Livestreamed on this page on Thursday 21 October and Friday 22 October 2021 at 5 p.m. PDT (San Francisco, UTC -7) / 7 p.m. CDT (Chicago, UTC -5) / 8 p.m. EDT (New York, UTC -4).
Waves of Gravity
Through Raga, Polyphonic Overtone Singing, Experimental Music, Improvisational Flights of Fancy, and Spoken Word, Neel Murgai Creates a Psychedelic Universe of Sight and Sound
La MaMa and CultureHub presented Waves of Gravity livestreaming on the global, commons-based peer produced HowlRound TV network at howlround.tv on Thursday 21 October and Friday 22 October 2021 at 5 p.m. PDT (San Francisco, UTC -7) / 7 p.m. CDT (Chicago, UTC -5) / 8 p.m. EDT (New York, UTC -4).
Waves of Gravity is a solo multimedia performance from sitarist, overtone singer, percussionist and composer, Neel Murgai, directed by Michole Biancosino with video and art design by Seema Pandya. Through raga, polyphonic overtone singing, experimental music, improvisational flights of fancy, and spoken word, Neel creates a psychedelic universe of sight and sound. Throughout the pandemic, Neel has developed his audio/visual looping practice and began incorporating animations by Seema Lisa Pandya, which he has performed as livestream concerts. This performance will mark the first time the artists will share the work with an in-person audience.
A small audience will be welcomed into the CultureHub New York studio to watch Waves of Gravity.
Waves of Gravity is presented by CultureHub and is supported by a City Artist Corps Grant.
Thursday 21 October
Friday 21 October
Neel Murgai (composer, performer, writer, live audio and video manipulations) is a sitarist, overtone singer, daf player, composer and teacher from Brooklyn, NY. He is the artistic director of the South Asian music collective, Brooklyn Raga Massive. Neel has studied sitar for twenty-five years, currently with his guru Pundit Krishna Bhatt. Overtone singing Neel learned from Batuvshin of the Buriyat performance group Uragsha and from Timothy Hill of the Harmonic Choir. He is a graduate of Goddard College's MFA in Interdisciplinary Arts program. His first album with Neel Murgai Ensemble was released on Innova Records in 2010. Neel has performed around the world with numerous artists from varying disciplines including, Bill T. Jones, Cyndi Lauper, Wyclef Jean, Andre DeShields, Karsh Kale, Vijay Iyer, Adam Rudolph, Daniel Bernard Romain, Dana Leong, Ellen Stewart, Laraaji, Yuerba Buena, Baba Israel, Raz Mesinai, Mission on Mars, Akim Funk Buddha, Loren Conners, Suzanne Langile, Louis Bellogenis and Cosmo Vinyl. He has performed at venues ranging from the Lincoln Center and Kennedy Center to Late Night with David Letterman to jazz clubs such as the Blue Note and at festivals around the United States. Neel’s theatre and dance credits include playing music for Bill T. Jones’ Blind Date, Disney’s musical theatre adaptation of The Jungle Book directed by Mary Zimmerman, and composing and performing music for Bacchae 2.1 directed by Michole Biancosino. Neel has also composed music for many film and TV projects including the features, The Yes Men Fix the World, which premiered at the 2009 Sundance Film Festival and A Decent Arrangement starring Shabana Azmi. For more information: www.neelmurgai.com
Michole Biancosino (Director, Writer) is the Co-Founding Artistic Director of Project Y Theatre Company, where she has developed and directed new work in Washington, D.C., New York City and internationally for over 20 years. With Project Y, she has led various professional productions, as producer, director, and writer. Credits included the long-running shows, Trump Lear (co-created and directed) and the award-winning, Gary Busey’s One Man Hamlet as performed by David Carl (co-created and directed), both of which toured regionally and performed at Edinburgh Fringe, as co-productions with Richard Jordan Productions (UK), The Pleasance, and Underbelly. She directs solo artist Peter Michael Marino’s long-running solo shows, Show Up Kids! now running in NYC in Spanish- and Japanese-language versions, as well as the breakout hit Planet of the Grapes Live! (winner of Edinburgh Fringe 2021 Infallible Award for Creativity). She is the founder of NYC's Women in Theatre Festival (www.witfestival.projectytheatre.org), now in its 7th season. Some recent ventures in digital theatre-making and hybrid theatre can be seen at tinybarntheatre.com. Recipient: SDC Gielgud Fellowship for classical directing. Her work with Project Y Theatre has been supported by grants from The Puffin Foundation, ART/NY, NY Department of Cultural Affairs (DCA), The Dramatists Guild, and New York State Council on the Arts (NYSCA). She holds an MFA in Directing from Rutgers University, Mason Gross School of the Arts. She is an Assistant Professor of Theatre at Middlebury College. For more information: www.micholebiancosino.com
Seema Lisa Pandya (Video & Art Design) is multidisciplinary visual artist, sustainability consultant, and professor of sustainable design. Her artwork explores the intersection between sustainability, art, culture, and the built environment with pieces ranging from interactive kinetic sculptures, light sculptures, public art, street art happenings, amoeba shaped fractal paintings, video animations, and a specific series reflecting her South Asian cultural heritage. Reclaimed and discarded materials are often used in her work addressing local sourcing and material lifecycles. Her current body of work includes two primary series. The “Amoeba” series explores undulating organic form and has used reclaimed wood and felled trees. The “Tabla” series is an exploration of biological form, nature, and music as a visual aesthetic and features reclaimed leather heads of the tabla drum woven in nature inspired forms. Seema's work has been featured in Vogue India, Fine Wood Working Magazine, in NYC venues such as Pioneer Works, Plaxall Gallery, BRIC Arts, Wagner College, FIT, Prospect Park, Governor’s Island, Lincoln Center, and at Leon Gallery, and Revolutions Collective Art Space in Colorado. She has also made works for Khizr Khan and Chelsea Clinton. Seema was co-owner of Revoluciones Collective Art Space, is a LEED reviewer for the USGBC, and a professor of sustainable design at NYSID and FIT in New York City. She is also currently on the Board of the Brooklyn Raga Massive. For more information: www.seemalisapandya.com