Fragility Etudes

Asia Society Triennial 2020-2021

Drummer/composer Susie Ibarra, known for her unique blend of Asian and jazz percussive traditions, leads the DreamTime Ensemble in Fragility Etudes, a site-specific performance in the New-York Historical Society’s Patricia D. Klingenstein Library.

Fragility Etudes explores the fragility of human interdependency by inviting audience members to participate in a musical ‘game piece’ by conducting the ensemble of musicians through rhythms and musical motifs. Through this playful and interactive piece, Ibarra skillfully uses music as an expression of the delicacy of societal relations which fluctuate with just one individual action.

Audiences will experience new compositions by Ibarra in an immersive concert in the round with sound, shaped by musicians and a surround-sound speaker design, which travels throughout the expanse of the library.

Formed by Ibarra, the DreamTime Ensemble is comprised of musicians Claudia Acuña, vocals; Jennifer Choi, violin; Yves Dharamraj, cello; Yuka C. Honda, electronics; Susie Ibarra, drumset and percussion; and Jake Landau, guitar, banjo and keyboard.

Susie Ibarra is a drummer, composer, band leader, and professor who creates distinctive compositions and sonic installations that call upon Asian percussive traditions, jazz sensibilities, and extensive study in a wide range of research interests including: improvisation, sonic mapping, and artistic intervention for societal transformation. The artist received a Music Diploma from Mannes College of Music and BA from Goddard College. She is currently professor of Performance and Percussion at Bennington College’s Elizabeth Coleman Center for Advancement of Public Action and a Yamaha, Zildjian, and Vic Firth drum artist. Ibarra’s projects include creating soundscapes from her recordings of melting Himalayan glaciers to chronicle repercussions of climate change. Ibarra formed the DreamTime Ensemble in 2016, whose first album Perception, was chosen by The New York Times for their top ten playlist the year it debuted.

Commissioned and produced by Asia Society. Supported in part by a grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. Fragility Etudes is the third performative iteration of the Fragility project which has been in development since 2017. Co-presented with the New-York Historical Society.

Patricia D. Klingenstein Library, New-York Historical Society, 170 Central Park West, New York.