The “Artist in Residence Program” program was born out of a desire to promote experimentation in the performing arts, support artists in a transitional, or new period in their career, give visibility to artistic work that we believe in and that might be under the radar in Philadelphia, create a safe, exciting space for performing artists to test out new ideas, to promote exchange of ideas and practice between the mediums, and to support a dialogue between performing artists, philosophers, scientists, and regular people.
For the past 15 years Michael McDermott has been an active member of the Philadelphia electronic music scene. He has hosted a recurring open forum electronic music event (now called SHARE Philly) at various venues for the past 10 years, most recently at thefidget space. He has played keyboards in live electronic music based bands such as Gemini Wolf, Robots in Disguise (US) and as a solo artist under the name, Mikronesia.
Michael is a co-founder of the Philadelphia based label and music collective, earSnake. He also performs, writes and produces in the electronic music ensemble Gemini Wolf with Megan Cauley. Since its inception in 2005, Gemini Wolf has performed throughout the US and Europe and released five albums on earSnake. As a solo performer, Michael performs under the moniker Mikronesia using electroacoustic sounds. He has performed in major cities around the world including New York, Toronto, Berlin, Paris and London and extensively in his hometown of Philadelphia.
Michael has scored music and sound design for several of choreographers. He has created original music scores for movement-based artists such as Perpetual Movement and Sound, Here Begin Dance, Ring Dance Theater, Erin Foreman-Murray, Jaamil Kosoko, Gia T, Jil Stifel and Nora Gibson Performance Group.
In 2010 Michael became a member of NEXUS / Foundation for Today’s Arts as their resident sound artist. He has done art installations and compositions at NEXUS Gallery, Little Berlin and at the Schuylkill Center For Environmental Education. These shows have included kinetic sound sculptures, surround sound audio art collages and original ensemble pieces for string quartet, trio, flute quartet and electronics and other live instruments. Michael has been commissioned for his compositions and installations from The Argosy Foundation, Meet the Composers, Community Education Center, Drexel University, The Schuylkill Center for Environmental Education, The Fred Rogers Center and American Composer’s Forum.
As a film composer he has written music for films by Derek Moench, Dan Tabor, Kurtis Sensensig, Steven Denisevicz, Scott Johnston, Anastasia Wong, Kurtis Sensenig and J Louise Makary.
Pangaea: When The Continents Were One is Michael first opera. The ninety minute minute work features and ensemble of 17 musicians and singers, puppets, experimental video and the music ranges from chamber to tribal chants to electronic soundscapes. The opera was written in collaboration with lyrics and melodies from Megan Cauley, Steve Quaranta, Christian Rabin, John Morrison and Jalima Shani. The premiere of Pangaea: When The Continents Were One also featured video by Nico Dominguez and costumes and head pieces by Tigre Bailando, Megan Cauley and Liza Godell.
In 2013 Michael began to bridge his day job work as a web developer and his creative pursuits by creating an interactive sound application “Edge of Nostalgia”. The app/album uses the listeners smartphone microphone to blend the sound world around them into a suite of pre-recorded ambient music, creating a unique listening experience each time they listen. In 2015 he collaborated with a team of artists, designers and programmers to develop an interactive deep listening and meditation app for children called Woosh for the Fred Rodgers Center.
Mikronesia recordings can be found at his website and through labels including Gears of Sand, kikapu, earSnake, Entropy and Nophi. His most recent release In a River the Color of Lead is available on vinyl and digital formats through the label NOREMIXES.
Zornitsa Stoyanova is a performance artist, curator, organizer, lighting and video designer based in Philadelphia, PA. A native of Bulgaria, she holds B.A. in Dance and Sound Design from Bennington College, VT. After concluding her studies, she moved to Philadelphia, PA where she started creating, producing and presenting performing art and video under the name Here[begin] Dance.
