Test Sites is a series of performance pieces that are experiments in process. This started when I went to Andrea Zittel’s A-Z West residency in Joshua Tree, CA where I went with the purpose of not creating anything specific. Each Test Site involves a short-term process and are exercises in limits and creativity.
Test Site 1: In)habit (2016)
Created in collaboration with choreographer Coco Carol
Music: Trevor Gureckis
A project that began with my stay at the A-Z West wagon station encampment in Joshua Tree, CA, “Test Site” is a performance piece, an experiment in process, revolving around the body, nature, urban life, and obligation (in this case, the piano), drawing connections as well as acknowledging the tension between these elements. I created movement in collaboration with choreographer Coco Karol and improvise sparse notes on top of an electronic track by composer Trevor Gureckis. The video is comprised shots of the desert and city that I display from a handheld projector, which I carry with me in various parts of the performance.
Test Site 2: Study Within Sculptures (2016)
Directed and Edited by Sugar Vendil
Composed by Trevor Gureckis, Hajnal Pivnick & Sugar Vendil
Performers: Hajnal Pivnick, violin; Sugar Vendil, performer
Sculptures: Sonambient Sculptures by Harry Bertoia
Costumes by Atelier de Geste
Special thanks to Museum of Arts and Design (MAD)
Recorded at MAD's exhibition, "Atmosphere for Enjoyment: Harry Bertoia’s Environment for Sound"
We went in with a single 12-tone melody composed by Trevor and planned as we went along. I edited an hour of footage into this video, assembling clips of what we had recorded according to what made sense sonically.
Test Site 3: Blood
Composition for prepared piano and electronics (2018)
While at Yaddo for two weeks in July 2018, I began working on a new movement of my suite Islander. I decided to set the Tagalog word tandaan (meaning “remember”). A lot of unexpected things happened: teaching myself of couple of new things on Ableton, such as creating my own sampler from recorded sarunay sounds; creating a solo piano with electronics version of this piece so that I could share my work in progress with my fellow Yaddo residents; and figuring out how to mix my own recording. This became Test Site 3.
The piano part was recorded on the Steinway at West House with my iPhone. It was prepared with a Blackwing 602 pencil and MAC lipstick (Lady Danger, irrelevant but true) sitting on the strings, which were later removed. Special thanks to composer Trevor Gureckis for lending his ears and expertise during the mixing process.
Test Site 4 (2019)
Created and performed by Sugar Vendil and Jing Yu
Music by Sugar Vendil, sampling Don't Speak by No Doubt in II. then
Sashes from Jing Yu's Fait Accompli (2012)
Video art by Jing Yu
Supported by Target Margin's Artist Residency Program
Test Site 4 was part of my creative process for a larger work that explores the opposite of nostalgia. Created during a 2-week residency at Target Margin Theater, my friend Jing Yu and I created a work that distilled the present, past, and future (in that order) in a performance piece incorporating sound, movement, and video art.
Test Site 5: Seedlings (2019)
for voice and electronics
Created at Marble House Project
Test Sites is a series of performance pieces that are experiments in process. Each Test Site involves a short-term process and are exercises in limits and creativity.
I created this at Marble House Project. Along with the music, I made a 30-foot drawing and performed alongside it. Both the drawing and the music were inspired by dark childhood memories. Other than one bendy synth note, all of the electronics are recordings of me playing the piano or my voice.
Thanks to my fellow residents Hanne G, Leigh Gallagher, Melanie Greene, Cole & Shilpa of Khaona Kitchen, Alexis Lathem, Ian Trask, and Luisa Valderrama for their beautiful howls! And huge thanks to MHP for the space, time, and peonies.