Anna Thorvaldsdóttir: Rain

  • Season: 2017-18
  • Series: Abrons Arts Center, OpenICE

How do instruments extend beyond themselves? Anna Thorvaldsdóttir’s Rain proposes two distinct approaches to this question. Alice Teyssier, equally skilled as a flutist and soprano, plays flute, bass flute, and sings in this work. But what instrument assumes primacy? She plays flute first, but is her flute imitating a vocal sound? The flute and voice are always sustained tones, emerging from niente; it’s an effective ambiguity. Dan Lippel starts the piece by playing single plucked notes on guitar, and spectral-sounding harmonics. But when he activates the electronics a third of the way through the piece, he makes a listener aware of his other role, which is to expand the sound world of both instruments outward into a cosmic realm. The electronics have a vocal quality, but also seem like a continuation and extension of Dan’s restless rasgueado strumming. —Jacob Greenberg