“More than Meets the Ear: An Account of the Shared (Ac)counts of Cage and Stravinsky” | Kay Festa | TDR (59-2, Summer 2015), MIT Press


Another publication related to Vesna’s Fall: “More than Meets the Ear: An Account of the Shared (Ac)counts of Cage and Stravinsky” written by Kay Festa has been published in TDR (MIT Press). This paper is based on a collective research we did on Stravinsky and Nijinsky when making our dance piece. On the surface it investigates two topics of concern for the modernist dance-music nexus:

(1) The secret connection between Cage and Stravinsky. Despite Cage’s pronounced preference for Schoenberg over Stravinsky, the procedure the latter used to create RoS in 1913 was surprisingly similar to the method of rhythmic structure Cage would develop thirty years later. Both were based on the act of “counting” structures devoid of content, a similarity derived from the two composers’ concern to account for dance.

(2) The not-so-secret repression of dance (choreographers) by music (composers). The standard discourse of modernism, fabricated mostly through the eloquence of composers like Stravinsky or Cage, has tended to silence the decisive role dance/choreography played in its formulation. There is thus a conflict between the composers’ system of counts and their accounts.

But actually the paper wants to be a sort of disguised credo for what we did in Vesna’s Fall.


House Music | June 12 | CARPA4, Helsinki


No Collective is presenting HOUSE MUSIC, in collaboration with Lindsey Drury and Johanna Gilje, at the fourth Colloquium on Artistic Research in Performing Arts (On “The Non-Human and the Inhuman in Performing -Arts-Bodies, Organisms and Objects in Conflict”) held at the Theatre Academy of the University of the Arts, in Helsinki. The performance will start at 11:15AM, and last about an hour. This will be the second performance of the piece we presented last year in Berlin, and we’re also expected to say something smart-ish about the piece before or after or during the piece. So if you are anywhere near it would be great to see you there.

House Music
by No Collective and Lindsey Drury
June 12, 2015, 11:15-12:15
Theatre Academy of the University of the Arts, Helsinki
[Part of Colloquium on Artistic Research in Performing Arts 4]
Performed by Johanna Gilje, Lindsey Drury, Kay Festa, and You Nakai

Vesna’s Fall | April 26 | Queens Museum


No Collective and Lindsey Drury, along with dancers Kaia Gilje, Paige Fredlund, Molly Schaffner, Laura Bartczak, and Katelyn Hales, are going to present the final version of Vesna’s Fall at the Queens Museum on April 26, 2015. The performance starts from 4pm, but there is also going to be a workshop for a limited number of people from 2 to 3:30pm. We’ve always thought that those remnant towers from the NY World’s Fair 50 years ago look like massive versions of the contraptions the dancers wear, and so I wanted to somehow have people+contraptions jump from the top and dance while falling down (which partially accounts for the ‘Fall’ in the title). That was impossible to do, but the Queens Museum is right nearby, so the location is perfect, and so is the space. We’ve presented the piece several times last year, but we are going to recreate most things from scratch, so it is going to be very different and much better.


Vesna’s Fall
by No Collective and Lindsey Drury

April 26, 2015, 4-5pm
Queens Museum


It is always difficult to know the dancer from the dance. By physically separating the two, Vesna’s Fall seeks to reinvent the problem. Each dancer wears a 14-foot movable curtained room that isolates her, extends her body, amplifies her movement, and blocks her view. Unable to see one another, the dancers attempt to coordinate the work using whatever means available, starting with their voices. Each audience member can choose what to see and from where. But watching one dancer always precludes seeing everybody and everything else. In this way, the work seeks to reveal the underlying condition of bodies that cuts across the division between performers and viewers, impeding them both from seeing the whole.

Performed by Lindsey Drury, Paige Fredlund, Kaia Gilje, Molly Schaffner, and perhaps You Nakai. Assisted by Laura Bartczak and Katelyn Hales.


WORKSHOP taught by Paige Fredlund with Kaia Gilje and Lindsey Drury, prior to performance from 2-3:30pm

*registration required https://www.eventbrite.com/e/sacrificial-practice-counting-while-dancing-while-being-counted-for-dancing-tickets-16389168444

Max Number of Participants: 20.

Workshop is free but registration required through the above eventbrite page or by emailing: lindsey@drearysomebody.com


This performance is made possible by the Queens Council on the Arts with public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council.

House Music No.2: Full House | July 24 | “‘What is Experimental Music?’ Part 2″ Panoply Performance Lab (Brooklyn)


No Collective is presenting a new work called House Music No.2: Full House at the concert “What is Experimental Music? Part 2″ which consists in squeezing an ad-hoc orchestra of various musicians into the 20 x 20 venue of Panoply Performance Laboratory and seeing what happens. This is our second work to be hosted at the great Brooklyn venue, following last summer’s BIPAF by No Collective during Brooklyn International Performance Art Festival. We’re still looking for performers so if you are interested please contact me at your earliest convenience. We’re also looking for audience members so if you feel shy about performing, just join the concert as an audience (anything to fill up the space). We start around 9pm.


