sprechgesang institute lecture project


S.I. hosts collaborative experimental lectures or joint lectures between two artists working in different disciplines. The lectures provide in-depth insight into each artist’s line of work or current project while drawing unexpected connections between disparate disciplines. Overlapping vocabulary in talking about process provide basic segues between the artists throughout the lecture. We strive fora good balance between the informative and the absurd.

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our first lecture in our 2018 series
March 1 2018
Target Margin Theater
Brooklyn, NY 7:30PM


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a few theoretical ruminations on possible exchanges between a chef and a composer



composer:    —holds the audience’s attention throughout the piece: full, smooth, claustrophobic, agitated....Change in texture dictates mood. Thick textures [show images of thick soups and syrups] slow the ear, highlighting rhythmic subtleties, while clearer textures highlight minute pitch changes--highlighting the individuality of notes. [insert analysis of how texture is used to signify characters in well-known operas. show pictures of these characters in the operas eating food with corresponding textures].
 …here is an excerpt from my 1st symphony which is essentially an inverted series of texture-driven scales.  Scales, though seemingly simple, are really quite complex.




composer:     —sharpness.  A balance between the resilient and the fragile.



composer:     fragile, just hanging in the air [play a thin, suspended note]....suspended like oil and vinegar.


composer:    Yes,  although between the notes, one must always sustain the energy, retain some bite between the silence.



composer:     In order to achieve a balanced dynamic within the orchestra, a conductor must approach it,  rather like…..

composer:      [spoken in unison] …composing a painting.   


composer:     yes, a subtlety


                        yes, a [spoken in union] synchronicity.


chef:     … one of the most vital aspects of any dish, in my opinion, is texture. This is especially true when working with unfamiliar combination of material or dishes without free-standing structures such as soups or curries. [insert an enthusiastic monologue about curries here].  Complimenting taste, it is a variety of texture which—





chef:      I couldn’t agree more. It is a crucial component to a young chefs education:
to learn the correct way to approach scales in a variety of fish, because each fish is different.
Skins as well…[insert detailed step-by-step diagram of the scaling process] However, when it comes to fish, at the end of the day, it all comes down to seasonings.  I strive for a contrast in flavors: a bit of sweetness to complement the sour, a delicate bit to contrast a--


chef:    Yes. For instance, in this roasted beet soup, notes of mint and ginger appear with utmost fragility, almost transparent, an extreme thinness.



chef:   Exactly!



chef:      And this applies to the silence between dishes within the progression of a meal as well.  One must choreograph the tempo in which the dishes arrive so as not to disturb the underlying energy of the evening. 


chef:     rather like plating a dish: a balance of color and texture,  rather like…
[spoken in union]…composing a painting.

chef:     But there is, of course a grace to it, a subtlety.              


chef:    a certain [spoken in union] synchronicity

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