Zornitsa has choreographed and performed numerous dances, improvisations and human installations. Her work has been presented in Philadelphia as well as at Joyce SoHo and Danspace Project at St. Mark’s Church in NYC; Hubbart Hall in Cambridge, NY; Wanted Festival in Rennes, France; and her native Sofia, Bulgaria. She has danced with Emergent Improvisation Project, based in Vermont, Lionel Popkin Dance, Cie Willi Dorner, Eiko and Koma, Group Motion Dance, Idiosyncrazy Productions, <fidget>, Nicole Bindler and others in Philadelphia. While dancing with Emergent Improvisation Project, Zornitsa was featured on the cover of “Composing While Dancing” book by Melinda Buckwalter.
Past Projects: Mascher Space Cooperative Member, Created Current: an evening of dance and art and Dance Cinema Projects.
Present Projects: Zornitsa started a community dance workshop in collaboration with <fidget> space called Get What You Need, Along with fellow artist Kristen Shahverdian and Jacelyn Biondo, Zornitsa is curating a weekend long DIY festival called Move Dance Think Fest. Zornitsa also teaches improvisation technique for performance and composition and has done so in Philadelphia, France and recently in her native Bulgaria.
Matthew Daher is a percussionist, improviser, composer, and producer based in Detroit, MI. He holds a BMus in Jazz Performance from McGill University in Montréal, where he was based before relocating to Detroit in 2012. Daher’s creative endeavors are driven by gnostic curiosity and are a vehicle for ontological exploration. They are informed by a years of experimentation in ambient, electroacoustic, free jazz, hip-hop, and folk musics, meditation practice, and free movement practices, and frequently address themes of chronic anxiety, vulnerability, brokenness, and the seemingly paradoxical peace that can be discovered within them. Daher’s recent work includes local, national, and international multimedia collaborations with movement artists, film makers, podcasters, and visual artists. He recently directed and produced a large scale multimedia performance crafted around the music of his latest release – Dwelling Lightheartedly In The Futility Of Everything. Featuring work and performances by 13 Detroit movement and video artists, Dwelling… premiered at the Museum Of Contemporary Art Detroit in February 2015.
Rachael Ahn Harbert is a Detroit based movement artist and educator, with an ever so special interest in performance improvisation. She explores nature, process, and catharsis, and presents her findings through ephemeral and visual art. Rachael earned a Bachelor of Science in Dance from Wayne State University. She curated and performed in Terra Firma I: Grave Yard, PROJECTILES, Enlightened Discharge, Creative [dance] Incubator (12/2014), Stymie, Converge, and Creative [movement] Incubator (3/2015) during an Artist Residency through Spread Art @detroit contemporary from June 2014 through May 2015. She is a collaborating artist with Nerve and LaMarre and Dancers, along with musicians throughout Detroit and beyond.
Kelly and Melissa began working together in 2010 on Kelly’s experimental dance trio Elephant, which was also the piece that began their relationship with thefidget space. Their 2012 duet Colony, which they co-choreographed and continue to perform, has been presented in Philadelphia (thefidget space, Thirdbird, Philly Fringe), Washington D.C. (Capital Fringe, FallFringe), New Orleans (NOLA Fringe), Atlanta (The Lucky Penny/Theatre Emory), and Sweden (Abundance International Dance Festival). They were 2014 resident artists of The Breaking Ground Series at Theatre Emory in Atlanta, GA, and are excited to be 2014-2015 artists-in-residence with thefidget space. They are using this residency to develop their new piece, Jean and Terry: Your Guides Through Dark, Light, and Nebulous, delving into phenomena of Universal Consciousness. They are working with Philly-based theatre artists Mark McCloughan and Jaime Maseda of No Face Performance Group and expect to premiere the work in Fall 2015.
Adam Vidiksis is a composer, conductor, percussionist, and technologist based in Philadelphia whose interests span from historically informed performance to the cutting edge of digital audio processing. Equally comfortable with both electronic and acoustic composition, his music has been heard in concert halls and venues around the world. His work focuses on exploring new timbral soundscapes in both electronic and acoustic works, frequently using found objects that highlight and explore the vast world of sounds that surround us everyday. Vidiksis often uses the computer not only as a means of enhancing and manipulating the sounds he produces, but as a digital performer on equal footing with its human counterparts. He has a deep interest in science and technology, an enthusiasm that has profoundly influenced his work as a musician. Vidiksis’s research in music technology focuses on techniques for realtime audio processing, designing gestural controllers for live digital performance, and machine improvisation. His music often explores sound, science, and the intersection of humankind with the machines we build. He currently teaches on the composition faculty at Temple University.
