Ian Smith-Heisters


Today I want to tell you about someone I met several months ago, quite by happenstance (though, of course, that’s hardly the whole story).  In what had become a daily online search for anything simpatico with my current project Aberfan, I came across Ian’s profile on LinkedIn.  Ian Smith-Heisters 

Within moments of scanning his profile, I felt certain we were going to be working together.

And so we are.   He will develop the visual element for Aberfan.  

Ian will create an immersive space using projection of imagery and semi-transparent scrims, capturing subjects of people, nature and the tactility of coal, ingrained in their faces.  The viewer will move through the space, at times full of unsettling, discordant movement as if being subsumed in an avalanche of slag and at other times still, inducing pause.  The kaleidoscopic nature of the music — random entrances of pianos, eruptions of trauma, shifting rhythmic emphasis, a lyrical voice — coexists with imagery that envelops the viewer.  One can walk inside, behind and around the moving images, inside the performance.

In his words:  “I am approaching Aberfan as a ritual of healing that is part of a longer, ongoing trajectory of coping with the Aberfan disaster.  My approach to the performance is informed by years dancng with Anna Halprin, who uses performed ritual to address personal and communal trauma.  In doing so, I hope to work with Laura to create a performance that addresses the personal experiences of the disaster using photography and video, while implying the disaster’s universal relevance as an almost-forgotten environmental crime against a future generation.”

For the performance or installation of Aberfan, we need money to create a studio recording and develop a design for the visual element.

Laura Siersema is composer of Aberfan (7 pianos, voice and tools of rescue), a sponsored project of New York Foundation for the Arts (NYFA), a 501(c)(3), tax-exempt organization.  All donations are tax deductible.  Your contribution ensures we can return to the studio to complete its recording.

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