HARP

(HERE Artist Residency Program)

Science Fair Hai-Ting Chinn

Show Description

Science, sung: hypotheses, experiments, theories. Science Fair is an original multi-media recital conceived and performed by mezzo virtuosa Hai-Ting Chinn. Culled from current notes in the fields of astronomy, biology, physics, the libretto is the words of actual scientists describing their work. An evolving community of internet collaborators serves as a fact-checking body, forming the first-ever peer-reviewed science recital. Scientific instruments from past and present adorn the stage: wooden chalkboards, brass telescopes, beakers and slide projectors. Chinn has commissioned individual pieces by several contemporary composers, strung together in a song-cycle that is sonically tied to a series of live scientific demonstrations, and uses both elegance and humor to illuminate the processes of science.

Artist Bio

American mezzo-soprano Hai-Ting Chinn has been heard and seen in opera, concert, recital, and a number of unclassifiable hybrid shows that have found some use for her talents. Career highlights include the title role in The Wooster Group's production of La Didone (music of Francesco Cavalli); Aloès in New York City Opera's L'Étoile (Emanuel Chabrier); and the title role in Opera Omnia's Coronation of Poppea at Le Poisson Rouge. At HERE, Hai-Ting appeared in Yoav Gal's Mosheh, a VideOpera, in January 2011, and she is currently singing live and acting on screen with Toni Dove in her emerging electronic extravaganza, Lucid Possession. Hai-Ting also co-hosts a weekly podcast, Scopes Monkey Choir, a lighthearted discussion of the science of music.

Jennifer Griesbach has directed a variety of operas ranging from the earliest examples of the form to recent work by Hoiby, Argento and David Del Tredici. As assistant director to Elizabeth LeCompte she helped create the Wooster Group’s La Didone. Jennifer has worked all over the U.S. for companies and schools including Seattle Baroque Orchestra, Boston Baroque, SUNY Stony Brook, Garden State Opera, LaGuardia High School for the Performing Arts, and the Harvard Early Music Society, and assisted on productions with Boston Lyric Opera, New Jersey Opera Theater, the Boston Early Music Festival, and the Goettingen Handel Festival.

Zoologist Page Van Meter has published several articles in academic journals on the topic of hormones and behavior among wild spotted hyenas, which she studied for several years in Kenya. She also spent considerable time observing wild orangutans in Borneo. Page is particularly concerned about the state of science understanding and appreciation among the public. She is on the Board of the New York City Skeptics, part of a world-wide community which promotes science education, critical thinking, and greater understanding of the scientific process.

Artist Statement

Many artists and composers use scientific processes or metaphors to create their art, often to great effect, but the science usually serves the art, and is hidden within it. Science Fair uses music and performance to illuminate the science itself; to shine an artistic light on its processes and discoveries. My goal is not to explain science through music, but to let the science speak for itself, and bring the words of practicing scientists to an audience through performance. I hope to highlight the elegance of scientific texts even to the scientists themselves, who will, I hope, become engaged in the development of this work along with my artistic peers. I also want to challenge the widespread idea that art and science are somehow in opposition--that the rational search for scientific facts has to be a dull, colorless, emotionless exercise--and share my own feeling that the practice of science, just like art, is an inevitable and awe-inspiring aspect of being human.

 

                                                                                                                                                                                                       -- Hai-Ting Chinn 

Project Feed

Touring with Einstein on the Beach

I am currently part of the touring company of Einstein on the Beach, the 1976 minimalist opera by Philip Glass, Robert Wilson, and Lucinda Childs (click that link for a trailer and a performance schedule: we'll be at the Brooklyn...

Hai-Ting Chinn on Wendy Williams!

Watch the Wendy Williams show on FOX5, Friday, January 28th, to hear Hai-Ting Chinn sing a song by Stefan Weisman with Jody Schum at the piano.  The song is an ode to the Hostess Twinkie, and was part of Science Fair in CultureMart 2011 (February 7th & 8th at 7:30).

An Interview with MadArtLab

Check out this lovely interview of Hai-Ting by Ashley Hamer on MadArtLab. (Click on "view project blog above" to follow the link)