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Machine/Body: world inside a world (Muyassar Kurdi)

Saturday, March 31st 2018

Machine/Body: world inside a world

Muyassar writes:

"My current explorations in movement and sound have been involving homemade electronics, voice, movement, performance, and sculpture. One of my devices is microtonal and reacts to
light and movement so it functions as a body-theremin. It becomes a question of what is making the sound: my movements, environment, movements in the environment, or is it the machine? Is the sound making my movement? There is an in-between place of tension. I call these ongoing solo pieces Machine/Body. It represents nature and machine and how the two can coexist. I am interested in creating a cinematic performance, giving an offering to the community, and embodying sound while honoring the future and the ancient. With the microtonal sensor-technology I am currently using, I am able to connect the disciplines of dance and sound."


Muyassar Kurdi ​(b. 1989 in Chicago) is a New York City-based interdisciplinary artist. Her work encompasses sound, extended vocal technique, performance art, movement, photography, and film. She has toured extensively in the U.S. and throughout Europe. A versatile improviser, Muyassar has composed and performed music for voice, harmonium, piano, lyre, autoharp, and theremin in both solo and collaborative environments. She currently focuses her attention to interweaving homemade electronic instruments and sculpture into her vocal and dance performances, stirring a plethora of emotions from her audience members through vicious noise, ritualistic chants, and meditative movements.

Performance highlights include: The Rubin Museum of Art, Issue Project Room, Cafe OTO, Chicago Cultural Center, Center for Contemporary Art Laznia, Bond Chapel, Fridman Gallery, University Galleries, and Judson Memorial Church.

Recent collaborators include Daniel Carter, Diana Policarpo, Ka Baird, Tomomi Adachi, Arrington de Dionyso, Yasuno Miyauchi, Lucie Vitkova, Tyler Damon, and Patrick Holmes, among others.

WORKSHOP: Muyassar Kurdi

Monday, April 4th 2016

Muyassar Kurdi ​is a musician, performance artist, dancer, filmmaker and educator from Chicago, Illinois, and currently living, traveling, and performing in Europe.

Participants will be asked to contribute $15-25 in exchange for the 4 hour workshop taking place on Monday, April 4th, from 7-11pm at Panoply Performance Laboratory, 104 Meserole St, Brooklyn, NY 11206.

In performance, she explores the relationship between abstract sound and meta­primordial movement, obliquely confronting ideas of masculine subjugation by re­appropriating and then distorting hegemonically sexualised figurative motion and juxtaposing it with random, abrasive and jarring acoustic and electronic sound components along with wordless vocalisations. A joyfully self­exorcizing ritualist, Kurdi studied voice and dance with legendary vocalist, dancer and ECM recording artist Meredith Monk via The House Foundation for the Arts as well as learning Japanese dance tradition Butoh with Tadashi Endo, director of the Butoh Center MAMU and Butoh Festivals in Germany, and Mexican master of the form Diego Piñon.

Kurdi’s engaging, lively workshops are focused on motion, voice and theatrical techniques with an emphasis on freedom of movement, spontaneity, meditative improvisation and the relationship between body and voice. She encourages participants to free their voices with wordless song and phonemes and builds interdependence between sound and movement through exercises built on trust, listening and slow, concentrated, ‘soul’­generated theatrics.

Participants will be asked to contribute $15-25 in exchange for the 4 hour workshop.


‘Completely concentrated upon her bizarre ritual, the singer – dressed in black – emits tortured vocalisations and cries worthy of Yoko Ono in full flight... It’s incredibly in­your­face and perturbing but makes you smile too: the sheer pleasure of making a racket.’ L’Alsace ​(France)

“A staging of a dream, that of Muyassar, where the dream is considered the vehicle of a primitive divine message and soothsayer ­ prophetic. The woman ­ witch is also imbued with an ancestry with the Theatre of the Absurd of Beckett..” ​IOstudio​(Italy)

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