Presented by OLG

The Monocle - Aurora Nealand

Sat, Jun 22, 2024
Fourth Stage
National Arts Centre

The Monocle is Aurora Nealand's solo project of original compositions and performance pieces. Utilizing voice, accordion, saxophones, loop-pedals, pre-recorded tape pieces, tin cans, drums and contact mics on frozen fruit, Aurora Nealand has performed as The Monocle at the Ogden Museum of Art, NYC Symphony Space, and at Berlin's Haus Festival.

Original Compositions: Aurora Nealand studied Composition at Oberlin Conservatory with Randolph Coleman, Tom Lopez and Leo Wanenchek, and has been composing original music throughout the past 10 years. She was on Faculty at the Walden School for Young Musicians (see link below) teachingComposition and Computer Musicianship for 6 years, and continues to be involved in this amazing program for young composers. Her original works have been performed at Symphony Space in NYC, the High Zero Festival (Baltimore), the Krake Festival (Berlin), and frequently at the Open Ears Series in New Orleans. Nealand received an Ascap Fellowship to study Film Music in Florence in 2003, and studied at L'Ecole Internationale du Theatre Jacques Lecoq in Paris in 2004. She has written and directed two original theatre pieces, "In Memoriam" and "Earhart Eclipsed" and recently composed an original score for Cripple Creeks Production of the Greek Satire "Lysistrata".

Aurora Nealand strives to live at the intersection of Lunatic and Librarian. She is a sound artist and multi-instrumentalist (saxophones, accordion, voice) based in New Orleans, LA . She is deeply interested in the sonification of everyday objects and knowledge-generation through the stories and history that Sound (with a capital S) contains. The Monocle is Nealand’s solo project and song based performance vehicle rooted in stories from decades of co-living between New Orleans & New York City, squatting in anarchist bookshops, touring on bicycles, falling in love with furniture, and attempting the improbable suspension of bureaucracy, if just for a moment. Less loftily put, it is a collection of vernacularly-sacred songs of our times and performance pieces based in the sound world of the poor-mans-organ (the accordion), the story-box (the voice), and time (the drums).

Nealand is also the leader of The Royal Roses, the non-traditional Traditional Jazz band, which draws it's approach to collective improvisation’s lineage, spanning from the New Orleans Early Jazz traditions, to the AACM, and collage-sound art. Nealand's other musical projects include George (with John Hollenbeck, Anna Webber & Chiquita Magic), redrawblak Trio, the Instigation Orchestra, and the Danger Dangers. In 2019 she debuted KindHumanKind- a 90 minute fully staged theatrical show at the Contemporary Arts Center New Orleans, based on the Monocle music. She feels extremely lucky to be in frequent collaboration with composer/improvising giants Tim Berne & David Torn. She regularly works as a musical facilitator with Found Sound Nation -an organization which facilitates international musical collaboration, and she has been involved with the Walden School for Young Composers (as a teacher/performer) for 20 years.

Nealand has toured as a featured artist to national & international festivals including Montreal Jazz Festival, Istanbul Jazz Festival, Big Ears Festival, Copenhagen Jazz Festival, MPB Jazz Festival (Natal, Brazil), Lincoln Center, The Kennedy Center, Summerstage NYC & The New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival. She has worked with Pauline Oliveros, Jonathan Hart Makwaia, Preservation Hall Allstars, Bill Frisell, Tim Berne, James Singleton, Arto Lindsey, Germaine Bazzle, John Boutte, Johnny Vidacovich and many more. She is the co-founder of SONO (Sound Observatory New Orleans) which facilitates workshops of new music in the New Orleans region. She has been awarded residencies at the New Orleans Contemporary Arts Center, the MacDowell Colony, and the Atlantic Center for the Arts. She particularly enjoys the sound of eggs frying in oil; so many layers there.