Joo Won Park (b. 1980) is an electronic musician residing in Philadelphia. His music has been featured in several conferences such as the Society for Electro-Acoustic Music in the United States Conference, Seoul International Computer Music Festival, Bourges Electroacoustic Music Festival, and International Computer Music Conference. His research is printed in Electronic Musician, Computer Music Journal, The Audio Programming Book and The Csound Book. He received an M.M and Ph.D. in composition at the University of Florida, and graduated from Berklee College of Music majoring in Music Synthesis and Contemporary Writing/Production. Joo Won was an associate director of Florida Electroacoustic Music Festival, and currently serves as an assistant professor of music at the Community College of Philadelphia. His music is available on ICMC DVD, Spectrum Press, MIT Press, and PARMA recording.
Nicole Elizabeth Cook (b. 1986) is the 2012 Playwright in Residence at , a collective promoting experimentation in the performing arts and supporting a dialogue between performing artists, philosophers, scientists, and audiences.
Nicole’s interests are the interdisciplinary relationships of painting, literature and performance. She also examines issues of gender, class, and race in art. She holds a BFA in painting and printmaking from Moore College of Art & Design and an MA from Temple University.
Nicole is excited to be workshopping of her first play, Quaaludes and Champagne at . The piece examines, questions, and revisions the statutory rape trial of a well-known film director in 1970s California. Nicole’s second play, currently titled Jungle Juice, will be presented as a work-in-progress reading Fall 2012 at .
Nicole is currently a doctoral candidate in the Department of Art History at the University of Delaware, specializing in early modern art of Northern Europe. Her dissertation will focus on the intersections between 17th-century Dutch theater and painting in a post-Iconoclasm world.
Lauren Mandilian Huot graduated from Drexel University with her Bachelor of Science (2006) and Master of Science (2007) in Digital Media. While in college, Lauren enjoyed dancing and was a member of the Drexel Dance Ensemble. Combining her interest in dance with digital media, Lauren developed a collaborative multimedia dance performance named “Information Overload”.
In June 2008, Lauren was offered an internship in New York City under projection artist, Peter Nigrini, on the Bill T. Jones 3 Tony Award winning musical, “FELA!”. While in New York, Lauren had the opportunity to work with renowned dance photographer Lois Greenfield on “Projected, a work in progress”.
Lauren continues doing freelance projection design for shows in Philadelphia and New York City. She is the Resident Projection Artist for SHARP Dance Company. In addition she has worked with such artists as Klip Collective, anonymous bodies, Nichole Canuso and readySetGO. Lauren has worked on a number of Off-Broadway shows as well as the Broadway hit, “Rock of Ages”.
Mauri Walton is an actor, dancer, movement-artist, cabaret/host/singer/performer and multi-media performance creator. She has appeared in over 70 different productions across disciplines in film and theatre, and in countless and assorted venues in Philadelphia and beyond. Mauri is currently deeply appreciative and thoroughly enjoying being an artist in residence at thefidget space in Philadelphia. Her own performance creations have run the gamut from delicate solos to 25 member ensemble productions. She has ardently enjoyed collaborating and performing, with and for, numerous choreographers, directors, composers, and musicians, including: David Jacobson, Adrienne Truscott, Big Mess Theatre and Orchestra, Headlong Dance Theatre, Moxie Dance Collective, Group Motion, Nichole Canuso, SubCircle, Grace Mi He Lee, Lee Ann Etzold, Kathryn Te Bordo, Mark O’Maley, Rebecca Sloan, David Gammons, Peter Price, Megan Bridge, Chris Mandra and Paule Turner among many, many, many others. Her work has frequently been presented at the Philadelphia Fringe Festival, The Philadelphia Museum of Art, The Painted Bride Art Center, and at the Kimmel Center for the Philadelphia Orchestra. She was quite favorably reviewed in ReelTalk for her portrayal of Nina in Vera Zubarev’s film, “Four Funny Families”. Other critics have described her work as: “Genuinely, weirdly, intriguing”, “hilarious and adroit”, and as having “dark and twisty themes”. She was cited as managing “somehow to reinvent the most famous scene in theatre” in her Hamlet deconstruction, “Tubey or Not Tubey, a Ham uhmLET”. Mauri’s colleagues describe her as: “One of Philadelphia’s often kept secrets”, “performance art luminary” and “… well, Mauri makes the experimental performance world go ‘round”. Audience members have described the effect of Mauri’s work on them as: “a single statement by Mauri Walton has forever altered my perspective on the topology of the causal pathways in the universe”, and “her portrayal of her subject was so quirky and yet so compellingly and hauntingly real”. Mauri has received grants and awards for her work, among which are those from the PA Council on the Arts and through the Community Education Center.
