At the Cutting Edge: Susie Ibarra, Sunn Trio + Special Guest
At the Cutting Edge: Experimental Sounds of Asia is a series of concerts celebrating new music from across Asia and the diaspora, performed by natural collaborators and influenced by cross-arts forms. Read more about the programme on our projects page here.
The first night will see a night of improvisation and exploration. The acclaimed, avant-garde Filipina-American composer, percussionist, and sound artist Susie Ibarra, will perform a set of pieces built around rhythmic cycles; a type of meditation which will weave through tempos, melodies, textures and phrases that move through various rhythms and polyrhythms. Susie has only performed in the UK once before so this will be a rare chance to see her incredible live set.
The Arizona-based band Sunn Trio will play an improvised jazz and desert-rock set, experimenting with the Afghan instrument, the Rubab, alongside a guest musician. Inspired by Indo-Arabian sounds and Middle Eastern guitar music, the band is headed up by guitarist Joel Robinson and takes many forms from solo to quartet to a sextet, depending on the space. The concert also coincides with the release of their latest album.
About the Artists
Susie Ibarra is a Filipina-American composer, percussionist, and sound artist. Her sound has been described as “a sound like no other’s, incorporating the unique percussion and musical approach of her Filipino heritage with her flowing jazz drumset style” (Modern Drummer Magazine) and her compositions are sometimes described as “calling up the movements of the human body; elsewhere it’s a landscape vanishing in the last light, or the path a waterway might trace” (New York Times). Recent commissions include Kronos String Quartet’s 50 for the Future Project Pulsation, PRISM Saxophone Quartet + Percussion’s Procession Along the Aciga Tree, Talking Gong trio with pianist Alex Peh and flautist Claire Chase, film score When the Storm Fades directed by Sean Devlin, and an interactive performance Fragility: A Game of Polyrhythms commissioned by Asia Society NY.
Susie Ibarra is a 2019 United States Artist Fellow in Music. She is a 2018 Asian Cultural Council Fellow in support of her sound research of An Acoustic Story on Climate Change: Himalayan Glacier Soundscapes. She is recording and researching sound along the Ganges from source to sink in collaboration with glaciologist and geomorphologist Michele Koppes. Ibarra leads the DreamTime Ensemble, which recently released the album Perception, a suite of music exploring memory and shifting sensory experiences. She performs in collaborative ensembles Mephista, Yunohana Variations, and LIMBS. Since 2012, she has been a faculty member at Bennington College where she teaches percussion, performance, improvisation, and art intervention. Ibarra is a Yamaha, Vic Firth, and Paiste Drum Artist.
Sunn Trio hail from Phoenix, Arizona, surrounded by deserts like the Middle Eastern guitar music that is one of the notable influences on their sound, along with free jazz and harsh exotica and touchstones as disparate as Sonny Sharrock and Thinking Fellers Union Local 282. In the words of Alan Bishop, “Wielding Indo-Arabian Saz and white lightning six-string shrapnel amidst an alligator snapping turtle’s rhythm section, this trio-quartet-sextet may also sprout horns, flutes, animal skins, or shadow gamelan to faithfully demolish that whiny and predictable listening experience of today’s tepidly lazy, underachieving experimental music scene.”