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Nicole Mitchell and Lisa E. Harris
2023 New Music Festival


Nicole Mitchell and Lisa E. Harris
April 08, 2023

This event occurred as part of the 22/23 Music Department season. This is an archived view.

New work from the duo experimenting with voice, flute, electronics, theremin and visuals.

22/23 Music Department

Building off their successful collaboration on EarthSeed, an oratorio inspired by seminal Afro-futurist writer Octavia Butler, Lisa E. Harris and Nicole M. Mitchell will reunite and develop a new body of duo material while in residence at the Dartmouth New Music Festival, and present a duo performance of improvisational conversations experimenting with voice, flute, electronics, theremin and visuals.

The New Music Festival is a co-production of the Music Department and the Hopkins Center for the Arts, with support from The Leonard J. Reade 1917 Institute for American Music Fund, The Leslie Center for the Humanities, and a gift to the Don Glasgo Fund in memory of Alan Gottesman '13 and Friends of the Coast Jazz Orchestra.

Lisa E. Harris, Li, is an interdisciplinary artist, filmmaker, creative soprano, performer/composer, improviser, writer, singer/songwriter, researcher, educator and cultural producer from Houston, Texas. Harris' course Sound, Mind and Body: Achieving Spiritual Harmony in an Out of Tune World, is a new cross-disciplinary addition to Harvard University's Department of Music. Harris is currently an Artist in Residence at Harvard Artlab. Harris is the recipient of the 2021 Foundation for Contemporary Arts Dorothea Tanning Award in Music/Sound, a 2022 Brown Foundation Inaugural Houston Affiliate Fellowship at the American Academy in Rome, and a 2022  Guggenheim Fellowship in Fine Arts. Harris is the founder and creative director of Studio Enertia, an arts collective and production company  in Houston Texas. Studio Enertia is the producer of Harris's recently completed 10 year durational work, Cry of the Third Eye, a new opera film in Three Acts that archives the effects of development and the displacing of people and culture on her Houston neighborhood. In 2018 Li created and curated Houston's inaugural Free Time Flow Festival at MacGregor Park, celebrating the intersections of basketball, electro-acoustic music and improvisational performance. Harris is responsible for instating and curating Pauline Oliveros Day at Discovery Green Houston. In January of 2023, Li Harris joined renowned flautist Claire Chase in a special performance at Carnegie Hall, Pauline at 90, celebrating the legacy of the great humanitarian and composer, and also native Houstonian, Pauline Oliveros. Her albums include EarthSeed, (2021 FPE Records) co-composed with creative flautist Nicole M. Mitchell and inspired by the writings of Octavia Butler. Li's solo album release Life and That is available on digital platforms (2021 Studio Enertia).

Nicole Mitchell is an award-winning creative flautist, conceptualist and composer. Having emerged from Chicago's creative music community, she is the former first woman president of the Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians (AACM), a Doris Duke Artist and United States Artist. For over 20 years, Mitchell has utilized her art to create worlds that "bridge the familiar with the unknown," with her Black Earth Ensemble. She also composes for contemporary ensembles of varied instrumentation and size (from solo to orchestra and big band) while incorporating improvisation and a wide aesthetic expression. As a creative flutist, she's developed a unique improvisational language which has repeatedly awarded her "Top Flutist of the Year" by Downbeat Magazine Critics Poll and the Jazz Journalists Association from 2010-2022. As a composer, she has been commissioned by the Chicago Symphony Orchestra's Music NOW, the French Ministry of Culture, the Fromm Music Foundation, Chamber Music America, International Contemporary Ensemble, the Chicago Museum of Contemporary Art, the Newport Jazz Festival, the French American Jazz Exchange, the Chicago Jazz Festival and the Chicago Sinfonietta. Much of Mitchell's creative process is informed by literature and narrative, with a special interest in science fiction. Mitchell is a professor of music at the University of Virginia.

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