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Ethan Philbrick: 10 Meditations in an Emergency

Programmed by Lukaza Branfman-Verissimo

10 Meditations in an Emergency is a performance for cello, voice, and recorded sound that doubles as a series of meditation exercises for living through modernity’s ongoing—and intensifying—emergencies. Beginning with a series of textual shards from Frank O’Hara’s 1957 Meditations in an Emergency (“in times of crisis we must all decide again and again whom we love,” “everything is turbulent and green,” “the open flesh of the world,” “I could never be a boy,” “once you are helpless you are free”), the piece submerges O’Hara’s text in morphing sonic environments in an attempt to pay attention to what O’Hara’s ghost might have to offer us in the present.

Ethan Philbrick is a composer, cellist, and writer based in Brooklyn. He holds a PhD in performance studies from New York University and has presented work in New York at Abrons Arts Center, BRIC, the Grey Art Gallery, the Kitchen, MoMA PS1, NYU Skirball, and SculptureCenter. He is currently a visiting assistant professor of theatre and performance studies at Muhlenberg College.