Wet Ink Ensemble:
Kate Soper's Ipsa Dixit

Kate Soper

Kate Soper

photo credit: Liz Linder

Concert: Saturday, September 26, 8:00 p.m., Mildred Sainer Pavilion
($15, free with subscription)
Pre-concert talk: 7:30 p.m.

Artist Conversation: Thursday, September 24, 5:00 p.m., Mildred Sainer Pavilion (free)

Kate Soper is a composer, performer, and writer whose work explores the integration of drama and rhetoric into musical structure, the slippery continuums of expressivity, intelligibility and sense, and the wonderfully treacherous landscape of the human voice.

Through major performances for the Metropolitan Art Museum, the American Composers Orchestra, and her dazzling musical theater work, Here Be Sirens, Kate Soper has emerged as one of the most exciting composers of her generation, and is a dazzling singer to boot.

Her new work for voice and instruments, Ipsa Dixit, is a quasi-theatrical, semi-staged work of concert music with texts by Lydia Davis, Wittgenstein, Freud, Plato, Aristotle, and others.

“Ipse Dixit" (literally "he himself said it") is a lawyerly term used to describe an unproven statement whose acceptance is demanded solely on the premise of the speaker's presumed expertise. Ipsa Dixit ("she herself said it") is an ongoing exploration of the intersections of music and language via a skeptical take on the role of the singer as gatekeeper of meaning, sentiment, and expressivity. Stemming from the Wet Ink Ensemble’s unique performance practice of developing works over long periods of composer/performer collaboration, Ipsa Dixit has grown into an evening-length piece that blends monodrama and theatre to skewer the treachery of speech and test the limits of ensemble virtuosity.

New! See video of three of the movements of Ipsa Dixit from Wet Ink's performance at New Music New College in September (below)!

Video of Ipsa Dixit Movement I, Poetics, at NMNC's concert

Video of Movement III, Rhetoric

Video of Movement IV, The Crito

Soper's music has been described as "exquisitely quirky" (The New York Times) and "epic" (WQXR); as a performer, she has been praised as a "dazzling vocalist" (The New Yorker) and likened to "Lucille Ball reinterpreted by Linda Blair" (Pitchfork Magazine). She is a co-director and vocalist for Wet Ink, an NYC-based new music ensemble dedicated to seeking out and promoting innovative music across aesthetic categories. She is a Professor of Music at Smith College.

Anthony Tommasini in The New York Times called Soper's 2014 work Here Be Sirens an ". . . inspired, entertaining and strangely powerful fantasia. . . . no one interested in smudging the boundaries of contemporary opera and theater should miss it."

Wet Ink

Wet Ink

photo credit: Alexander Perrelli

The Wet Ink Ensemble is a unique collection of composers, improvisers and interpreters committed to making adventurous music. With a 16-year history of outstanding achievement in the programming and presentation of contemporary music of every genre, Wet Ink has earned an international reputation as one of the most innovative and virtuosic ensembles working today.

Performing Ipsa Dixit with Soper will be her Wet Ink colleagues Erin Lesser on flute, Josh Modney on violin, and Ian Antonio on percussion.

“[Wet Ink] combined technical finesse with a palpable commitment that made these formidable works approachable.”—The New York Times

Video about Kate Soper's Here Be Sirens

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Tickets are FREE for New College students, faculty, and staff—just bring your NCF ID to the concerts or click here for tickets and select "Faculty/Staff/Students" after you select the individual concert(s). For everyone else, single event tickets are $15, and season tickets to all five concerts are a bargain at $60. Click here to purchase tickets on line. Admission to all of our Artist Conversations, as well as the Student Composers Concert and the Electronic Music Concert, is free for everyone. Tickets for non-New College students in the community are $5 at the door with student ID. Visit our Reservations page for details.

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