Endless Season

Expostulation(s) of Mary

Eliza Bagg / Heather Jones / Jas Lin 林思穎 / Julia Eichten / George R. Miller / Ben Babbitt

2220 Arts & Archive January 13, 2023

Los Angeles composer-performer Eliza Bagg, (Roomful of Teeth, Lisel) partners with composer-arranger Ben Babbitt to create a new work with NYC performer and queer/trans activist Heather Jones and Wild Up.  

Directed George R. Miller choreographed by Julia Eichten (L.A. Dance Project, AMOC), and featuring dancer performance-artist Jas Lin 林思穎, this chamber opera workshop for voices, strings, dancer, and electronics expands Henry Purcell’s The Blessed Virgin’s Expostulation into a lattice of ancient and new music, exploring and exposing themes of body autonomy, sexuality, and gender in sacred texts. 

This workshop showing is co-presented by Wild Up, and features Wild Up members.

Expostulation(s) of Mary is conceived by Heather Jones, Eliza Bagg, and George R. Miller.

  • Eliza Bagg (she/her) is an LA-based experimental musician, working as a vocalist in contemporary music along with producing her own work. She has collaborated with prominent experimental artists ranging from performing in Meredith Monk’s opera Atlas with the LA Philharmonic to touring regularly as a member of Roomful of Teeth. Her singing has been called “ethereal” by The New York Times and “gossamer” by The New Yorker. 

    Lisel’s compositional work is grounded in the human voice mediated by technology, as she combines virtuosic singing with her electronic processing system. Inspired by Renaissance and Medieval singing styles and idiomatic gestures, Bagg uses processing and electronics to bring out new, expressive qualities of those styles, exploring how these old languages are transformed by our 21st century technology, ears, and sensibility. She has released two albums on Luminelle Records, and will release a third solo album Feb 2023. 

    Aa a vocalist, Bagg has performed as a soloist with major symphonies including the CSO, the BSO, the New York Phil, and the LA Phil, and has performed at venues around the world from Walt Disney Hall and Carnegie Hall to Elbphilharmonie Hamburg and  Iceland Airwaves. She has worked closely with composers such as John Zorn, Ted Hearne, Caroline Shaw, Michael Gordon, Ellen Reid, and Angelica Negron, among many others.

  • Heather Jones (they/them) is a mezzo and performance artist known for their astute interpretations of new and early music. Season highlights include Hannah After in Laura Kaminky’s As One, Dido in Purcell’s Dido and Aeneas, the NY premiere of Lori Laitman’s Uncovered, and an immersive recital installation at the cell theatre in Chelsea. Perpetually drawn to the inherent queerness and gender expansiveness of opera and the performing arts, Heather has produced subversive film, dance, and visual art pieces and regularly collaborates with Opera Philadelphia, Urban Playground Chamber Orchestra, ChamberQUEER, the Savannah Voice Festival, and Spoleto Festival USA.

  • Jas Lin 林思穎 (they/them) is a performance artist, choreographer, movement facilitator, and constant (un)becoming born and based on unceded Gabreliño-Tongva Land (Los Angeles). lin stages exorcisms and tantrums for purging choreographies of the learned body and shutting down internal and external surveillance cameras that suggest there is a Proper way to move through the world. their practice of deep feeling is invested in re-membering what the body has been manipulated into forgetting. they value performance as a ritual of deep presence– by returning to our senses, we can reawaken to our possibility, connection, and agency within the world around us. lin’s practice emerges from a vast lineage of teachers, from friendships to films to flowers. centering play in the everyday, they experiment with multiplicity and contradiction while dancing with the world as their body.

    jas worships the elsewhere and the otherwise, and loves to co-create shared fugitive worlds and live in them. their choreographies, films, workshops, and lectures have been shared around the world, including at MAK Center for Art and Architecture, Danshallerne Copenhagen, MOCA Los Angeles, Power Station of Art Shanghai, V&A Museum, NOWNESS Asia, and Kassel Dokfest. jas is committed to the life-long processes of un-learning and un-teaching hierarchical, Othering, and superficial ways of moving, being, sensing, and knowing. they believe movement to be a manifestation and actualization of potentiality– that together, we can dance the possible into being.

  • Julia Eichten (she/her) grew up dancing in Minnesota and graduated from Juilliard with a Hector Zaraspe award for choreography. Julia has danced professionally with Camille A. Brown & dancers, Azsure Barton and was a founding member of L.A. Dance Project. Julia is also a founding member of the American Modern Opera Company, AMOC* whom she shared the summer with at Ojai Music Festival. There, Eichterling, an ongoing project with creative partner Bret Easterling had a premiere of their latest work, Dance in The Park, ‘What followed was a joyous, frockling pas de deux of love, extinction and human evolution — Charles Darwin meets Fantasia.’

  • George R. Miller (he/him) is a stage director and creative producer of opera, dance-theater, installation, events, and film. Recognized for his discipline-colliding work, George’s contemporary approach to both the operatic repertoire and newly devised work centers around the creation of intimate space – physical, emotional, and visual – as a landscape for dramatic happenings in fine art performance.

    Recent highlights include work presented by The Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra, Opera Philadelphia Festival O, and a private showcase for The Metropolitan Opera Club and Park Avenue Armory Avant-Garde. George has worked with companies including the American Repertory Theater, American Modern Opera Company (AMOC), The Brooklyn Youth Chorus, Beth Morrison Projects, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Ravinia Festival, and Festival d’Aix-en-Provence, and with directors such as Peter Sellars, Zack Winokur, Thuthuka Sibisi, Banning Bouldin, James Darrah, Kevin Newbury, and Maria Magdalena Campos-Pons.

  • Ben Babbitt (he/him) is a composer and producer working mainly within contemporary electronic music, performance, and scoring for visual media. Babbitt created the score and sound design for BAFTA award-winning video game Kentucky Route Zero, as well as the feature film Paris Window directed by Amanda Kramer, and recently co-scored The African Desperate, the debut feature film by artist Martine Syms that premiered at the 2022 International Film Festival Rotterdam. Also active as a producer, arranger and session musician, Babbitt has worked on albums by artists including Angel Olsen, Weyes Blood, Eartheater, How to Dress Well, Alice Boman, Tyler Matthew Oyer and recently contributed string arrangements to the Grammy-nominated debut album by The Marias. His work as both a solo artist and collaborator has been presented at the V&A Museum, London; the Art Institute of Chicago; SCI-ARC, Los Angeles; Perth Institute of Contemporary Arts; MOMA, NYC; 3HD Festival, Berlin; and the Getty Museum, Los Angeles.