Latitudes 18: Ghost Ensemble

  • St John the Evangelist Episcopal Church, 1661 15th St, San Francisco, CA 94103.
  • May 18, 2023
    7:00 pm

New York’s Ghost Ensemble fosters groundbreaking music that blurs borders of genre, style, and scene, expanding perceptual horizons through shared immersive experience. Ghost Ensemble’s May 18 performance at St John the Evangelist Episcopal Church in San Francisco, California presents new works commissioned for the 2022-23 season by composers Sky Macklay, Ben Richter, and Catherine Lamb.

Sky Macklay’s Harmonifriends features two of the composer’s inflating “harmonitree” sculptures, which use vinyl, fans, and dozens of deconstructed harmonicas to create vibrating tree-shaped free-reed sound creatures. The ensemble interacts in sonic and kinetic counterpoint with the moving and sounding sculptures as they rise, sing, tremble, and fall in a visceral aural and visual experience that is whimsical yet intense. Ben Richter’s Rewild traces the fragile evolution of a shadow biosphere, stretching acoustic elements across perceptual thresholds to exotic orders of magnitude — the quantum foam susurrations of yoctomusic; the cosmological flux of yottamusic. The pulsing, breathing sonic ecosystem orients temporal perception toward global listening and virtuosic concentration in a sound-world of constant transformation that marks humanity’s fragile, transient, yet vital role within the immensity of geologic time. Catherine Lamb’s interius/exterius explores multi-dimensional harmonic space, investigating how collective intentions or focal points allow various and sometimes unusual pathways to emerge. As the group links together in phase, the greater web of activity aligns intention and desire within a community of musicians sounding together, the initiation of sound constantly shifting, unfolding new sonic dimensions.

Critics have praised Ghost Ensemble performances as “prodigious … a thrilling listen” (Christian Carey, Sequenza21), “wonderful work … both exhilarating and a bit scary” (Peter Margasak, Bandcamp Daily), “beautifully performed and recorded … a body-felt sound mass … a multifaceted texture that evokes the primeval” (Meg Wilhoite, Sound Meets Sound), and “cloudy, mysterious, and dark … Beckettian in its slow spread … certainly a group to keep an eye on” (Brian Olewnick, Just Outside).

Ticketing for this event is Pay What You Can, with a suggested ticket price of $20 per person. No one will be turned away for lack of funds. If purchasing tickets for multiple people, you may do so in one transaction and your entire group will be admitted under the name given at time of purchase.

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