Confidence Booth Sound Sample

Using Max/MSP and Apple Voices, scrambled “confidences”—secrets and confessions donated by visitors to the Confidence Booth—are processed and rearticulated in a randomly evolving babble/Babel of redacted story fragments broadcast from a piñata conch shell located outside the booth.

Anna Dembska bio

Anna Dembska’s compositions include new music theater, opera, and concert music, from the puppet opera Enough Is Enough at the Bread and Puppet Circus to Coyote at The Bang-on-a-Can Festival at Alice Tully Hall, Lincoln Center. Recently her musical interests have expanded to sound art installation, including sound elements of visual artist Bachrun Lomele’s traveling installation Confidence Booth; Hatchery Weather and Sound Station, presented at the East of Fresno group exhibition at Hatchery Art Spaces in Badger, California; and Sound Garden, an in-progress collaboration with plants and weather, using sensors, digital technology, and shamanic techniques to engage directly with non-human beings as co-improvisers.

With vocalist Andrea Goodman, Anna performs Music of a New Frequency—spontaneous songs, improvisational journeys, and vibrational transmissions evoking the essences of astrological moments, plant spirits, and alternate realities, merging ceremony, performance, and sound healing. She sings soprano in the vocal quartet for Figures of Speech Theatre‘s theatrical interpretation of David Lang’s Little Match Girl Passion, premiering at Bates College in January, 2016. She directs the Schoodic Summer Chorus, an a cappella community chorus in Winter Harbor, Maine.

Dembska was awarded a Meet the Composer/National Endowment for the Arts Commissioning Music/USA grant for her chamber opera The Singing Bridge, with libretto and conception by poet Beatrix Gates and commissioned by Opera House Arts in Stonington, Maine. Her “Kore Chant” and “A Circle Is Cast,” recorded by Libana, have been performed by choruses all over the world. She is a featured singer in Gamelon Son of Lion’s Innova CD Sonogram. She created the role of Mary Burton in Leroy Jenkins’ The Negros Burial Ground at The Kitchen, composed the choral music for Lee Nagrin’s The Valley of Iao at La Mama E.T.C., and toured as composer, vocal director, and performer with Ralph Lee’s Mettawee River Company.

With pianist Joan Harkness, she toured the theatrical concert Pedestrian and Holy: Acts of American Music, which was showcased in the documentary Audible Laundry, The Music of Sound, featuring interviews with composers Pauline Oliveros, Lou Harrison, and Anna Dembska. Dembska and Harkness also collaborated on two books, You’ve Got Rhythm: read music better by feeling the beat, and Piano, Body and Soul, an innovative method for adult beginners, which are bringing new repertoire, improvisation techniques, and sophisticated music skills to amateur, beginning, and student musicians.