Double Bill of Multidisciplinary Performance: The River Song Quintet with Poet David Baker and Video Artist Miwa Matreyek

REDCAT, CalArts’ downtown center for contemporary arts, presents a spellbinding and poignant double bill of multidisciplinary performance from The River Song Quintet, poet David Baker and video artist Miwa Matreyek, Friday, October 28, 2016 at 8:30 pm.

The evening features deeply resonant collaborations between L.A.’s River Song Quintet and award-winning poet David Baker, and video artist Miwa Matreyek, followed by a performance of Matreyek’s signature solo piece This World Made Itself, which seamlessly merges projected kaleidoscopic vistas with intricate shadow theater enacted by the artist herself.

River Song and Baker offer three iterations of music composed by guitarist Gregory Uhlmann in combination with lyrical text by the poet: a semi-improvised interplay of guitar and spoken word; a six-movement art song setting of poems by Baker; and a reading of Scavenger Loop—Baker’s eco-poetic Midwestern elegy—with a score performed by the quintet featuring an elegiac narrative for the composer’s mother, Martha Baker, who died in 2013.

About the Artists:

River Song Quintet’s members include Alina Roitstein (voice), Lauren Baba (violin/viola), Andrew Rowan (cornet), Harrison Kirk (trombone), and Gregory Uhlmann (guitar). A chamber ensemble and composer/performer collective whose music draws from the interests and influences of its members, merging the worlds of western-classical chamber music, art song, jazz, and folk music, formed in 2011, they have performed throughout the U.S. at a variety of venues ranging from concert halls to jazz clubs. Most recently they have worked in collaboration poet David Baker performing at The Poetry Foundation in Chicago and Tutti Music Festival in Ohio.

David Baker is Poetry Editor of The Kenyon Review. Among Baker’s fourteen books are his most recent poetry collection, Never-Ending Birds (2009, W. W. Norton), winner of the 2011 Theodore Roethke Memorial Poetry Prize, and Talk Poetry: Poems and Interviews with Nine American Poets (2012, Arkansas). For his work, Baker has been awarded fellowships and grants from the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation, National Endowment for the Arts, Poetry Society of America, Ohio Arts Council, Society of Midland Authors, and others. He currently serves as Professor of English at Denison University where he holds the Thomas B. Fordham Chair of Creative Writing. Baker has also taught at Kenyon College, the Ohio State University, and the University of Michigan. He also teaches regularly in the MFA program for writers at Warren Wilson College.

Miwa Matreyek is an animator, director, designer, and performer based in Los Angeles who has been an internationally touring independent artist since 2010. Coming from a background in animation by way of collage, Miwa Matreyek creates live, staged performances where she interacts with her animations as a shadow silhouette, at the cross-section of cinematic and theatrical, fantastical and tangible, illusionistic and physical. She travels as a one-woman show, having been presented by TED, MOMA, Sundance New Frontier, Future of Storytelling, Exploratorium, Adler Planetarium, ISEA conference, Meta.Morph (Norway), Anima Mundi (Brazil) and  Lincoln Center. She is also a co-founder and collaborator of the multi-media theater company, Cloud Eye Control. She is a recipient of the Creative Capital Award (2013), Sherwood Award (2016), and Princess Grace Award (2007).


“Miwa Matreyek’s innovative combination of projected animation and performance creates worlds of visual wonder.” – LA Record 

“Beautiful, engaging, patient and exquisitely quiet … a comforting sound cocoon” 

– LA Weekly, about River Song Quintet

“Baker’s masterpiece, a true pastoral elegy out of which a new beauty comes—the beauty of resistance, of saying enough is enough.”  

–  John Kinsella , about Scavenger Loop


Yup, you guessed it. It's me Keri Freeman, publisher and concept designer for Downtown Weekly. Living, working and playing in Downtown coming from an entertainment background...I discovered something about myself. I discovered I really liked sharing my knowledge of DTLA and its awesome hospitality movement. Also in doing so I have the great pleasure of working with incredible sponsors (who believe in the vision), extraordinary literary artists, photographers, event coordinators and many talented artists and musicians who inspire me every day to keep the DTLA Weekly going. Also, it would seem I'm the only woman of color to publish a newspaper here in over 100 years, so hopefully that inspires some future generations as well....Just remember if its can't be work....Thank you, people of Gaia, for your continued support and thank you for reading!