PORTFOLIO

TRANSMEDIA WORKS

Residuum, 2020

Aliya Ultan (composer, designer) Katinka Kleijn (performer, commissioner)

Residuum (meaning chemical residue) was commissioned by Katinka Kleijn in 2020 for Chicago’s Frequency Festival. The score is a series of factoids and questions regarding 600 feet of mylar which is sonically activated through the vibrations of a cello and predetermined choreography. This is one of many works I have created to explore trash as inherently human and more specifically noise as an analogue/organic phenomenon that is embedded within these materials.  

Review

 

NOVA: A Contemporary Circus Show, 2018

Teddy Ment (director, producer, choreographer, performer) Eleanor Getz (performer, assistant director) Aliya Ultan (composer-performer, collaborator)

Nova is a narrative-based contemporary circus show incorporating aerials, dance, physical comedy, acrobatics, original music, and cinematography to convey the story of a young girl as she passes into the world of sleep. This intimate multimedia piece playfully investigates notions of childhood, companionship, metamorphosis, and loss.

 

Become a House, 2019

Aliya Ultan (composer, choreographer, director, performer)

Become a House takes a humorous and absurd approach to reflecting on the potential toxicity of heteronormative relationships. The “protagonist” exists as multiple bodies that encircle themselves as well as disperse in search for individuality within the confines of an out of balance relationship. 

Although the other person in this hypothetical relationship does not appear physically, the words are entirely from their perspective. By making the actions empowering and the words petty demands, my hope is to share a female’s perspective as a continuum of contradicting phenomena that culminate in a wild and boundless world of possibilities.

 

Malady of the Infinite: The Separation of Body & Psyche, 2017

Rebecca Wood (poet, performer), Tyus Southern (choreographer, performer), Aliya Ultan (director, composer, performer)

Malady of the Infinite: the Separation of Body and Psyche is a collaborative project that combines original poetry, music, and dance.  This work is an investigation of our culture’s tendency of dismissing the relationship between body and psyche.  Over the course of seven short scenes, we expose the danger of neglecting one or both of these modes of being.  Each scene furthers the possibility for healing by deepening our understanding of this human disconnect.

 

Notes on Attunement, 2017

Michal Schorsch (director, producer, choreographer) Aliya Ultan (music director, composer/songwriter, sound designer, performer)

“This piece reflects my attempt to prepare a complete performance feast. As with all recipes, I hope to keep developing and finessing it. Tonight, you are guests at my table. There are four courses, each with dense and diverse flavor profiles. Some moments function more like palate cleansers, desensitizing for renewed quality. Ideally, they leave you satisfied and wanting more. So that when it’s all over, you are both full and nostalgic. I hope this piece is not an acquired taste, pretentious and stingy. I tried to avoid the distinctly stale coloration of much contemporary dance with its trademark blank facial expressions and hackneyed shapes. I hope this dance sits more like a warm, home-cooked meal, inviting in spirit and generous in portion. Luckily, tonight is free and a la carte so pick and choose what you wish to savor. Eat with your eyes, compliments of the dancers” (Program notes by Michal Schorsch)

FILM WORKS

Two of One is One as Many, 2020

Two of One is One as Many attempts to depict a constellation between pink, noise, trash, gender, and consumerism via an audiovisual scoring system. The way in which I fuse these elements is by creating an audiovisual soup in which the danger of their interrelations transpires. The soundscore is made solely from a single recording of a tea kettle heating-up and then cooling-down. Each body part that makes-up the distorted face of two lovers, triggers a fragment of the tea kettle’s song when opening and triggers an abrupt cutoff when closing.

Silver Pony, 2020

Trash is inherently human as the current state of things makes it merely impossible to live without producing a significant amount of waste on a daily basis. In Silver Pony I aim to explore this by using a pink plastic film to depict grotesquely human parts such as an umbilical cord, intestines, and the walls of a giant womb. The car is transformed into a kind of monstrous mothership that both feeds and consumes a young woman who represents the shell of a childhood memory.

