Charmaine Lee, Victoria Shen
For her second residency performance, 2019 Artist-In-Residence Charmaine Lee premieres “Laminals II”, the second of three movements for a new long-form piece for solo voice. With particular attention given to amplification and physical technique, this movement further examines the possibilities of augmentation, distortion, and transformation of the human voice. In collaboration with visual and sound artist Victoria Shen, site-specific structures, microphones, and speakers organized in various acoustic and amplified environments are utilized in the continued exploration of the voice as a medium for organic and synthetic sound.
The solo piece is followed by a duo with Victoria in a collaboration highlighting their individual practices of physicality (of voice, body, and technology) in relation to performance and sound.
Charmaine Lee is a New York-based vocalist. Her music is predominantly improvised, favoring a uniquely personal approach to vocal expression concerned with spontaneity, playfulness, and risk-taking. Beyond extended vocal technique, Charmaine uses amplification, electroacoustic feedback, and microphones to augment and distort the voice. She has performed with leading improvisers Nate Wooley, id m theft able, and Joe Morris, and maintains ongoing collaborations with contemporaries Lester St. Louis, Conrad Tao, Zach Rowden, and Leila Bordreuil. She has performed at the Met Breuer, ISSUE Project Room, Roulette, the Stone, the Kitchen, and MoMA PS1. As a composer, Charmaine has been commissioned by the Wet Ink Ensemble (2018) and Spektral Quartet (2018). She is currently an Artist-in-Residence at ISSUE Project Room (2019).
Victoria Shen is a musician, visual artist, and instrument maker native to San Francisco and working out of New England. Shen's sound practice is concerned with the spatiality/physicality of sound and its relationship to the human body. Shen’s music floods its location acting as a form of sculpture. Her music features analog modular synthesizers (Flower Electronics), contact microphones, and other self-built electronics. These instruments are designed to electronically create chaotic systems, systems which are highly sensitive to small changes in their initial parameters. The resulting music eschews conventions in harmony and rhythm in favor of the extreme textures and gestural tones. Shen's multidisciplinary visual work operates within the space where science, technology, craft, and art history overlap. Shen has performed solo across North America, Japan, Mexico and Western Europe as Victoria Shen and Evicshen and as half of the duo TRIM in North America and the UK. She has also been an artist in residence at Elektronmusikstudion EMS Stockholm, Sweden and WORM Rotterdam Netherlands.