Walker Art Center Debuts New Music/Theater Work from Ted Hearn

Walker Arts Center and Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra’s Liquid Music Series Present the World Premiere of Commissioned Music/Theater work In Your Mouth by Ted Hearne

With Real Time Installation by Conceptual Artist Rachel Perry and Stage Direction by Daniel Fish

One of the brightest compositional talents of the millennial generation.” – Russell Platt, The New Yorker

The lush, stingingly true poetry of Dorothea Lasky has inspired composer Ted Hearne‘s new theatrical song cycle, igniting hearts and minds with ferocity and grace. With frank observations of the everyday intertwined with revelatory maneuverings of his own voice, Hearne’s music—a smart mélange of traditional and contemporary tonalities with an accessible pop sheen—is backed by a quintet of in-demand musicians. This intimate 12-song suite engages audiences in a complicated, loving meditation on the personal and domestic, while savoring the depths of the wildness within. Intensifying the performance is real-time installation by conceptual artist Rachel Perry (shown above: Perry’s Blue Falling, 2019) and stage direction by Daniel Fish.

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What began as a personal, visceral connection to the stark and emotional poetry of Dorothea Lasky turned into a set of songs that explores wildness within the eye of the beholder,” says Hearne. “I’m so excited and grateful to be working with the brilliant Rachel Perry and Daniel Fish, who with their perspectives each bring incredible rigor and beauty to this project. Working with the Walker as a commissioning and presenting partner is a dream come true and I’m honored to participate in their rich programming.”

Co-commissioned and copresented by the SPCO’s Liquid Music Series and the Walker Art Center, The world premiere performances take place Thursday, November 21 and Friday, November 22 at 8pm in the Walker Arts Center’s McGuire Theater. Tickets are $26 ($20.80 Walker members).

The Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra’s Liquid Music Series, named “Best of Classical” by The New York Times, develops innovative new projects with iconoclastic artists in unique presentation formats. Liquid Music performances invite adventurous audiences to discover the new and the fascinating within the flourishing landscape of contemporary chamber music. Visit liquidmusic.org to learn more.

Photo: Jen Rosenstein

Composer, singer, bandleader and recording artist Ted Hearne (b.1982, Chicago) draws on a wide breadth of influences ranging across music’s full terrain, to create intense, personal and multi-dimensional works. The New York Times has praised Mr. Hearne for his “tough edge and wildness of spirit,” and “topical, politically sharp-edged works.” Pitchfork called Hearne’s work “some of the most expressive socially engaged music in recent memory—from any genre,” and Alex Ross wrote in The New Yorker that Hearne’s music “holds up as a complex mirror image of an information-saturated, mass-surveillance world, and remains staggering in its impact.” Hearne’s album Sound From the Bench, a cantata for choir, electric guitars and drums setting texts from U.S. Supreme Court oral arguments and inspired by the idea of corporate personhood, was a finalist for the 2018 Pulitzer Prize. Ted Hearne’s latest release and first album of solo and chamber works, Hazy Heart Pump, is now available on New Focus Recordings.

Lost in My Life (Fruit Stickers Standing with Round) 2019
archival pigment print
90 x 60 inches
Courtesy the Artist and Yancey Richardson Gallery

Born in Tokyo, Japan, Rachel Perry’s work is held in numerous museums and private collections around the world, including the Museum of Fine Arts and the Institute of Contemporary Art in Boston, the Baltimore Museum of Art, and the List Visual Arts Center at MIT. Perry has received four Fellowships from the MacDowell Colony, has been to Yaddo and ArtOmi, and was Artist-in-Residence at the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in October of 2014, beginning an affiliation that continues today. She is a three-time recipient of the Massachusetts Cultural Council Award for Excellence, the only artist in its history to win in three separate disciplines: Photography, Drawing, and Sculpture. Perry was a Finalist for the Foster Prize at the Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston, in 2006.

Dorothea Lasky was born and raised in St. Louis, Missouri. She earned a BA at Washington University and an MFA at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. She has published five collections of poetry including AWE (2007), and Black Life (2010), and Thunderbird (2012), as well as one book of prose. Her poems have appeared in a number of prominent publications, including the New Yorker, Paris Review, and American Poetry Review. Known for her colloquial, even slangy style and dramatic readings, Lasky acknowledges that “there is a kind of arrogance, a kind of supreme power, that when infused with a little real humility and expertise, makes a poem. Because the poem is always about the speaker.” Lasky was awarded a Bagley Wright Fellowship in 2013, and she is an assistant professor of poetry at Columbia University.

