Other Projects

Adult Party Games from the Leisure Planet by Arthur Jarvinen


Described by their composer as being impossible to perform, Varispeed took to arranging Arthur Jarvinen’s thoughtful and often cheeky text scores, collected as Adult Party Games, during a two-week residency at Mount Tremper Arts in 2013.  What resulted were physical structures assembled during the performance, settings of short text scores in five-part harmony, and transposing the media and scale of some of the original scores.


Love is a Good Example by Robert Ashley


photo by Steven Pisano

Shortly after the passing of composer Robert Ashley, Varispeed were asked to perform in tribute to his life and work at Roulette.  Around the same time, Gelsey Bell arranged his 1991 piece Love is a Good Example for three vocalists.  Gelsey, Aliza, & Brian performed this arrangement in May 2014, you can listen to it on WFMU.


Public Opinion Descends Upon the Demonstrators by Robert Ashley


In 2013, four members of Varispeed created an updated arrangement of Robert Ashley’s audience-triggered electronic experiment from 1961.  Our version of this experiment was attempted at Glasshouse as part of the Theater as Theory Conference in Brooklyn, with the performers downstairs spying on the audience upstairs with cameras.


Crash by Robert Ashley

photo by Paula Court


Robert Ashley’s final piece, Crash, was premiered in April 2014 at the Whitney Biennial by the five members of Varispeed and Amirtha Kidambi.  Working on Crash brought an end to the three amazing years we were able to spend working together with Ashley.  Crash was restaged in April 2015 at Roulette in Brooklyn and will be restaged again at Wesleyan University in March 2018.  A recording of the piece was released in 2016 by Lovely Music.