"Hecuba" Toledo Museum of Art, OH
September 23, 2017
2445 Monroe St, Toledo, OH 43620
"Hecuba is both a live concert and an art-rock concept album, based on Euripides' Trojan War tragedy of love, loss, murder, and revenge. Hecuba was first performed with the Chicago Composers Orchestra (Constellation) in 2014. “The project folds classic text into a modern sound world; we call it ‘psychedelic electro-acoustic,’” said Doug Balliett, founding member of Oracle Hysterical. “The opportunity to perform this album in conjunction with The Berlin Painter and in a theater inspired by a Greek agora really spoke to us.”
Hecuba the album releases on NAXOS/VIA at National Sawdust May 13, 2018.
Recording session at Oktaven Audio
Oracle Hysterical & A Far Cry**
October 6, 2017
We're recording and filming Oracle Hysterical's New Music USA project from 2016!
October 12, 2017
Oracle Hysterical competes at the annual Concert Artist Guild Competition.
KQED Women to Watch
August 23, 2017, 7:30pm
161 Erie St., San Francisco
A performance featuring KQED Arts’ Women to Watch, a series celebrating 20 local women artists, creatives and makers who are pushing boundaries in 2017. Driven by passion for their own disciplines, from photography to comedy and every other medium in between, these women are true vanguards paving the way in their respective communities.
"Majel Connery has achieved the practically impossible: she makes contemporary opera feel both accessible and hip."
June 4, 2017
A performance curated by Jeff Dolven for Asad Raza's "Guest Weekend." Part of the Root Sequence. Mother tongue installation. Learn more here.
deluxe passionate pilgrim
June 3, 2017
National Sawdust, 80 North 6th St, Brooklyn, NY
Early music group New Vintage Baroque joins Oracle Hysterical to celebrate the release of Passionate Pilgrim Deluxe album (VIA Records), headlined by the debut of five original songs by composer Majel Connery (deemed “thoroughly Schubertian” by Allan Kozinn, Wall Street Journal). NVB and OH will also perform freshly-minted re-orchestrations by Timo Andres of Benjamin Britten’s Folksong Arrangements for baroque band (featuring tenor Owen McIntosh) and Elliot Cole’s striking living-room opera, Babinagar, based on a folktale from Afghanistan.
Mainline Music presents Oracle Hysterical
May 13, 2017
Starline Social Club, 645 W. Grand Ave., Oakland CA
NYC-based Oracle Hysterical unfurls a trio of chamber pop works co-authored and -performed by the four musician-composers Elliot Cole, Majel Connery, Doug Balliett and Brad Balliett. The program showcases Oracle Hysterical's distinctive alchemy: literary classics paired with musical influences ranging from John Blow to the Beatles to My Brightest Diamond.
The concert presents Doug Balliett's sinister “Cleopatra” cantata (based on the writings of the ancient historian Suetonius); Elliot Cole's song cycle,"Babinigar" (on an ancient Afghani folktale about a snake king and his human bride); Brad Balliett's concerto for solo bassoon, "In Triple Time." Led by conductor Stephen Prutsman, Oracle Hysterical is joined by a local ensemble of classical virtuosi including Jeff Anderle (clarinet), Kyle Bruckmann (oboe), Jill Heinke (flute), Meena Bhasin (viola), Owen Dalby (violin), Robert Howard (cello), Nick Woodbury (percussion), Jennifer Ellis (harp) and Anne Rainwater (piano).
Contriving the Chimes - by Caroline Shaw
APRIL 21, 2017 BUY TICKETS
In a first-time collaboration, Mohr Visiting Artist Majel Connery and the St. Lawrence String Quartet partner with the Pulitzer Prize-winning composer Caroline Shaw and famed opera director Christopher Alden to present a workshop staging of Shaw’s latest commission, the vocal quintet Contriving the Chimes. Based on Isaac Newton’s “Before Whitsunday 1662,” Shaw’s work for voice and string quartet sets to music a list of sins penned by a boyish 19-year-old Newton. Shaw’s playful, seemingly improvised textures offer a cheeky counterpoint to Newton’s earnest confessions. Together with a song cycle by Doug Balliett, August is also cruel, Shaw’s work appears for the first time in a workshop staging by Alden.
POST-SHOW DISCUSSION. The evening concludes with a panel conversation led by dramaturg and University of Chicago professor David J. Levin.
Aeolus - by Ken Ueno
APRIL 7, 2017
AEOLUS is a new opera combining throat singing, multiphonics, indie-rock and electronics making its premiere at National Sawdust. It is written and performed by Ken Ueno (Rome and Berlin Prizes winner) in collaboration with FLUX Quartet (“legendary for its furiously committed, untiring performances,” Alex Ross), and the “haunting, Björk-like vocals” (SF Classical Voice) of Majel Connery. AEOLUS is inspired by the mythological keeper of the winds, Aeolus, from the Odyssey. In the classic tale, wind shapes human destiny. In the opera, wind, reinterpreted as breath, is a compositional tool. AEOLUS charts Ueno’s personal odyssey, linking impressionistic scenes from memories, found objects and literary fragments from the composer’s past. Musically, the opera juxtaposes “arias” by Ueno and Connery; virtuosic, voiceless passages by FLUX; and meditative textual interludes.
Mellon Visiting Artist Residency
with Ken Ueno and Thomas Tsang
April 6, 2017
April 2-7 Ueno, Connery and Tsang are at Wellesley College under the auspices of a Mellon Visiting Artist residency at the Newhouse Center to present a musical preview of Ueno's new opera, Aeolus, on campus. The residency concludes with a performance at Jewett Auditorium featuring the FLUX Quartet.
Janurary 21, 2017
Oracle Hysterical's, "Passionate Pilgrim," drops on the National Sawdust label, Vision Into Art, on Feb 10, 2017. Join us for a concert and release party at National Sawdust, January 21. “The Passionate Pilgrim” is a song cycle co-written by composer-performer collective Oracle Hysterical (Elliot Cole, Majel Connery and Doug and Brad Balliett). In this collaboration with baroque period ensemble, New Vintage Baroque, “The Passionate Pilgrim” brings an all-but-forgotten poem cycle back to life. Once believed to have been penned by a “W. Shakespeare,” the collection was stripped of its stature when the Shakespearean parentage of all but four poems was revealed as a fake. Here, finally, this orphaned cycle enjoys new pride of place, reimagined as tuneful Baroque pop. The album’s instrumentation includes a mix of Baroque and modern instruments pitched at 415 and 440 hz, respectively. Get the album on iTunes!
The Sea: Tales of Lapham
Commissioned by and performed with A Far Cry
Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, Boston 25 Evans Way, Boston, 2115, MA
The Sea is an evening-length symphonic song cycle inspired by the literary magazine, Lapham’s Quarterly. It is commissioned by and performed with Grammy-nominated A Far Cry. Using Lapham’s “The Sea” issue as eclectic libretto, Oracle Hysterical weaves music from texts by history’s greatest seafarers, explorers, and aquatic fabulists, from Shakespeare to Homer, and John Donne to the Book of Jonah.
The Sea premiered in Boston at the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum where Grammy-winning A Far Cry has served as ensemble in residence since 2010. Before its Boston debut, The Sea received preview performances at Spectrum (NYC); Joslyn Art Museum (Omaha); and MANA Contemporary/High Concept Labs (Chicago). This project is supported by a grant from New Music USA. (Woot!)