Madlener House
4 West Burton Place
Chicago, Illinois 60610
Telephone: 312.787.4071


Sarah Hennies
Lampo Performance Series
Nov 11, 2023 (7pm)

Reservations required

Sarah Hennies premieres Standing Water !!!—her first new composition in five years—and writes that the music “draws from my past work on the vibraphone alongside field recordings and, most significantly, a newfound interest in gongs and other resonant objects.” Hennies reflects, “While my past percussion music often involved long periods of repeating single sounds and chords, this new work operates on a different time scale—more spacious, less physically grueling, but no less focused on immersing the listener in its resonant world.” She concludes, “Originally stemming from work I am doing to document many unheard works by the percussionist/composer Michael Ranta, these instruments have found their way into my own practice in this new solo work and a major duo project with New York bassist Tristan Kasten-Krause.”

Sarah Hennies (b.1979, Louisville) is a composer based in upstate New York whose work is concerned with a variety of musical, sociopolitical, and psychological issues including queer and trans identity, love, intimacy, psychoacoustics, and the social and neurological conditions underlying creative thought. She is primarily a composer of acoustic chamber music, but is also active in improvisation, film, and performance art. She presents her work internationally as both a composer and percussionist with notable performances at MoMA PS1 (NYC), Monday Evening Concerts (Los Angeles), Le Guess Who (Utrecht), Festival Cable (Nantes), send + receive (Winnipeg), O’ Art Space (Milan), Cafe Oto (London), ALICE (Copenhagen), and the Edition Festival (Stockholm). As a composer, she has worked with a wide array of performers and ensembles including Bearthoven, Bent Duo, Claire Chase, ensemble 0, Judith Hamann, R. Andrew Lee, The Living Earth Show, Talea Ensemble, Thin Edge New Music Collective, Two-Way Street, Nate Wooley, and Yarn/Wire.

Her groundbreaking audio-visual work Contralto (2017) explores transfeminine identity through the elements of “voice feminization” therapy, featuring a cast of transgender women accompanied by a dense and varied musical score for string quartet and three percussionists.

Hennies is the recipient of a 2019 Foundation for Contemporary Arts Grants to Artists Award, a 2016 fellowship in music/sound from the New York Foundation for the Arts, and has received additional support from the Fromm Foundation, Mid Atlantic Arts Foundation, New Music USA, the New York State Council on the Arts, and the Creative Work Fund.

As a scholar and performer, she is engaged with ongoing research about the percussion music of Iannis Xenakis and a recording project to document music by the American percussionist and composer Michael Ranta. She teaches at Bard College.

Since 2010, the Graham Foundation has partnered with Lampo to produce an international performance series held at the Madlener House. Lampo, founded in 1997, is a nonprofit organization for experimental music and intermedia projects.

Image: Sarah Hennies performing in A Kind of Ache, 2022. Courtesy the artist. Photo: David Andrews