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Lisa Karrer and David Simons

Schismism: Natural Law

Monday, November 8, 2010
Casadesus Recital Hall, 5:00 PM


Lisa Karrer’s “Schismism: Natural Law” is a multi-media solo performance inspired by the life of Charles Darwin, in collaboration with composer and multi-instrumentalist David Simons. In “Schismism…” performer-vocalist-videographer Lisa Karrer is featured with an arresting assortment of sonic and visual backdrops, including video sequences linked with original soundtracks and musical arrangements, triggered theremin and voice, and acoustic and electronic compositions performed live with David Simons. These combined elements illuminate an interwoven collection of theoretical concepts, associations and stories that mirror Darwin’s complex and thorough exploration of evolution and universal connectedness.

The performance is organized into six separate sections, exploring various aspects of Charles Darwin’s life and work. These sections include details of the theory of natural selection, excerpts of Darwin’s memoirs and diaries, family history, letters, classifications and lists, as well as contemporary stories that mirror or intersect with Darwin and his theory of evolution. The performance is approximately one hour in length.

In the spirit of natural selection, audience members are invited to choose the sequence of onstage events during each performance; followed by a brief post-show discussion with the artists.


Lisa Karrer is a composer, vocalist, video and performance artist, and collaborates with numerous artists and ensembles in the U.S., Estonia, Eastern and Western Europe, Israel and Indonesia. She produced CDs for the ensembles Music For Homemade Instruments/”Pick of the Litter” and Gamelan Son of Lion/”Bending the Gending”, and with co-composer David Simons recorded and released their chamber opera “The Birth of George” on Harvestworks’ TELLUS label. Other large-scale multi-media works include “Puhamu”, a music theatre project premiered in Estonia;  “Woman’s Song: The Story of Roro Mendut”, a contemporary wayang opera co-produced by the Kitchen and the World Music Institute; and “Schismism: Natural Law” (based on the life of Charles Darwin) premiered at the Living Theatre in NYC. Her recent compositions for Gamelan orchestra appear on Gamelan Son of Lion’s CD “Sonogram”, on Innova Records. Lisa’s video and sound installations have been exhibited at venues such as GAGA/Garnerville Arts Center, RoCA/Rockland Center for the Arts, and A.I.R. Gallery in Brooklyn NY.

David Simons is a composer and performer specializing in percussion, Theremin, electronics, homemade instruments, and World Music.  Recordings of his works include 2  CDs on Tzadik “Prismatic Hearing” (2004) and the just released “Fung Sha Noon” (2009); the opera “The Birth of George” (Tellus/Harvestworks) w/Lisa Karrer (2003);  3 CDs  for Gamelan Son of Lion  (most recently “Sonogram” 2008 on Innova), and on albums by God is My Co-Pilot, Stockhausen, Shelley Hirsch, Music for Homemade Instruments, Denman Maroney, Laura Andel and many others. David’s work in music for theater and dance has brought him to Europe, Asia, Guantanamo, Honolulu, and Bali. He has been awarded a Rockefeller Bellagio residency,  NYFA fellowships,  commissions and travel awards. Simons’ composition “Odentity” for the  Harry Partch instruments was premiered by Newband in 2007 and is featured on his newest Tzadik CD “Fung Sha Noon”. David is a graduate of California Institute of the Arts. His writings on music and sound are published in Radiotexte(Semiotexte#16), EAR magazine, and Soundings.


Performance Video:

Posters (PDF):