Call for Performers: Squeezing an orchestra into Panoply Performance Laboratory

No Collective is recruiting performers for a new piece to be performed at the “What is Experimental Music?” concert at Panoply Performance Laboratory on July 25. This piece will be an intervention into the often-taken-for-granted physical relationship between the magnitude of the bodies of performers+instrument and the space of performance in music, with an aim to observe the effects of this contrivance on the performance of music as well as for the listening to it.

The idea is simple: the piece consists in squeezing an ad-hoc “orchestra” of musicians into the small venue of Panoply Performance Laboratory. Performers will stand-by outside the venue, and one by one enter the space and join the performance until the venue is completely and extraordinarily packed. The music will be “row row row your boat” (we’ll be playing in C) performed in rounds over and over again (we made this choice since the piece had to be something that, a) everybody knows, b) is easy to play/sing/whistle, and yet c) when played by many at the same time, doesn’t simply turn into a unison sing-along–good thing about “row row row your boat” is that it can be sung as a round, and can therefore create layers pretty easily). Instruments used by players can be of any kind, as long as it is (more or less) pitched and portable/movable.

The evening begins at 8pm, and No Collective will be sandwiched between Tom Hamilton who goes first, and Al Margolis who goes after us. We will start around 9pm and go on for about 40 mins or so (but you can choose at which point you want to enter the room–if you don’t want to do much, you can just join after 30 mins, for instance). There will be no rehearsals. All that is necessary for you is to decide on your instrument, go through the song/passage on your own before the show, and get to the venue on time.

This particular series at Panoply Lab, curated by composer Brian McCorkle, attempts to ask, in a quite literal manner (always a good thing), “what is ‘experimental music’?” It’s an obvious and therefore interesting problematic and has a lot of potential to excavate and examine the discursive platform that supports what many of us do and how we talk about what we do (perhaps simply for a lack of a better term?). In a way, we have decided to stay true to the spirit of the project by taking the concept of “experimental” quite straightforwardly: hence the piece will be an experiment in what happens to the experience of live music when it faces an extreme quantity of bodies within an extreme lack of space. There will be a discussion on the available natures of “experimental music” following all the performances, so if you are interested please stay for that as well.

If you are interested, please contact: you@nocollective.com

We would very much appreciate it if you could also pass the word around if you know of any person who you think would be an asset to the project. We want to get people who will be both interested in the concept and interesting as performers.

Thank you, and we look very forward to having you in the piece.

“More than Meets the Ear: An Account on the Shared Ac(counts) of Cage and Stravinsky” | April 23 | Performatica Festival


Following the performance of Vesna’s Fall, Kay Festa is ‘performing’ (with a little help from her friends) a paper entitled “More than Meets the Ear: An Account on the Shared Ac(counts) of Cage and Stravinsky,” which brings together some of the findings and insights that were accumulated during the production of Vesna’s Fall. The presentation will take place at the ‘Agora’ building inside Universidad de las Americas, from 3:15pm on April 23. The abstract of the paper is as follows:


More than Meets the Ear: An Account on the Shared Ac(counts) of Cage and Stravinsky

Kay Festa

John Cage has recounted his decision to study with Schoenberg as a choice won over Stravinsky: “Schoenberg was approaching sixty when I became one of his students in 1933. At the time what one did was to choose between Stravinsky and Schoenberg.“ The consequence of that choice, as well as the mutual indifference between Cage and Stravinsky is well known. But there is more than meets the eye, or the ear. As recent studies have shown, Stravinsky used a systematic methodology to generate the complex rhythmic structure of Le Sacre du printemps, and it was this structure underlying the distribution of rhythms that Nijinsky based his choreography upon. Thus, when the noisy audience reaction reached the height of masking the music at the premiere of Le Sacre in 1913, Nijinsky could shout out the counts from the wings to convey the necessary structure to his dancers who could no longer hear the orchestra. In this way, the relationship between dance and music in Le Sacre proves to be an important precursor for the collaboration between Cage and Cunningham. By further extending this comparison to Stravinsky’s ‘block form’ and Cage’s ‘gamut technique,’ this paper analyzes the two composers’ similar focus on mechanical procedures to create empty structures which were then used to accommodate diverse ‘blocks’ of sound and rhythm. This approach is seen as rooted in a kindred modernist interest for a super-sensorial platform upon which individual sensorial materials can be positioned and maneuvered—a proximity mediated by music’s strong connection to dance, which was never shared by Cage’s teacher Schoenberg.