David Konyk is a dancer and choreographer based in Philadelphia. David has long fostered a love of site specific work. Having worked with some of Philadelphia’s leading practitioners of site specific work,
namely Leah Stein and Kate Watson-Wallace, it is plain to see where this love came from There is something about a piece that is tailored to the space that it is performed in that inspires and entices him. However, for him, this does not necessarily mean to make work that is only able to be performed in one particular place, but rather, to create concise worlds that the pieces live in. David’s current focus, as a choreographer, is to integrate all the elements of the stage into his creative process. It is his hope to have all these parts play an active role in shaping and informing the work. How do things like light, scenery and sound, effect the audience’s perception? How can playing with the natural mechanics of the human eye through lighting create effect, surprise and mystery? How can costume and prop inform, hinder and create movement? These are just a few of the questions David is concerning himself with lately. His goal is to take a stronger look at all the parts that make up a dance piece as opposed to his previous method of focusing mainly on the movements of the dance. Having spent fifteen years in a relationship with dance, David is ready and excited to take on this new perspective in his art making. He is ever so thankful to thefidget space for the opportunity of this residency to allow him to play, discover and develop.
Currently, David is a member of the Leah Stein Dance Company and Group Motion Multi-Media Dance Theater. His previous dance credits include Scrap Performance Group/Myra Bazell (1997-1999), The Bald Mermaids (1999-2000), Kate Watson-Wallace (2004-2007), and The Reactionaries (2004-2006). As a choreographer, David’s work has been presented at the Community Education Center, Philadelphia; Philadelphia Live Arts Festival, Philadelphia; DanceNow/NYC, New York; Dock 11, Germany; Project Theater, Germany. When not dancing, David is a student of American Sign Language and the Acting Class with Kenneth McGregor. He can also be seen working at Honey’s Sit n Eat, in Northern Liberties, or zipping around town on his skateboard. David graduated Cum Laude with a Bachelors of Fine Arts in Dance from Temple University.
Daniele Strawmyre is a multi-media artist, choreographer, performer and educator based in Philadelphia. She directs the collaborative arts company readySetGO. Currently an artist in residence at thefidget space in Philadelphia, she’s developing a performance installation inspired by Japanese ghost stories for October 2010 titled Kaidan Insuto. The staged version (Kaidan) will premiere at this year’s Live Arts Festival as part of 8 (eight choreographers/eight new works) and is the culmination of 2 years of research and performance called The Obake Project. Daniele’s past work has been shown at Mascher Space Cooperative, thefidget space, Pentimenti Gallery, Kumquat Dance Theater, the CEC, the Painted Bride Art Center, the Philadelphia Museum of Art, among others, and in site specific performances throughout Philadelphia. In 2003 she co-curated, “Ladyfest Philly”, a 4-day festival showcasing women’s activism through the arts and in 2004 she participated in a 2 month residency with CIE Felix Ruckert in Brussels, BE and Berlin, DE (made possible by a grant from the Leeway Foundation). She has performed with companies here and abroad including Megan Bridge, Kate Watson-Wallace/Anonymous Bodies, Jeb Kreager/Brown Squad, Perpetual Movement and Sound, Workshop for Potential Movement, SCRAP/Myra Bazell, Janette Hough, Jerome Meyer and Isabelle Chafaud (NL) and CIE Willi Dorner (AT) in Philadelphia; Junction Dance Theatre in Pittsburgh; Martha Bowers Dance Theatre Etcetera in New York; and CIE Felix Ruckert in Brussels, BE and Berlin, DE. Daniele has students aged three to eighty-three and has been teaching for over a decade. She teaches Creative Movement, Ballet, Yoga, Pilates, Water Aerobics, Body Conditioning, Basic Anatomy/Kinesiology, Acting and Story-telling, Technical Theatre, Arts and Crafts, and Eurhythmics as well as college and professional level courses in Dance Technique and Improvisation. She earned a BFA in Modern Dance from the University of the Arts, in Philadelphia.