Silver Pony is ultimately the rehashing of the day when my family and I lost our home. After living in our car for many years, it was stolen one night later reappearing in a towing lot with broken windows, our clothes and notebooks pissed on, dolls disassembled, et cetera. When experiencing this, I remember feeling as though we had lost a member of our family as the car had taken care of us and was now the victim of a crime.

Study 1 for Cello and Subtitles, 2020

Study 1 for Cello and Subtitles systematically breaks language, image, and sound to split the ear and eye so much so that the essence of one’s experience is that of a collage. The puzzle-like logic that emerges from this piece is purposefully unsolvable as the content is censored via my own inability to fully remember a traumatic event from my childhood.

SOUND WORKS

FIXED/PREDETERMINED COMPOSITIONS

Ode for oboe, clarinet, bassoon, french horn, string quartet, and piano, 2020 

Residuum for solo cello, voice, movement, and 600 feet of mylar, 2020

Half a Million for voice, oboe, two electric guitars, cello, bass, piano, percussion, movement, and six industrial lamps, 2019

Vicarious Liver for vocalist and reed quintet, 2019

Nue (Formless Beast)  for 2 violins, 2 violas, 2 cellos, 2 basses, and live electronics, 2018           

Homeschooling for clarinet, soprano sax, alto sax, tenor sax, bari sax, drumset, accordian, string quartet, and 2 basses, 2018

Placelessness for singing cellist, soprano sax, 2 alto saxophones, and bari sax, 2018

Hebetude for singing cellist and 8 electric guitars, 2018

LUTALICA (Wanderer) for solo viola, 2017

Powder Prayer for Shadow Planet for soloist (voice & cello), 2 trumpets, 2 bass clarinets, alto sax, bari sax, 2 violins, viola, cello, bass, 2 electric guitars, and 2 percussionists, 2017

Underneath a Heart for saxophones and electronics

Straight Up Into Fog for singing cellist, 2017

Malady of the Infinite: The Separation of Body and Psyche for voice, poet, dancer, cello quatyey, electric bass, drums, and electronics, 2017

We Sung Our Words Into Thread for voices and field recordings, 2017

Post Election Hangover for vibraphone, oboe, clarinet, bassoon, string quintet, and piano, 2016

Some Wounds are Ovals, Some are Opals for solo cello and fixed media, 2016

Hovering a film score for Poetry America-Harvard University for flutes, piano, and many cellos, 2016

Soulfur for vocals and cello octet, 2015

After Breath: A Web of Sippings for cello and fixed media, 2015

Should We? (Change) for solo cello and concert band, 2015

She’s a Fractal for solo flute, 2 violins, 2 violas, and 4 cellos

Yellow’s Bruises: An Opera in One Act for four singers, flute, and string octet, 2014

Bura for voice, 4 b flat trumpets, french horn, trombone, bass trombone, euphonium, and tuba, 2014

w.J.e. for flute, violin, and cello, 2013

Closing a film score for voice, cello, electric guitar, and piano, 2013

Illusions for string octet and two percussionists, 2012

SPONTANEOUS COMPOSITIONS

Wilfrido Terrazas (flute), Daniel Ivan Bruno (trombone), Aliya Ultan (voice & cello) 

Words Backwords – Webb Crawford (tromba marina), Aliya Ultan (voice & cello)

AND Livestreaming Concert for Tvl

Live set with Webb Crawford (guitar) – Part 1

Live set with Webb Crawford (guitar) – Part 2

Yuma Uesaka (tenor sax), Zekkeraya El-megharbel (trombone), Aliya Ultan -(cello & voice)

Lester St Louis (cello), Aliya Ultan (cello)

Matthew Frerck (bass), Aliya Ultan (cello)

SONGS

“Make Dreams Into Homes” for banjo and voice

“Long While” for cello and voice

“Selfishly Selfless” for cello and voice

“Michigan” for cellos and voices

“Splinters” for cello and voice

 

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