Vesna’s Fall | April 23 & 24 | Performatica Festival & Procession to the Zocalo, Cholula, Mexico


No Collective is presenting Vesna’s Fall for the third time in Puebla, Mexico. There will be two performances, one on April 23 (tomorrow) at the campus of Universidad de las Americas from 2pm, as part of the Performatica Festival, and a second one on April 24 in the form of an uncanny procession throughout the streets of the town of Cholula that will arrive to the Zocalo (main plaza) around 7pm. For this rendition, Our formidable dancers Laura Bartczak, Paige Fredlund, Kaia Gilje, Katelyn Hales, and Molly Schaffner will be joined by Banda Flor de Capomo

Ellen C. Covito: Percussions/Repercussions [The (First) Room] | April 12 | The Woods Cooperative

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No Collective is co-hosting with Dreary Somebody the second concert of the Argentinian Composer Ellen C. Covito in New York this coming Saturday, April 12, from 8pm at the Woods Cooperative in Ridgewood, Queens. This will also be the first event of our curatorial series “The Room” which we are organizing.


Ellen C. Covito: Percussions/Repercussions
by Luis Tabuenca and Devika Wickremesinghe

April 12th, 8pm
The Woods Cooperative
1826 Palmetto Street #1 Ridgewood NY
(M train to Seneca or L train to Myrtle/Wykoff)
$10 suggested donation

Ellen C. Covito returns to New York with an evening of entirely new works for percussion and other sounding bodies. Coupling two virtuosos, percussionist Luis Tabuenca and dance artist Devika Wickremesinghe, this concert focuses on the available percussions and repercussions between two (or more) sounding bodies under the influence of seen and unseen forces. Covito’s new works take cues from Pierre Schaeffer’s notion of ‘acousmatic’ (the separation of sound from the sounding body), and the mediational effect of magnetic forces (tape, microphone and loudspeaker) that was crucial to the acousmatic disembodiment of sound. To these references, Covito adds idiosyncratic twists to formulate highly inventive, lucid and humorous ways that expand the celebrated approach of her ‘Composed Improvisations.’ This evening will present an exciting new phase not only for Covito, but for all art forms that entail composition and improvisation of sounding bodies–from music to dance, and beyond.



Vesna’s Fall | April 5 | {Re}HAPPENING Festival, Black Mountain College

No Collective is presenting Vesna’s Fall made in collaboration with choreographer Lindsey Drury, at the former Black Mountain College site this coming Saturday April 5 (from 6pm), as a part of the {Re}HAPPENING Festival. This is the second instantiation of our work, following the first performance at Judson Church in February, but we have completely reconstructed the piece to fit the 587 acres outdoor space with a big lake in the middle and 500 expected audience roaming around. It will also go on for 2 hours or so. Hope you can come to North Carolina!
Vesna’s Fall
by No Collective and Lindsey Drury
Dancers:  Laura Bartczak, Paige Fredlund, Kaia Gilje, Katelyn Hales, and Molly Schaffner
This work explores new ways to relate movement and sound within and against a highly-charged problematics of history and historization. We acknowledge the importance of the first Happening at BMC, but also question its basic premises: the setting of a singular time (clocked time brackets) and space (the Dining Hall) as the common denominator of the various happenstances. Our work will instead present a distribution of diverse events that relies neither on a singular time nor space, but rather on the inflections of velocities (time-space) accorded to each dancer through her proximity (‘gravity’) to the other dancers who count her move in her stead. Gravity of numbers is only put to an end by the number of gravities.

‘BIPAF’ by No Collective | July 28 | BIPAF, Brooklyn


No Collective will perform a new work titled “BIPAF” at the Brooklyn International Performance Art Festival on July 28, 16:00-17:00, at The Woods Cooperative and Panoply Performance Laboratory. This performance will take place in the two venues simultaneously, and the audience must decide which one to attend.


BIPAF by No Collective is a festival within a festival, a performance within a performance, a point on a scale which wishes nevertheless to act as a different whole scale. As such it will present a perturbation of sorts.

No Collective (Natalie Bays, Vadim Pevzner, Josef Easeman, You Nakai, et al.) is a social collective that bases its works around investigating micro-cultures and introducing humorous artwork to a mass of seemingly un-interested viewers. It also makes music performances which explore and problematize both the conceptual and material infrastructures of music and performance. Since its inception circa 2007, members of No Collective have varied both in quantity and quality according to each works’ objective and situational conditions. By using familiarity and stereotypes, and often games, No Collective is keen to widen the understanding of contemporary art mediums and open the mind to subjects that are close to home. Most recent works include Concertos No.4 (National Museum of Modern Art, Tokyo, 2012), a concert piece performed with ball-shaped speakers operated by blind performers in a completely darkened 16,000 square feet performance space, The Culture Show: Episode 4 The Cultural Wasteland Of London (Aired at LUPA 17, London, 2013), a physical performance highlighting cultural dispersion across London and the suburbs, and All Your Canals are Belong to Us (2012), a video piece which critically examines the hidden (political as well as cultural) relationship between the Panama Canal and video games (http://vimeo.com/25555106).