During World War II, the site that would become MASSMoCA in North Adams was transformed from Arnold Print Works textile mill into the Sprague Electric Company.
Outfitted with state-of-the-art equipment, Sprague was a major research and development center, conducting studies on the nature of electricity and semi-conducting materials. After the war, Sprague’s products were used in the launch systems for Gemini moon missions… From the post-war years to the mid-1980s Sprague produced electrical components for the booming consumer electronics market. - MASSMoCA, “History”
In 1969, an amplifier engineer for the Gemini moon missions, Alan R. Pearlman, founded a synthesizer company in Lexington, Mass. (120 miles east of North Adams). ARP Instruments introduced their 2600 model in 1971: one of the first commercially-available sound synthesizers and made with Sprague “Orange Drop” capacitors.
Orange Drop (2019) is a poetic re-rendering of sounds that have historically inhabited the spaces of this site. Using objects found in North Adams (industrial metal pieces, conveyor belts, and other debris left here in the wake of global capitalism), the two artists construct an array of sonic sculptures in Building 12. The New England textile mill architecture of Building 12 is itself the third agent shaping sound with its vaulted cross wooden beam ceiling and brick.
An ARP 2600 is installed among the sculptures and resonates an ode to archaic technologies and architectures. The artists move through the space and sound the sculptures in harmony.
Live performance and documentation installation 26-28 February 2019. Audio documentation recorded binaurally.
MASSMoCA “History” MASSMoCA.org Accessed 24 February 2019 https://massmoca.org/about/history/ Trevor Pinch and Frank Trocco Analog Days Cambridge: Harvard, 2004 Craig R. Waters and Jim Aikin “The Rise and Fall of ARP Instruments” Keyboard Magazine (April 1983) “Owner’s Manual” The ARP Synthesizer Series 2600 Newton Highlands, MA: Tonus, Inc, 1971 with thanks to Nicholas Whitman, Carl Schmidt, Carolyn Clayton and Instrumental Library at NEC.
-Enter through Northern entrance -Moving as slowly as possible between actions, make these sounds one or two times:
Metal ball roll Wheel roll Pendulum into plastic tree Heavy metal seesaw on floor Metal spring roll Pendulum into boxes Plastic cloud unicycle Conveyor belt drag
-Enter through Southern entrance -Improvise in response to the actions of Performer 1
Pipes overhead with metal rods Packing paper drag Plastic tree crunch Linear chimes Grid chimes Cowbell Plastic cloud crunch Whatsit chimes
Katya with the wheel (“Wheel roll”) Photo by Derrick Velasquez
Pendulum into boxes Photo by Derrick Velasquez
Metal spring roll Photo by Derrick Velasquez
Whatsit chimes Photo by Derrick Velasquez
Time based performance, 3 hours
Time flies in front of the screen — is it a story of imminent death or eternal bliss?Allowing ourselves to forget and be forgotten, to be drawn into its alternative reality… Creating intimate space to loose oneself in its meditative travel.
PERFORMERS: KATYA POPOVA, ADAM TUCH SOUND/VIDEO: ADAM TUCH
Context: DAP (Dorchester Art Project), July 21/2018
Poster for “Chilling”
Non Event fundraiser
Multimedia shadow performance
What comes first, sound or visual? Who is the puppet and who is a puppeteer?How the sound can be expressed through an amalgam of shadow gestures and the visual textures? The multimedia performance "Sonic Puppet" grew out of artistic curiosity towards these matters.
Sonic Puppet was performed twice — as a collaboration-trio and as a solo project.
Hearing Room, Lowell February 2018
Eliot Cardinaux — voice Adam Tuch — electronic sound
Group show “Dreamscape” Jamaica Plain Church, August 2018
Dalla terra all'acqua
Time based performance; 30-1 hour.
“Water is fluid, soft and yielding. But water will wear away rock, which is rigid and cannot yield. As a rule, whatever is fluid, soft and yielding will overcome whatever is rigid and hard. This is another paradox: what is soft is strong.” — Lau Tzu
Based on graphic score
Trombone: John Cushing
Water sounds/movement: Katya Popova
During NonEvent fundraiser Hancock tower, Boston
"Originale", an interpretation of a theatrical performance by Karlheinz Stockhausen from 1961, staged at the New England Conservatory in June 2018 during SICPP summer festival. This is a except from the 18 teen minute performance of "The Artist". See the review by "The Boston Musical Intelligencer": classical-scene.com/2018/06/21/inmates-sicpp/.
Set of instructions: "The Artist" creates and then destroys her creation.
Direction and performance by Steven Drury.
“who knows if the moon's a balloon..."
A shadow performance for the Whole Tone Opera production after the poem by E.E. Cummings by Dominick Argento — “Who knows if the Moon's A Balloon..." performed by Nora Maynard.
