Concrète Jungle is a conversation between New York past and New York present, about New York’s future.
Concrète Jungle is a work of sound art performed live by composer Dan Siegler and special guests. The piece is inspired by and takes its title from musique concrète, an electroacoustic genre in which readymade sounds are employed in place of instrumentation. Featuring hundreds of intricately edited New York voices, Concrète Jungle highlights borough-specific accents, linguistic filler and word repetitions to form assembled sentences and musical grooves. Siegler has pointilistically sequenced these recordings, creating a work that contains both pre-arranged and improvisational components. Layered under the dialogue, Siegler transforms harsh urban street noise, filtering it through digital delay, reverb and echo effects, rendering it meditative and ambient.
Connected to his father’s loss of language from dementia, Siegler attempts to create order out of verbal chaos, removing words from their original context and intended meaning and reassembling surprisingly comedic, often poignant invented dialogue between people who have never met. A native New Yorker, Siegler grew up in Greenwich Village at a time when artists and middle-class families could afford to live there. Concrète Jungle contrasts that era’s debates with today’s public discourse, illustrating the value of meaningful conversation around challenging subjects across generations. The piece engages the audience in what composer Pauline Oliveros called “deep listening”.
About Dan Siegler
Dan Siegler is a Bessie Award-winning composer, producer and writer from New York City. His work combines electronic and organic elements, incorporating references to jazz, blues and folk. These “sound-first” compositions are strongly influenced by musique concrète, employing a mixture of analog synthesizers, glitch materials, field recordings and orchestration for strings, horns and woodwinds.
Since 2016, Siegler has moved his recording process out of studio isolation, inspired by Hildegard Westerkamp’s “sound walks” and the need for connection in dark times. From Ontario’s glacial lake beaches to Plaza de Mayo in Buenos Aires to sites across the US, Siegler records the natural sounds of his environment and converses with people about their lives and surroundings—dialogue that has become as integral to his work as melody.
Siegler’s collaborations with Pam Tanowitz have been performed at Works & Process at the Guggenheim Museum, The Joyce Theater, Lincoln Center Out of Doors, Danspace Project, ADI and many other venues. They were awarded a choreographer + composer residency (2015) administered by Exploring the Metropolis. His sound installation and composition, Ghost Sentence, were part of the opening of the Faena Forum for Art Basel Miami (2016) with Tanowitz and Shohei Shigematsu/OMA. He has composed for a wide variety of choreographers and musicians including Yanira Castro, Dylan Crossman and String Noise. He received the Abe Olman Scholarship from the National Academy of Popular Music and a composer’s residency at Wildacres. At his own Saturnfoot Studio, Siegler has worked on projects for HBO, Showtime, and David LaChapelle.
Davison Scandrett is a Bessie award-winning lighting designer and production manager based in Brooklyn, NY. He has created lighting for works by Rashaun Mitchell + Silas Riener, Charles Atlas, Merce Cunningham, Pam Tanowitz, Sarah Michelson, Dylan Crossman, Sonya Tayeh, Andrew Ondrejcak, Rebecca Lazier, and the Off-Broadway productions of Mike Birbiglia’s Thank God for Jokes and Neal Brennan’s 3 Mics. Production management credits include projects with Wendy Whelan, Marina Abramovic, Benjamin Millepied, Kyle Abraham, BalletBoyz, Jennifer Monson, Brian Brooks, Silk Road Ensemble, Steve Reich, Stephin Meritt, Brooklyn Rider, The Knights, Lyon Opera Ballet, Lincoln Center Festival, and the Paris Opera Ballet. He served as Director of Production for the Merce Cunningham Dance Company from 2008-2012 and is currently the Design and Production Consultant for the Merce Cunningham Trust.
Tyler Kieffer is a Brooklyn based sound designer whose recent works include Plano (Clubbed Thumb), Is Anyone Alive Out There (Minetta Lane Theater), Evanston Salt Costs Climbing (White Heron Theatre Company), Sound House (The Flea), Counting Sheep (3 Legged Dog); This Tree, The Reception (HERE Arts Center), Made In China (Wakka Wakka, 59E59), All Day I Imagine How to Act (Live Collision, Dublin), Every Morning I Wake Up and Seem to Forget (Body & Soul Music Festival, Ireland), The History Boys (Palm Beach Drama Works); Tomorrow Will Take Care of Itself, Buried Child, All’s Well that Ends Well (NYU: Tisch); Arcadia (Yale Repertory Theatre). tylerkieffer.com
Dawn Sinkowski (Production Designer) is an artist who is interested in how data is used to shape stories and define large ideas in modern society. As a creative director, producer and visual storyteller she has worked with brands including The New York Times, Nike, Citibank, Martha Stewart and LVMH. Dawn is currently a master's candidate at NYU’s Interactive Telecommunications Program and holds a BFA from Parsons School of Design.
Dates + Times
Thursday, October 17, 7:30pm
Friday, October 18, 7:30pm
$15 Suggested Donation
The Main Gallery
51 Bergen St.