by Mike Telin
What is a percussionist? What is a woman? These two questions will be examined on Friday, January 25 at Glo Cleveland, when Fresh Perspectives presents “I Am,” a celebration of identity through art and music. The evening will feature the music of percussionist/composer Sarah Hennies, including the Ohio premiere of her groundbreaking work Contralto, for video, strings, and percussion. The work features a cast of transgender women vocalizing over a live musical score.
The program will also include Hennies’ Everything Else for four or more performers and Settle for vibraphone (two players), performed by Hennies and Justin Gunter. Attendees can enjoy a new generative video installation by Brooklyn-based Natalie Braginsky and a poetry bar hosted by Cleveland-based poets, offering made-to-order poems you get to take home. Food and drinks are available. Tickets are available at the door on a sliding scale of $5 to $15. Doors open at 6:30 pm — 2460 Lakeside Avenue, Cleveland.
On her website, Hennies writes that Contralto — “defined in musical terms as ‘the lowest female singing voice’ — uses the sound of trans women’s voices to explore transfeminine identity from the inside and examines the intimate and peculiar relationship between gender and sound.” Click here to view a four-minute trailer.