On July 14th a new computer piece by veteran electronic music composer Alice Shields will be performed at National Sawdust as part of the 2017 NYC-Electroacoustic Music Festival, with Noh Theater performer Mayo Miwa and video by artist Tom Barratt. The concert "Ancient Voices of the Computer," includes White Heron Dance by Shields, as well as electronic works by Joel Gressel, Jeff Hall, Stephen Dydo, Maurice Wright and Joe Hudson. The concert has been curated by the Association for the Promotion of New Music.
White Heron Dance is a shamanic ritual in sound in which a human being experiences a moment of union with nature in the form of a Great White Heron. Shields has compiled sounds for this piece from the cries of herons, hawks, eagles, songbirds and the human voice. The composer also recorded Noh performer Mayo Miwa singing the ritual song in the folk style used by the Shinto priests and in the elaborate Noh recitational style. Shields studies Noh Theater with Miwa, who suggested the ancient Japanese Shinto ritual Sa-gi Mai upon which the piece is based.