The Sound of Morning
Thursday, October 14—Saturday, October 16
5:00 pm—6:30 pm
Lower East Side Intersection
Corner of Orchard and Rivington

Kevin Beasley’s The Sound of Morning combines every aspect of his work to date—sculpture, sound, performance, and site specificity—into one totality. Staged at the crossroads of two Manhattan streets, Beasley plays the sounds of movement, object, and site—inserting sculptures made using everyday and industrial materials and objects, and ten performers—by using mics to magnify the faint noises that usually disappear into the white noise of Manhattan, to create a sonic sculpture.

Intersections are often sites where two neighborhoods meet, frequently with radical juxtapositions of architecture and inhabitants. They can also be places of starkly different uses of buildings, stores, restaurants, and residential buildings, and where contrasts in commercial value occur alongside colliding communities. Working with ten dancers from a variety of dance backgrounds, Beasley, with choreographic director and dancer Paul Hamilton, created a score that enhances and alters everyday gestures and actions. Microphones attached to the performers capture the normally inaudible sounds of their movements as they engage with the site, amplifying them to create an intense sonic experience for the audience.

Beasley devised this scene using a process akin to the one he uses to make sculpture: by altering objects and materials to create new entities—ones that carry elements of their former life, but through corporeal shifts, offer a new way of seeing and experiencing their materiality, symbolism, use, and history. Similarly, Beasley adjusts the regular actions, gestures, and sounds of the street so that they appear both familiar and foreign as the audience experiences their sonic properties.

Overall, The Sound of Morning considers how life is lived, how everyday behaviors are performed, and how we interact with each other together and apart, as anonymous individuals drifting through the city, one mind passing another, one body bumping up against another body.

Curated by Kathy Noble, Senior Curator & Head of Curatorial Affairs

Dwayne Brown, Ley Gambucci, Wendell Gray II, Paul Hamilton, Raymond Pinto, Angie Pittman, jess pretty, Katrina Reid, Gabriela Silva, and Amadi Washington

Senior Producer & Manager of Media Initiatives: Sasha Okshteyn
Performa 2021 Biennial Fellows: Joyce Chung and Mariana Fernández
Sound Designer and Technical Producer: Daniel Neumann
Choreographer: Paul Hamilton
Kevin Beasley Studio: Barbara Elting, Dante Migone-Ojeda
Stage Manager: Caitlin Adams
Audio Technician: Jade Guterman
Production Assistants: Austin Brown, Mitchell Cheng, Justin Germek
Costume Prep: Maggie Beutner
Volunteers: Kelvin Ponder, P.J. Verhoest, Aliza Russell
Security: Elite Security

Jim Toth, NYC Department of Transportation, SAPO, LES Partnerships, NYPD, Sauce Pizzeria, Trapizzino Restaurant, Plaxall, and Essex Street Academy.

Toby Devan Lewis, Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, the Ford Foundation, the National Endowment for the Arts, Richard Chang, Hill Art Foundation, Joyce Liu, Francesco Aquilini, Bob Mersky, and Donald Porteous.


Kevin Beasley

Kevin Beasley reimagines the spaces in which we live, the institutions we visit, the objects and materials that we use, and the actions of our lives. His work incorporates everyday items such as brightly colored housedresses procured from a former Harlem-based shop, repurposing them into life-size freestanding sculptures and wall-based works draped in resin. Beasley’s sound works blend genre, incorporating samples and live sounds—which he distorts, edits, cuts and pastes using a wide range of analogue, digital, electronic and acoustic instruments. For his live performances he often collaborates with other artists, such as drummer and artist Eli Keszler, conceptualist Ralph Lemon and artist and performer Okwui Okpokwasili, to create hybrid works.

Beasley, born 1985 Lynchburg, Virginia lives and works in New York City. He presented solo exhibitions and projects at A4 Arts Foundation, Cape Town, 2020, Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, 2012-2019, The Kitchen, New York, 2019, The Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston, and The Hammer, Los Angeles, 2017; he was included in Liverpool Biennial, 2018, The Whitney Museum of American Art's Biennial in 2014, and MoMA PS1's Greater New York exhibition in 2015.

