category: MATA Festival Event


Saturday, May 11th, 2019

                                                                                                                                                                                              Tinna Kristjánsdottir

Composer Kristín þóra Haraldsdóttir brings poet Ger∂ur Kristný’s words to life in a stunning work of contemporary music for the #MeToo era. Featuring haunting vocal harmonies and period instruments, Bló∂hófnir (Bloodhoof) is a sonic realization of Ger∂ur Kristný’s award-winning poem by the same name. In it, she takes the classic Eddic poem Skírnismál (The “Lay of Skírnir”) and turns it on its head; by retelling the narrative from the perspective of a victimized giantess, rather than the god who kidnaps her, Ger∂ur Kristný redefines a “romantic” tale as one marked by sexual violence, and re-evaluates cultural assumptions in light of contemporary realities. Sung in Icelandic by an all-female cast, including alto Sara Couden in the lead role, with visuals by Tinna Kristjánsdóttir. Presented in partnership with the PEN World Voices Festival.


Saturday, May 11

8PM at the University Settlement – Speyer Hall, 184 Eldridge St., NYC

The event will be preceded at 7PM by a discussion with composer Kristín þóra Haraldsdóttir and poet Ger∂ur Kristný moderated by Carla Bellamy (City University of New York)

Kristín þóra Haraldsdóttir (Iceland) Bló∂hófnir (Bloodhoof) (2016-19) World Premiere of Revised Version

The Friends of MATA
Chloe Fedor, baroque violin
Dongmyung Ahn, baroque viola
Ana Kim, baroque ‘cello
Dara Bloom, baroque contrabass
Artis Wodehouse, harmonium
Jacqui Kerrod, lever harp

Sara Couden, contralto
Augusta Caso, mezzo-soprano
Tynan Davis, mezzo-soprano

About The Creators of Bló∂hófnir 

Kristín Þóra Haraldsdóttir is a composer, violist and interdisciplinary performer. Her compositions include solo instrumental music, chamber music, orchestral work, baroque ballads and soundscapes that mirror the natural world and our place within it.  As a performer, Kristín has a rich background in playing with groups and ensembles ranging in an array of styles. Kristín is an explorative improvisor who uses gesture and touch as means of sonic expressions and this translates into her composition work as well. She has lent her voice and viola playing to numerous records, and has been an active member of bands such as Mógil, Umbra, Hafdís Bjarnadóttir Band, Marshweed and Stórsveit Nix Noltes.

She released her first solo record in 2016 with the VDSQ label, with her own music for solo guitar and field recordings. Her works have been performed in Europe, North- and Central America and the Middle-East by herself and groups such as Trio XelmYa, Nordic Affect, Umbra Ensemble, Kúbus and Iceland Symphony Orchestra. Her Orchestral piece ‘Water’s Voice’ was nominated by the Icelandic National Broadcasting Service for the International Rostrum of Composers in Tallin in 2015. She has performed and premiered viola pieces written by her contemporaries at festivals such as Dark Music Days, Tectonics Reykjavík and Glasgow and Dogstar festival in Los Angeles.

Kristín holds an MFA in performance/composition from California Institute of the Arts (’11) and BMus in viola performance and composition at Iceland Academy of the Arts (’09).

Gerdur Kristný was born in 1970 and raised in Reykjavík, graduating from the University of Iceland in 1992. Kristný has published poetry, short stories, novels, and books for children, as well as a book about the Westman Islands Festival in 2002 and the biography Myndin af pabba—saga Thelmu (A Portrait of Dad—Thelma’s Story) for which she received The Icelandic Journalism Award in 2005. Other awards include the Children’s Choice Book Prize in 2003 for her book Marta Smarta (Smart Marta), the Halldór Laxness Literary Award in 2004 for her novel Bátur með segli og allt (A Boat With a Sail and All) and the West-Nordic Children’s Literature Prize in 2010 for the novel Garðurinn (The Garden). Gerður’s collection of poetry, Höggstaður (Soft Spot), was nominated for the Icelandic Literature Prize in 2007 and she then won the prize in 2010 for her poetry book Blóðhófnir, which is based on the myth about Freyr and the poet’s namesake Gerður Gymisdóttir from the Eddic poem Skírnimál. Gerður Kristný’s poetry and short stories have been included in school textbooks at the elementary and secondary level, as well as in anthologies and periodicals published in Iceland and abroad.

Tinna Kristjánsdóttir is an actress, vocalist, and interdisciplinary performer and artist. Her works include Samuel Beckett’s Not I/Footfalls/Rockaby, performed at an abandoned fish factory in Reykjavik, fronting various bands, performing with musicians Óbó (Ólafur Björn Ólafsson), Lay Low, and Kristín Thóra Haraldsdóttir, working with The Scandinavian American Theatre Company, acting in short films, doing visuals and texts for performances and advertisements. Tinna studied acting with Terry Knickerbocker at the William Esper Studio Studio in New York, and jazz and classical vocals at FÍH Music Academy in Iceland. 

