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Ghost Vault Triptych

View Ken’s Performance, Part 1 & Part 2.


Telfair Museums presents a Contemporary Spotlight commission with American composer, vocalist, and improvisor Ken Ueno (American, b. 1970) off-site at the Cluskey Embankment Stores, or “Cluskey Vaults” in Historic Downtown, Savannah, GA.

Ken Ueno will compose, direct, and inhabit two site-specific performances entitled Ghost Vault Triptych on October 6 and 7, 2018. Ueno is interested in composing what he calls both person-specific and site-specific music—intended for, and inspired by, one specific person, or narrative, or prompt. At the Cluskey Embankment Stores, Ueno will utilize the hollow vaulted spaces as resonant chambers, effectively turning the Embankment Stores into a large instrument. The resulting performance, Ueno’s vocal subtones and multiphonics alongside long-time collaborator and professional clarinetist, Dr. Gregory Oakes (Professor of Music, Iowa State University), will bring forth a dialog within the architecture, accompanied by special lighting effects.

For these nighttime performances, Ueno will focus on the three larger vaults. The central vault will be installed with an audio installation which will consist of 20 stand-alone speakers for which Ueno will compose a 20-channel composition, a ghostly proxy of his vocalizations. Ueno will perform complementary pieces in the annexing vaults on either side of the sound installation. The pre-recorded nature of the sound installation will be experienced in counterpoint to the live performances.

Both performances begin at 8pm, rain or shine, and are free and open to the public. Note: There is no seating at the Cluskey Embankment Stores, please plan accordingly to stand or bring a portable chair. Technical assistance provided by Jason Cress, supported by UC Berkeley’s Center for New Music and Audio Technologies (CNMAT). Videography: Molly Hayden with Tremble Productions.


About Contemporary Spotlight:

Telfair Museums’ Contemporary Spotlight series is an artist-centered exhibition platform that highlights contemporary art by nationally-emerging artists through small exhibitions and featured loans. These projects are organized and curated in-house and are typically commission-based. Artists are encouraged to respond to place and to reflect the issues of our time. Through these smaller scale projects, which are often an artist’s first introduction to museum audiences, Telfair Museums broadens the museum’s contemporary art program by supporting nationally-emerging artistic voices as a means to foster dialogue.

Contemporary Spotlight exhibitions are organized by Telfair Museums and curated by Rachel Reese, Associate Curator of Modern and Contemporary Art.

artist Ken Ueno
Ken Ueno (American, b. 1970), photo: Peter Gannushkin

About Ken Ueno:

Winner of the 2006–2007 Rome Prize and the 2010–2011 Berlin Prize, Ken Ueno’s music has been performed at such venues as Lincoln Center, the Kennedy Center, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, MusikTriennale Köln Festival, the Muziekgebouw, Ars Musica, Warsaw Autumn, Other Minds, the Hopkins Center, Spoleto USA, Steim, and the Norfolk Music Festival. Ueno’s artistic mission is to champion sounds that have been overlooked or denied so that audiences reevaluate their musical potential.

Ken’s artistic mission is to push the boundaries of perception and challenges traditional paradigms of beauty, and champion the talents of specific performers. In recent years, Ueno has been collaborating with visual artists, architects, and video artists to create unique cross-disciplinary art works. Ueno is Professor of Music at the University of California, Berkeley, and holds a Ph.D. from Harvard University and an M.M.A. from the Yale School of Music. His complete bio appears in The Grove Dictionary of American Music (2nd edition, ed. Charles Hiroshi Garrett, University of Michigan, Oxford University Press, 2013).

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