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New Music Festival: Eli Berman Trio
2023 New Music Festival

Eli Berman

April 08, 2023

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

An exaltation of queer, diasporic Jewish power through music, dance and sacred texts.

22/23 Music Department

Eli Berman GOLEMATRIARK is a 30-45 minute exploration of Music, Dance and Jewish ritual, created and composed by Eli Berman in collaboration with her improvising colleagues, Richel Cuyler, Charles Peoples III and Rodrigo Martinez Torres. The ensemble will create new music weaving together khazonus (Ashkenazi Jewish cantorial singing), extended vocal techniques and experimental electronic dance music in Yiddish, Hebrew and English. The golem is a Jewish proto-robot made of inorganic material brought to life by sacred texts. The performers will sculpt digital golems from fragments of words that transform into synths and drums. They will dance on the edges of the human/machine, voice/drum and sound/word to unearth ancestral rage and matriarchal wisdom. 

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.

Eli Berman (she/they/זי/זיי) is a vocalist, improviser, composer-producer and new instrument builder from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. She creates electroacoustic music using experimental vocal techniques across a variety of her ancestral vocal technologies, including khazones (Ashkenazi Jewish cantorial music), Yiddish and Appalachian folk songs, Slovak travnice (traditional women's haymaking songs), and western classical repertoire. For the past three years, Eli has been developing feedback instruments that extend the human voice using PVC pipes, metal sheets and frame drums amplified by transducers and modulated by delay pedals. In the past year she has begun to create beats from digital samples of her voice. Eli has premiered her music at the Watermill Center, (R)evolution: Resonant Bodies at the Banff Centre, New Music On the Point, Yiddish Summer Weimar, New Explorative Oratorio Voice Festival, Atlantic Music Festival, and Gender Unbound. Eli performed in and contributed to Anna Lublina's 2023 Undying in Yidderland: Jargon Rituals at Künstler*innenhaus Mousonturm (Frankfurt, Germany), and in 2022 she performed in the live premiere of Sanni Est's album PHOTOPHOBIA for the Pop-Kultur Festival at Kulturbrauerei (Berlin, Germany). In addition to her experience as a countertenor and baritone in vocal ensembles such as C4: The Choral Composer/Conductor Collective (NYC), Eli has sung as a soloist in the 2018 US premiere of John Tavener's Total Eclipse and a 2018 New York Times critically-acclaimed concert of works by Eve Beglarian. She has presented her music and creative research at the 2021 International Conference on New Interfaces for Musical Expression, 2020 Pan-American Vocology Association Symposium, and 2019 Transgender Singing Voice Conference. Eil is a second-year in the Digital Musics Master's program at Dartmouth College. @_eliberman_

As an independent artist, Richel Cuyler has over two decades of experience crafting her own songs, multimedia performances and choreography as a professional vocalist and dancer, having presented her works at a collection of venues in major cities around the world. Richel joined Dartmouth in April 2021 as the Cultural Heritage Technical Developer to Advancing Pathways for Long-Term Collaboration grant, a project connecting the Dartmouth Library and the Hood Museum. Richel is a Dartmouth alumna who worked in the museum's education department during her senior year. That experience propelled her to spend over a decade in New York City working in education and event programming in museums and cultural institutions like Brooklyn Museum, BAM and the Rubin Museum. Richel is also a current MALS student with a concentration in Cultural Studies, and a creative technologist, bringing an interdisciplinary approach to building integrations that help solve technology challenges. @_eliberman_

Charles Peoples III (He/They) is a performing artist, composer, lyricist and choreographer. He uses sound, movement and visual storytelling to create experiences that bend towards mysticism, spirituality, queerness and transformation. Charles has performed his music at multiple conferences, workshops and theaters; significant mentions include the 9th International Sound Healing Conference, the New Living Expo, Oakland Pride Festival, San Jose Pride Festival and the Lesher Center for the Arts. Currently a grad student at Dartmouth College, Charles is researching societal/individual misremembering and the therapeutic value of performance. He is now merging his interests in ancient ritual, storytelling and shamanism with technology to create transformative, mystical and immersive performances. @CPIIIMusic

Rodrigo Martínez Torres is a composer interested in the abstraction of popular musical languages as a tool for new creations. He is also a multi instrumentalist who performs in different genres and styles. He was born in Mexico City in 1992. He studied music composition in Academia de Arte de Florencia and in Núcleo Integral de Composición (CDMX). He holds a Master in Electroacoustic Composition from Centro Superior Katarina Gurska (Madrid, Spain), and is currently pursuing an MA in Digital Musics at Dartmouth College. He was a grant holder in the Mexican program Jóvenes Creadores by FONCA in 2018-2019. He was awarded a MacDowell fellowship (New Hampshire, USA) in October 2019. Rodrigo was the grand prize winning composer of the 2020 Dartmouth College Wind Ensemble Composition Competition. He also won the 2017 Arturo Márquez composition competition with his piece Mambo Urbano, for chamber orchestra. His music has been played by German accoridionist Eva Zöllner, Dutch ensemble Modelo 62, Mexican ensembles CEPROMUSIC, Liminar and Ensamble Tamayo, as well as by Italian pianist Gloria Campaner. Besides being a composer, he has been playing in different ensembles for the past years. In 2015 he joined Mexican Coro Delicieux where, apart from singing, he worked as arranger for the choir in a collaboration with Mexican cult band Santa Sabina. In 2016 he was the main double bass player at the Orquesta Filarmónica del Nuevo Mundo, as well as the saxophone player in Kumpania, a Balkan music ensemble. In 2017 he travelled to the US and Brazil as the drummer for French singer Laure Briard. In 2019 he travelled to the US and all over Mexico with Monstruos del Mañana, a band which he sings and composes for. Currently, this band is promoting their second LP, Espejos. He also plays in Mexican band Supersilverhaze, who are promoting their first LP, A pesar de todo. In 2022 Rodrigo played bass in La Chinaca, an up and coming cumbia band based in London.

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