2017 Composer/Sound Artist Fellowship Grantees

The Board of Directors of the Jerome Foundation is delighted to announce the following awards made June 11, 2017 through the Foundation's Composer/Sound Artist Fellowship program:

Rafiq Bhatia, New York City, received $20,000 to compose new work for his electroacoustic trio. He also plans to advance his compositional language through live performance, develop new solo material that deepens the integration of his work as a composer-performer and sound artist; and purchase hardware and acoustical treatments to assist with these activities.

Stephanie Griffin, New York City, received $20,000 to support her research with composers and instrumentalists and work on several new compositions. She will complete her composition of The Lost String Quartet, an original theatrical string quartet performance piece based on N.M. Bodecker’s delightful illustrated children’s book in collaboration with the Mexican theater director Fernando Villa Proal and experimental instrument builder Michael Evans. She will also finalize her composition and score of Greener Hills, recently commissioned by Daniel Goode and his Flexible Orchestra and begin work on a new graphic score for Walter Ruttmann’s film Lichtspiel Op. 1.

William Johnson, Minnesota, received $20,000 to support the creation two new works: W/LLS, a solo voice and electro-acoustic project connecting American spiritual idioms and contemporary sound design and composition; and Dancing Plague, a sound-based composition for a collaborative theatrical work exploring the Dancing Plague of 1518, a widespread class revolt in Strasbourg that manifested in uncontrollable movement and dancing, and its relevance to America in 2017. Both works are focused on how sound and composition reflect national and transnational constructions of “spirit” and “spirituality” while engaging the contemporary notion of America’s current “spiritual blackout.”

Laura Ortman, New York City, received $20,000 to support the creation of a new collaborative collage, Indigenous New York City Walking Soundtrack, fusing spoken word, song, din, movement, air, whispers and atmosphere, capturing a fluctuating and personal Native American New York experience. She will use the mobile recording unit (MbRU) that she constructed to capture the visceral and atmospheric recordings. Ortman will also travel and perform works from her new solo album My Soul Remainer, recorded by Martin Bis, in the Southwest, California and the East Coast.

Davu Seru, Minnesota, received $20,000 to support the debut recording of works fusing blues, African polyrhythm, and chorale-like arrangements for his new sextet, No Territory Band. Seru will continue development of his work-in-progress Dead King Mother with Zeitgeist Ensemble and compose and present public workshops with Scratch Music group (inspired by Cornelius Cardew’s Scratch Music Orchestra) at Studio Z.

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