Separation is an evening-length duet designed to explore how acoustic phenomena and physical space can illustrate, question, and manipulate intimacy: What does it mean for two different people/instruments/identities to exist together harmoniously (or not)? Can the two exist without sacrificing parts of one another’s identity? Sarah builds the piece around every new venue, as the physical space exists as a character and a parameter in the work’s performance. The piece activates performance potential of two musicians who are “together but separate,” and in Dupont Underground Sarah could truly “stage” the work and activate the full potential of the performance space, allowing the audience to navigate the physical space in which the performance exists and explore small, delicate, “hidden” sounds that might be sometimes inaudible even to the other performer.
The work of Sarah Hennies utilizes an often grueling, endurance-based performance practice in a subversive examination of psychoacoustics, queerness, trans and gender identity, and performance art. Based in Ithaca, New York, Hennies is currently a member of improvised music group Meridian with Greg Stuart and Tim Feeney, a duo with sound/performance artist Jason Zeh, and the Queer Percussion Research Group with Jerry Pergolesi, Bill Solomon, and Jennifer Torrence. In late 2017 she premiered the groundbreaking work, Contralto at Issue Project Room (NYC), a film featuring a cast of transgender women with a live score for string quartet and three percussionists.