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Trickster Quartet 

MicroDrone @Oscillations, Experimental Sound Station, November 2018

Johanna Brock, Elaine Lemieux, Sara Zalek, Mabel Kwan

MicroDrone is an excerpt from a performance at Experimental Sound Studios, through the Oscillations residency, which was awarded to us in November 2018. We offered our three part workshop series, Open Voice, and the opportunity for students to participate in the performance. In this workshop, we lead participants in a vocal warm up that is in proximity and related to the body and its language. This combination of movement and vocal exploration helps the group to find percussion within the drone, a layering of resonant and dissonant sounds, and the textures of environmental sounds interwoven with vocal and instrument sounds.


Trickster Quartet in Concert @Edgar Miller Legacy, November 2018

Johanna Brock, Elaine Lemieux, Sara Zalek

Edgar Miller Legacy House was originally slated to be a private performance for an invitation only benefit event. Once we visited the space and met the director, we began a relationship that evolved into the beginning of a new artistic residency program at the space. We spent hours each week finding inspiration in the light, detail, resonance, and history about events that had taken place there, forgotten histories that we wove into the making of our scores. This kind of space, relationship, and time to develop a piece in a site-specific way is ideal for our future.

EDGE @Unknown Film Screening, September 14, 2018

Johanna Brock, Elaine Lemieux, Sara Zalek

The composition EDGE was created by Johanna Brock and performed by the Trickster Quartet. This recording was made in preparation for a live performance at Dreambox Gallery in Chicago. EDGE follows multiple patterns of breaking down words to form new sounds, rhythms, and intersections, allowing possibility for new meanings to emerge. EDGE will be featured in our book and performed live.


Trickster Quartet @Yelling at the Dark, Elastic Arts, March 3, 2018 

Johanna Brock, Elaine Lemieux, Sara Zalek

Composition Le Seuil (The Threshold) was created by The Trickster Quartet and inspired by the composition "Recitations" by Georges Aperghis. Starting with the instruction to create a sound of personal empowerment, we curated our favorite sounds, then mapped them into a pyramid shape score characterized by a slow build of a repetition.  This score is excellent for workshops, as the pyramid has the capacity to feature an unlimited variety of vocal expression, and the participants can create their own sounds and maps together. This composition will be featured in our book and performed with new student scores performed where possible.


Les Chanteuses du rien, @Elevate, Chicago Cultural Center, October 2017

Johanna Brock, Elaine Lemieux, Sara Zalek


Les Chanteuses du Rien was part of Elevate Chicago Dance, a citywide festival featuring public performances and studio showings by Chicago choreographers and dance companies. We chose to activate the front stairway of the Chicago Cultural Center, using a drawing as a score. This included directions of call and response, expansion and contraction, invitation and retreat, pop songs and ballads. This is an example of us sonically and visually amplifying a gigantic space, making bold moves to interact and captivate the public. We love to capture and hold silence and breath with a large crowd.


House Opera + Picnic @Zalek’s House, February 2017

Hereaclitus Here Vernon, Johanna Brock, Elaine Lemieux, Sara Zalek

The Trickster Quartet hosted a winter picnic in Sara’s residence as part of a walking tour art festival Second Floor Rear. We created a two hour opera with food including the creation, destruction, and recreation of a mandala. For the first hour, we activated the second floor while the audience was served food on the first floor, and during the second hour we interacted with them directly, eventually bringing them upstairs. For this performance we intentionally created multiple vantages in order to disrupt expectations in whimsical confusion. Creating sculptures with the audience while performing has great future potential.

This is a group of five humans in a dark black space, wearing gold and bronze dresses, shimmering blue capes and gold/green caked makeup on their faces. From left to right, Elaine Lemieux looking up with her mouth open in song; next Johanna Weisbrock, looking up, pensive, with her hands in action in front of her; Hereaclitus Vernon with a shaved head, their face turned toward Johanna; Sky Goodman with long black curls and her expression feeling; Sara Zalek is a blur/ghostly image with a silver headpiece running around the back.
Threes figures turned in toward each other in front of a large arched window of the Chicago Cultural Center, also known as the People's Palace. Centered ins a violin, held by Johanna Weisbrock on the right, her black hair piled on top of her head, a stiff plastic opaque ruffle at her neck. Centered, facing the camera with closed eyes, a silver chainmail helmet with a windows peak, on the left Elaine Lemieux with her brown hair in two buns, her torso clad in white plastic with black plastic ribbon.
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