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ICElab: Anna Thorvaldsdottir - Light of Air | ICE on the MCA Stage

  • Museum of Contemporary Art 220 E Chicago Ave Chicago, IL, 60611 United States (map)

International Contemporary Ensemble (ICE)

Kyle Armbrust, viola
Michael Nicolas, cello
Nuiko Wadden, harp
Cory Smythe, piano
Ross Karre, percussion
Nick Houfek, lighting design
Levy Lorenzo, sound | electronics

In The Light Of Air is a trilogy of works that together form a structure of a single piece. The three movements, bare the titles Luminance, Serenity and Remembrance.

The work streams from one movement to the next through a flowing texture of harmonies and sound materials. Parts of the work are constructed around the idea of each performer being a "soloist" in the setting of a chamber ensemble, in the sense that - throughout the work - the performers alternate between traveling through fields of collective instrumental alliances and moving into soloistic approaches.

The piece incorporates a lighting constellation that is a part of the work and is designed in collaboration with ICE. The lights enhance the atmospheric experience during a live performance by visually portraying certain aspects of the performance. The performers directly contribute to the performance of the lighting figures through their breath as well as through their instrumental performance. For the work Anna has also designed an installation of metallic ornaments that are used in the performance. The installation contributes to the visual atmosphere of the music as well as to the audio experience. The ornaments, called Klakabönd in Icelandic, which translates as “a bind of ice”, are created by an Icelandic artist Svana Jósepsdóttir.


In the Light of Air, for viola, cello, harp, piano, percussion, with interactive lights and sound (2014)

I. Luminance
II. Serenity
III. Existence
IV. Remembrance


ICE’s 2014-15 MCA appearances are made possible through generous support from the National Endowment for the Arts, the A.N. and Pearl G. Barnett Family Foundation, the MacArthur Fund for Arts and Culture at the Prince Charitable Trusts, The Aaron Copland Fund for Music, The Amphion Foundation, The Elizabeth F. Cheney Foundation, the Alice M. Ditson Fund, the BMI Foundation, the Illinois Arts Council, a state agency. This project is partially supported by a CityArts Grant from the City of Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs & Special Events.