Future Perfect

Saturday, April 13th, 2019

On Saturday April 13, join MATA on an intrepid journey from our present to the post-human future with Future Perfect.  The Friends of MATA are joined by pianist Conrad Tao, performing Remy Siu’s Foxconn Frequency no. 2, a multimedia theater work that questions perfection, pedagogy, and factory culture, and – wrapped in aluminum foil – vocalist Paul Pinto, in works that make the future come alive in all of its sensory overload. The conclusion of MATA’s Festival mainstage events at the Kitchen, Future Perfect visits a world of androids, bots and zombies where yesterday’s science fiction is tomorrow’s reality.

Saturday, April 13

8PM at the The Kitchen, 512 West 19th Street, NYC

Andrew Watts (USA) What it means to be post human (2017-18) New York Premiere
Remy Siu (Canada) Foxconn Frequency (no.2) – for one visibly Chinese performer (2017) US Premiere
Tatiana Gerasimenok (Belarus/Russia) Bohemian Algae (2017) US Premiere
Constantin Basica (Romania/USA) Fugue for Bells, Beans, and Bugs (2017) New York Premiere
Carolyn Chen (USA) The movement of glass through a house (2012) New York Premiere

The Friends of MATA
Gleb Kanasevich, clarinet
Tristan Kasten-Krause, bass
Matt Evans, Amy Garapic, Caitlin Cawley, percussion

Conrad Tao, piano
Paul Pinto, voice


Friday, April 12th, 2019

On Friday, April 12, the Friends of MATA, and their conductor, Carl Bettendorf, are joined by guest vocalists Lucy Fitz Gibbon and Charlotte Mundy for irl, an eclectic program that examines the complexity of communication in today’s world.  Composers, filmmakers and performers from Iceland to Turkey to Brazil come together explore the ways in which intent can be misunderstood, systems can fail, and how human communication can seem impossible.  With performances by composer-performers Ali Can Puskulcu and Daniel Corral (Timur and the Dime Museum), and the American premiere of Maja Hannisdal and Tone Kittelsen’s short film The Nordic Escape with music by Kristín þóra Haraldsdóttir, irl takes the challenges of communication head-on to understand how we may truly connect in the social media age.

Friday, April 12

8PM at the The Kitchen, 512 West 19th Street, NYC

Anna-Louise Walton (USA) Small Songs (2018) New York Premiere
Ali Can Puskulcu (Turkey/USA) Gibberish Shreds Vol. 1 (2018) New York Premiere
Daniel Corral (USA) Comma (2016) New York Premiere
Aurelio Edler-Copes (Brazil/France) Hörspiel #1 (2017) US Premiere
Kristín þóra Haraldsdóttir (Iceland), Tone Kittelsen (Norway), and Maja Hannisdal (Norway) The Nordic Escape (2016/17) US Premiere


The Friends of MATA
Carl Christian Bettendorf, conductor

Emi Ferguson, flute
Nadav Lev, guitar
Caitlin Cawley, percussion


Lucy Fitz Gibbon, Charlotte Mundy, vocalists
Ali Can Puskulcu, violin
Daniel Corral, electronics

Past Perfect

Thursday, April 11th, 2019

On Thursday, April 11, the 21st annual MATA Festival opens with Past Perfect, a triptych of intimate works that use dis- and re-embodied voices to reflect how our choices define us.  Cellist John Popham joins the Bennardo-Larson Duo to animate haunting works by Julie Herndon (You Can Only) and Matt Evans (Still Life 1a+1b) framing Dutch composer Thomas Bensdorp’s revealing personal drama Family Plot for video and automated music boxes. This cathartic evening demonstrates that even in the face of absence, individual voices maintain their power.


Thursday, April 11

8PM at the The Kitchen, 512 West 19th Street, NYC

Matt Evans (USA) Still Life (No. 1a + No. 1b) (2014)
Julie Herndon (USA) You Can Only (2017) New York Premiere
Thomas Bensdorp (Netherlands) Family Plot (2013) US Premiere

Bennardo-Larson Duo
Maya Bennardo, violin
Karl Larson, piano

John Popham, cello

Storefront Sound Installation

Saturday, April 18th, 2015


Tuesday, April 14 – Saturday, April 18, 11am to 7pm each day

Chashama 266W 37th St

“Closer Before We Touch” is an animatronic sound sculpture exploring the interplay between physical and simulated spatialization. Consisting of a motor driven set of speakers thrusting in and out towards the storefront gallery window, the work alternates between waves of noise and difference tones: beating, panning, and clustering around each other. The continuous movement of sound – at once both dizzying and mesmerizing – creates a disorienting space where sonic materiality flows in and out of ambiguity and the perception of depth exists in an intangible position between the real and the simulated.