Who knows if the moon's a balloon,coming out of a keen city in the sky--filled with pretty people? ( and if you and I should
get into it,if they should take me and take you into their balloon, why then we'd go up higher with all the pretty people
than houses and steeples and clouds: go sailing away and away sailing into a keen city which nobody's ever visited,where
always it's Spring)and everyone's in love and flowers pick themselves”
Nora Maynard during the scene — "Meeting little people".
Shadow of "Little people"
Found objects: Earrings, little dinosaurs, miniature human figure Wooden dowel, string
Shadow of the fish Bubble wrap, hot glue, wooden dowel, string
Flower with its shadow Metal wire
Shadow of fingers holding the "creature".
Danza de la Muerte
In this piece I wanted to create a unique character of Death that moves away from the traditional symbolism associated with Death’s image (i.e., the typical dramatic representation of a male figure cloaked in black from Bergman’s films or a skeleton from Durer’s engravings). Instead, this image invites audiences to see death as beautiful, natural, and nurturing, pointing the way towards eternity.
The play takes the form of a dance performed in three parts that represent the three different stages of Death’s transformation: birth, dissipation, and rebirth. Her “white” presence is counterbalanced by the puppeteer (her antipode), dressed in black. At the end of her act, she turns into a shadow of herself and disappears. Overall this performance is a fusion of Eastern and Western theater traditions (inspired by Philippe Genty).
The ambient electronic sound creates juxtaposition against the tactile paper textures of the play.
Puppetier, director: Katya Popova Electronic sound created by Kevin Butwill
It is an interpretation of the old popular Russian fairytale about the adventures of Kolobok (flour ball).
Kolobok is a puppet performance in three acts. In the first act, Kolobok is born into the house of an old couple. His parents love him, but he runs away into the forest and meets different animals (during the second act), who are interested in eating him. Kolobok is singing a song, bragging about his powers to escape and manages to get away from all of the animals (Bear and Rabbit) until he encounters the Fox (during the last part), who tricks him and devours him in the end.
Even though the play is based on a simple children’s folk story, for me it creates other layers of meaning showing Kolobok as a “dreamer” and an “artist”, who tries to find inner freedom, escaping from family bonds. It is a story about creativity, but also self deception. Overall, it is a profound narrative about the human condition.
The performance involves hand puppets with puppeteers, as an integral part of the act. The set design consists of shadow screen and design elements (brown paper). It is fifteen minutes long.
Overall the music was influenced by Stravinsky’s “Peter and the Wolf”. It is an arrangement for the “wind section” (saxophone, trombone and flute) and the keyboard / synth. Words are not important for the play and are substituted by sounds and gestures: trombone plays the part of the Bear, while saxophone stands for the Rabbit and flute represents the Fox’s sound. All the themes connected to Kolobok’s motion and singing are interpreted by the synth/keyboard. The score is written by Musa Qubailat (New England Conservatory graduate).
“Kolobok” was rehearsed several times in different settings (see the next page for visual references, but its visual style would change in future performances.
War and Peace
A shadow play, retelling the story of the world in a 15 min performance/loop—from birth (creation, construction) through growth (development, learning) to war (destruction, deconstruction).
Direction and puppets: Katya Popova Live music by New England Conservatory students: Billy McShane, Jake Rudin, Nick Neuburg, John Cushing. Puppet Showplace Theater, Puppet Slam, Fall 2015
Tale of Tales
A play in three acts about the artist in search for his creative freedom.
Written and directed by Katya Popova Puppeteering by Katya Popova Acting by Alexander Kozin Music by Daniel Veksler and Marios Nikolaides
Tale of Tales
8 Bitsis a live performance, involving eight movement artists and one narrator. It is an international collaboration.
The project was born out of a 2015 theater program in Russia, where international artists first collaborated and realized their common goal to use art to forge stronger bonds between peoples whose countries are in conflict with each other.
As time goes by, technology becomes more sophisticated, smaller, faster and more convenient, thus changing our way of thinking and feeling . . . our memory. 8 Bits asks of fast-paced modern societies: "How do we communicate and learn?" It creates visceral dialog between spoken language, body language, and computer programming language, both revealing their differences and exploring the process of understanding itself.
See more information at http://nashael.blogspot.com/
“The philosophers have only interpreted the world, in various ways. The point, however, is to change it.” — Karl Marx
“It is easier to resist at the beginning than at the end.” — Leonardo Da Vinci
“Where there is power, there is resistance.” — Michael Foucault
Resistance is an inner force we all experience as human beings. My project attempts to reconstruct different stages of this experience (vision, overcoming, frustration) and explore its emotional state.
This project is inspired by the work of Lucio Fontana.