works, as well as the techniques and technologies deployed in the conception, composition, performance and recording of each. She will also discuss performance space / listening space and context as they relate to audience perception and reception of political and/or religious work.

"Tekiah" was written for bagpiper Matthew Welch; it premiered as a at the Floating Points Festival at Issue Project Room in Brooklyn in 2010. "Here I Am" was written for NEWSPEAK and vocalists Mellissa Hughes, Martha Cluver and Caroline Shaw, and revised for TRANSIT Ensemble, with additional vocals by Meaghan Burke and Charlotte Mundy; it premiered at Roulette in Brooklyn in 2014 and was recorded for upcoming album release in 2019. "White Fire" is a solo performance project and was commissioned by Experiments in Opera for their "Story Binge" series in 2016; it was further expanded and developed as a multichannel work for audience smartphones as part of Fefferman's residency at Nokia Bell Labs during the 2018/2019 season.

Bio: Lainie Fefferman is a composer, performer and experimenter in the performative application of emergent music technologies. Her most recent commissions have been from Tenth Intervention, So Percussion, Make Music NY, Experiments in Opera, ETHEL, Kathleen Supové, TILT Brass, James Moore, Eleonore Oppenheim, JACK Quartet and Dither. Her one-woman voice and electronics feminist song performance project "White Fire," an electroacoustic meditation on the heroines of the Hebrew Bible, premiered at Merkin Hall in 2016 and she has been touring it internationally ever since. She is a co-founder and director of New Music Gathering, an annual conference/festival hybrid event for the international New Music Community. She got her doctorate in composition from Princeton University and is a programming/performing member of Princeton-based laptop ensemble Sideband. She is currently a professor of Music & Technology at Stevens Institute of Technology and recently concluded her time as artist in residence at Nokia Bell Labs. For more info, visit:


For More Information Contact:

Kayla Elizondo-Núñez
School of Arts, Media and Engineering