Daniel Neumann

Daniel Neumann is a sound artist, organizer and audio engineer living in NYC. He holds a masters degree in media art from the Academy of Visual Art Leipzig and also studied electronic music composition. A main focus for him is how sound interacts with space and how space and spatial perception can be shaped by sound. His work has been presented internationally and is represented by Fridman Gallery. As an audio engineer, he has 20+ years of professional experience and his focus is on multi-channel sound, installations and contemporary music. He is a member of Alarm Will Sound.

Paul Hamilton

Paul Hamilton is a Bessie-nominated dancer who trained at the Jamaica School of Dance and SUNY Purchase. In 2000 he began collaborating with Reggie Wilson/Fist and Heel Performance Group, creating five original works from 2003 to 2014. With choreographer Keely Garfield he created four works from 2005 to 2016. In 2014 he began a collaboration with Ralph Lemon that led to Scaffold Room, he received a Bessie nomination for this and for performances with Garfield and Jane Comfort. In 2018–2019 he performed in two Bessie-winning productions—by Comfort and David Thomson—and in exhibitions at the MoMA on Bruce Nauman and Judson Dance Theater. An excerpt of his solo The Sitch was performed at Danspace Project Gala 2019. 

Dwayne Brown

Dwayne Brown is a Bronx native currently based in Harlem. Upcoming engagements include Lyric Opera Chicago (Fall ’21) and Hammer Museum (Spring ’22). He is represented by Clear Talent Group.

Ley Gambucci

Ley Gambucci is a caretaker and fugitive in flight and transition.

Wendell Gray II

Wendell Gray II is a dance artist and choreographer based in Brooklyn, NY. Through movement, he is invested in physical capacities of freedom and how that transcends into everyday life. He is a graduate of the University of the Arts (‘15) with a BFA in dance and was raised in Atlanta, Georgia.

Raymond Pinto

Raymond is an artist and performer based in the tri-state area. They dance everyday; grounding themselves in a practice of movement that situates a black aesthetic. Their passion for movement at its core refuses anti-black heteronormative tropes whilst negotiating epistemologies of compliance.

Angie Pittman

Angie Pittman is a New York-based dance artist, maker, and educator. Angie is currently working as a collaborator and dance artist with Anna Sperber Dance Projects and LVJ Performance Co. and, as an educator, she is currently a Visiting Assistant Professor of Dance at Marymount Manhattan College. Her choreographic work has been performed at The Kitchen, Gibney Dance, BAAD!, Movement Research at Judson Church, Triskelion Arts, STooPS, The Domestic Performance Agency, The KnockDown Center, The Invisible Dog(Catch 73), The Chocolate Factory and Danspace Project.

jess pretty

jess pretty is on a quest for pleasure that transcends time and the spaces she claims to reside in. Her practices include writing, teaching, cooking, conjuring, and moving. Her free time is filled curating methodologies for living past survival through being as unapologetically black as possible.

Katrina Reid

Katrina Reid is a director, choreographer, and dancer, as well as a producer at The Notice Blog. They collaborate with a range of artists who explore performance across dance, theater, ritual, music, and film.

Gabriela Silva

Gabriela Silva is a performer, teacher and activist from southern Brazil, currently based in Queens, NY. She has been a performer with the Reggie Wilson/Fist and Heel Performance Group since 2016. For years, Gabriela has been active in movements for justice and liberation as a member of the Party for Socialism and Liberation and, more recently, the Cathy Rojas for Mayor campaign.

Amadi Washington

Amadi Washington was born and raised in the Bronx, and have professionally worked with Punchdrunk’s Sleep No More, David Dorfman Dance, Gallim, ChristinaNoel and the Creature, and Falcon Dance. Amadi has had the privilege of teaching at Hunter College, Bard College, The University of Maryland, The Hotchkiss School, The Dalton School, and the Angelo Patri Middle School. Amadi also creates his own work with his collaborator, Sam Asa Pratt, as Baye & Asa.