Open Call: Merche Blasco
About this commission
Vibrant Strata is an experimental music performance exploring the nature of our world as a constant flux of vibrant energy. Merche Blasco amplifies the vibrations of animate and inanimate life to reveal the swirl of forces that bind us inextricably to each other and to our environment.
Act 1 opens our senses to the electromagnetic waves coursing through The Shed itself. The audience experiences an eight-channel electronic backdrop composed with the electromagnetic sounds that Blasco recorded throughout the building. Against that sonic backdrop, performers Anaïs Maviel and Jean Carla Rodea sing and sonify the live electromagnetic energy in the space with two antenna-rackets. The quartet is completed by Popebama (Dennis Sullivan and Erin Rogers) performing on electronic toothbrushes and electric guitars.
Act 2 presents musical collaborators Shelley Hirsch and Dafna Naphtali on voice, Dennis Sullivan and Anaïs Maviel on percussion, and a 3-D printer named Anette. The human performers listen and react to Anette’s electromagnetic voice, amplified through the custom-built antenna/thimbles that Blasco wears on her fingers. The resulting human-machine dialogue constitutes a call for an ecology of nonhierarchical relationships amongst people and other organic and inorganic materialities.
Vibrant Strata culminates with Act 3, a collaboration with interdisciplinary artist Miriam Parker, wearing a piece by fashion designers threeASFOUR. Parker traverses The Shed’s McCourt space with two custom wearable instruments: the first connects her to the building though processed acoustic feedback, and the second, designed as a ring, generates a sonic landscape as she moves and interacts with different materials. The audible ripples her actions incite in the space invite reflection on ourselves as connected points on a universal vibrant continuum, each of us wielding immense power to influence all that surrounds us, all of us sharing the urgent responsibility to listen.
Itohan Edoloyi, Lighting Design Coordinator
DJ Potts, Audio Design Coordinator
Erica Schnitzer, Stage Coordinator
Stefan Carrillo, Head Carpenter – McCourt
Stuart Burgess, Head Electrician – McCourt
Jim Van Bergen, Head Audio – McCourt
Adam Farquharson, Production Video
Sean Meehan, Assistant Video
Maytté Martinez, Lighting Programmer
Mike Diaz, Assistant Carpenter
Josh Liebert, A1
Seth Huling, Head Audio/Monitor Engineer
over 2 years ago
The Shed’s spaces are all wheelchair accessible. This event takes place in The McCourt.
Assistive listening is available on your smartphone over The Shed’s free Wi-Fi network via the free Listen Everywhere app. Devices will be available for you to borrow at the ticketing desk if you do not want to use your own smartphone.
Download the Listen Everywhere app before you arrive.
To request live audio description or ASL interpretation with Deaf interpreters coordinated and supported by a hearing interpreter, please email email@example.com or call (646) 455-3494 at least 10 days in advance of the performance.
To learn more about what to expect during your visit and the performance, please read these descriptions.
If you have any questions or other requests, please email firstname.lastname@example.org or call (646) 455-3494.
What to Expect
Thank you for planning a visit to The Shed. We’re looking forward to welcoming you for Open Call. Currently, the entrance to our building is through The McCourt door on the east side of our building adjacent to the Hudson Yards Public Square. The McCourt is a large performance space created when The Shed’s shell, or movable roof, rolls out to cover the plaza on the east side of the building. You can access this entrance from 11th Avenue and Hudson Boulevard, just one block north of 30th Street, or from the 34 St–Hudson Yards subway station between 10th and 11th Avenues.
As you arrive at The Shed, you will enter The McCourt through a set of doors at the southeast corner of the building. It is close to the area where the High Line meets Hudson Yards at 30th Street. Most performances will take place in The McCourt. You will pass through this space to enter the rest of the building and access the Level 2 Gallery and The Tisch Skylights for the exhibition and other performances.
The shell of The McCourt is covered in a shiny, pillowy material, and its floor is level with the ground of the plaza. The Shed’s building, including The McCourt, is wheelchair accessible. You will scan your own ticket on your smartphone, with help if needed from a friendly visitor experience staff member standing nearby wearing a black t-shirt and ID badge on a purple lanyard.
Once you’re inside The McCourt, the space feels airy with 110-foot-high ceilings. Most of the walls are glass and let sunlight into the space. Light from the plaza and the Shops at Hudson Yards filters into the space after sunset.
The flooring in The McCourt is made of hard paving stones. They are in two shades of gray, and the lighter stones stretch across the east and west sides of The McCourt to form a large artwork by Lawrence Weiner that reads “In front of itself” in large letters. (This phrase is also the title of the work.) The letters on the east side of the space are partly covered by the Open Call stage so you can only partially read the phrase.
Seating in The McCourt is general admission, so you can choose from any available spot. The seats have armrests and thick cushions, and some are folding chairs that flip up as you stand up from them. If you would like help in finding a seat, a staff member at the entrance can guide you.
For any additional access needs or requests, please email email@example.com or call (646) 455-3494.
Thank you to our partners
Additional support for Open Call is provided by Jody and John Arnhold | Arnhold Foundation.
The creation of new work at The Shed is generously supported by the Lizzie and Jonathan Tisch Commissioning Fund and the Shed Commissioners. Major support for live productions at The Shed is provided by the Charina Endowment Fund.