Innovative ensemble performs sound-poetry

Lake Affect, an avant-garde ensemble exploring the merging of poetry and pure sound, holds two events during its Bates residency next month. The quartet offers a lecture-demonstration at 4 p.m. Sunday, March 17, in Room 104 of the Olin Arts Center, and performs in concert at 8 p.m. Monday, March 18, in the Chapel.

Founded in 1999 and based in Buffalo, N.Y., Lake Affect consists of four musicians interested in taking performances involving sound into new realms. The goal, a Lake Affect publicity piece says, is “the creation of a unique new sound art evolving from a blend of word, timbre, rhythm and texture. Our aim is to create a new vocabulary that draws on both literary and musical elements, and to invent an artistic vehicle that embraces both music and poetry.”

Toward this end, Lake Affect has collaborated with such poets as Jorge Guitart and Robert Creeley, seeking to reflect and amplify their literary themes with sounds both sung and instrumental. The members of the ensemble are Lorena Guillen, voice,  Thomas McCluskey, percussion,  Tiffany Nicely, percussion, and Alejandro Rutty, keyboard and percussion.

In addition to the public events, the group’s residency at Bates (its second) involves a student workshop exploring collaboration among the musical, visual and literary arts. The residency is sponsored by the art and music departments and is a project of the Mellon Learning Associates Program in the Humanities at Bates.

The events are free and open to the public.

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