Daniel Fish is a New York-based director who makes work across the boundaries of theater, film, and opera. He draws on a broad range of forms and subject matter including plays, film scripts, contemporary fiction, essays and found audio. His recent work includes White Noise, inspired by the novel by Don DeLillo ( Ruhrfestspiele Recklingshausen), Michael Gordon’s opera, Acquanetta (Prototype Festival), Don’t Look Back (The Chocolate Factory), Who Left This Fork Here (Baryshnikov Arts Center, Onassis Center), Ted Hearne’s The Source (BAM NEXT WAVE, L.A Opera, San Francisco Opera), Oklahoma! (Bard Summerscape), and ETERNAL. He is a graduate of Northwestern University’s Department of Performance Studies and has taught at The Juilliard School, Bard College, Princeton University, and the Department of Design for Stage and Film at NYU Tisch School of the Arts. He is the recipient of the 2017 Herb Alpert Award in the Arts for the Theater.

Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra

Renowned for its artistic excellence, remarkable versatility of musical styles and adventurous programming, the Grammy Award-winning Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra is widely regarded as one of the finest chamber orchestras in the world. Now in its 61st season, the SPCO has recently undergone transformational change with the opening of its new home, the Ordway Concert Hall, the addition of a new generation of players and significant changes in its artistic vision. The SPCO is nationally recognized for its commitment to broad community accessibility, its innovative audience outreach efforts, its pioneering Liquid Music Series and its educational and family programming. Visit www.thespco.org to learn more.

Known for presenting today’s most compelling artists from close to home and around the world, the Walker Art Center features a broad array of contemporary visual arts, music, dance, theater, and moving image works. Ranging from concerts and films to exhibitions and workshops, Walker programs bring us together to examine the questions that shape and inspire us as individuals, cultures, and communities. The adjacent Minneapolis Sculpture Garden, one of the first urban sculpture parks of its kind in the United States, holds at its center the beloved Twin Cities landmark Spoonbridge and Cherry by Claes Oldenburg and Coosje van Bruggen as well as some 60 sculptures on the 19-acre Walker campus. Visit www.walkerart.org for more information on upcoming events and programs.

The Walker Art Center’s Performing Arts programs are made possible by generous support from the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation through the Doris Duke Performing Arts Fund, the William and Nadine McGuire Commissioning Fund, the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, and the National Endowment for the Arts.

Producers’ Council Performing Arts programs and commissions at the Walker are generously supported by members of the Producers’ Council: Nor Hall and Roger Hale; King’s Fountain/Barbara Watson Pillsbury and Henry Pillsbury; Sarah Lutman and Rob Rudolph; Emily Maltz; Dr. William W. and Nadine M. McGuire; Leni and David Moore, Jr./The David and Leni Moore Family Foundation; Annie and Peter Remes; Therese Sexe and David Hage; and Mike and Elizabeth Sweeney.

Related Event
Pre-performance Reading by Dorothea Lasky
Thursday, November 21, 7–7:30 pm
Cityview Bar, outside the McGuire Theater

Tickets are $26 ($20.80 Walker members). For more information, call the box office at 612.375.7600 or visit online at walkerart.org/tickets. Join the Walker Members receive a 20% discount on performance tickets. Call 612.375.7655 or visit walkerart.org/membership.

Buy in Bulk Buy a season package of four performances and save 25%— Walker members save 30%. Students—Come Early $10 rush tickets are available starting one hour before the show. Limit one ticket per person with valid student ID.

Get Together Bring 10 or more of your students, friends, and associates and get a 15% discounted group rate, available online and at the box office. Drinks and Dining Enjoy dinner at Esker Grove before the show, or grab a drink at the Cityview Room Bar an hour before or after the performance.

Meet the Artists The Walker offers a range of ways to interact with some of the most innovative artists and performers of our time.

Free Gallery Admission Extend your art experience—come back with your ticket within six months of a performance and receive free admission to the Walker galleries.

Walker Performing Arts For more on Performing Arts, visit https://walkerart.org/visit/stage/.

Accessibility Assistive listening devices are available for events in the McGuire Theater and can be borrowed from the lobby desk. ASL interpretation, audio description, and CART captioning are available and can be arranged for any Walker event with at least two weeks advance notice. For more information, call 612.375.7564 or e-mail access@walkerart.org.


Liquid Music Season Sponsors: Agra Culture Kitchen, SotaRol, Renaissance Minneapolis Hotel, the Depot, The Augustine Foundation, Alice M. Ditson Fund of Columbia University, The Amphion Foundation

Liquid Music Partners: Amsterdam Bar & Hall, Radio K, American Swedish Institute, The Summit Center for Arts & Innovation, The Parkway, Jayme Halbritter Photography, Walker Art Center