Bonnie Lander is a coloratura soprano based out of Philadelphia, PA. Classically trained, Bonnie performs a wide range of contemporary music in a wide variety of spaces. Most recently, she performed with the Philadelphia Chamber Music Society under the baton of Leon Fleisher and as a participant in the Yellow Barn Kurtág Residency studying with soprano Susan Narucki, who affectionately termed her “the Janis Joplin of modern music.” Bonnie is currently an Artist In Resident at thefidget space, a founding member of chamber opera company “Rhymes With Opera,” and a featured artist with the “Embody” vocal arts series in Baltimore. She has performed experimental improvisation with amazing musicians Mike Formanek, David Smooke, Shodekeh, Kate Porter, and Peter Price. Bonnie holds a BM in Voice Performance from the University of Miami Frost School of Music in the studio of Esther-Jane Hardenbergh; MM in Voice Performance at the Peabody Institute in the studio of Phyllis Bryn-Julson; two GPDs in Voice and Computer Music studying with Dr. McGregor Boyle. She is the only person to have twice received the Phyllis Bryn-Julson Award for the Commitment to and Performance of 20th/21st Century Music.
Chris Mandra is a composer and performer whose work has been performed in Europe, Asia, Canada and the United States. He holds a Bachelor of Music degree in composition from the University of the Arts in Philadelphia, PA; a certificate of study from the Liszt Ferenc Zeneakademia in Budapest; two Master’s degrees – one in music composition and one in computer music, both from the Peabody Institute of the Johns Hopkins University where he also completed all of the coursework for a Doctor of Musical Arts degree before abandoning that program. In 2004 he was awarded a fellowship to STEIM in the Netherlands to work on his wearable performance interface “the manDrum”. He currently lives in Baltimore, gets to help create cool audio processing software (that he likes to use himself) for the company Intelligent Devices, and plays guitar for and performs extensively with the celebrated original psychedelic dance band TELESMA.
Gloria Justen, Violinist and Composer, is both a passionate performer of the classics and an innovative artist trying new approaches to music. Ms. Justen grew up in Houston, Texas, and from 1984-1990 she attended the Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia. Her principal violin teachers were Fredell Lack and Szymon Goldberg. Currently residing in San Francisco, Gloria is dividing her time between East Coast and West Coast. Ms. Justen has played with the Chamber Orchestra of Philadelphia since 1985, serving as Concertmaster since 2004. From 1990 to 2008 she performed and toured internationally with the Philadelphia Orchestra as a substitute violinist. She is associated with groups in Philadelphia and San Francisco such as Network for New Music, Orchestra 2001, the Relache Ensemble, the Empyrean Ensemble, the San Francisco Chamber Orchestra, and the magic*magic orchestra, and she has premiered and recorded many works by living composers. She has toured with the Philip Glass Ensemble for the Book of Longing project. Ms. Justen has enjoyed collaborations with musicians from diverse backgrounds, modern dancers and visual artists. Improvisation in various genres spurred her to create her own compositions. Some of these are written in the traditional manner for acoustic instruments, and others are digital sound collages incorporating electronics, field recordings, and surround sound concepts. Her first CD of original music, Four-Stringed Voice, is a collection of pieces for solo violin. Most recently her composition “Not Created or Destroyed” was performed by the San Francisco Chamber Orchestra.