September 2018 ~ Curator Laura U. Marks
Works by Jessika Kenney
Jessika Kenney’s (US) sound work Anchor Zero (2015) begins with a score based on extends the first words of Nizami's Layla and Majnun (1188). Kenney draws each consonant in the Persian poem out by adding an alif, the letter A written as a vertical line. Singing the resulting sounds, her voice ascends, climbing the alif. Her beautiful singing grounds these sounds in her body and on the earth, while at the same time directing them heavenward. Installed in a space at the Frye Art Museum, Kenney’s music allows visitors to also experience this grounded ascension. Kenney describes the score as a talisman, I believe because it compresses a course of action to be decompressed at a later point.