Suzanne Ciani and Sarah Davachi Come Together at MoMA

As the museum continues programming work that expands the relationship between sound and art, the two experimental musicians stage a series of performances that create moments of contemplation and focus.

Suzanne Ciani. Photography by Bertha DocHouse

In 2019, MoMA opened its Diller Scofidio + Renfro with Gensler expansion. One of its most exciting additions was the fourth floor’s Marie-Josée and Henry Kravis Studio, which it described as “the world’s first dedicated space for performance, process, and time-based art to be centrally integrated within the galleries of a major museum.” And while climate change protests this summer called for the museum to disassociate itself with the people for whom the studio was named—both board chair Marie-Josée and her husband Henry have extensive ties to the fossil fuels industry—the space continues to program work that expands ideas around the relationship between sound and art. 

This week, its “Studio Sound” series brings the legendary Suzanne Ciani for a quartet of performances called “Improvisation on Four Sequences.” Ciani is among the world’s premier performers on the Buchla, a digitally controlled analog synthesizer developed by Don Buchla in 1964 and iterated with increasing complexity through the ‘70s. Her music connects early-20th-century academic electronic compositions with later New Age strategies of deep listening and psychedelic minimalism. Here, she’s paired with beloved experimental musician Sarah Davachi, who will premier a durational solo electronic work with video by filmmaker Dicky Bahto, along with long-form compositions for a chamber ensemble and a brass trio—both sure to create moments of contemplation and focus for a world in crisis.

Sarah Davachi. Photography by Dicky Bahto
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