Saira Raza selected for Art on the Beltline

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Sara Raza is a business librarian for the Goizueta Business Library.

This year, I was selected as one of 50 artists to participate in Art on the Atlanta Beltline. The Exquisite Corpse: Explorations in Avant Garde Cello, Light, and Movement is a concept I’ve been working on for over a year, and I’m very excited to have the chance to share it this Saturday, September 15.

Three cellists (myself, Okorie Johnson, and Benjamin Shirley) will play a musical game of exquisite corpse – a surrealist game traditionally done with drawing or poetry – during which each of us will take a turn improvising, building from each other’s compositions. All three of us use electronics connected to our cellos to loop and create dimensions of sound beyond what most people expect from the cello.

I’ve also worked with lighting engineer William Kennedy to develop a pressure sensitive dance floor that will connect to a beautiful lighting display in the trees behind the outdoor stage. Dancers Anicka Austin and Erin Anastasia will improvise movement to the music and trigger these lighting effects, creating a unique backdrop to the performance. It’s a multi-dimensional experience that is free, open to the public, and family friendly!

It’s an open grassy area, so folks should bring their own blankets or lawn chairs to sit.

It will take place at 1199 Fenwood St SE, Atlanta GA 30314, which is the former site of the Ashview Community Garden, and is accessible from the Atlanta Beltline Westside Trail. Performances begin at 6:30 PM, with City Gate Dance Theater. At 7:30 PM aerialist troupe Liquid Sky will perform, and we will take the stage around 8:30 PM.

I’m sharing behind-the-scenes moments this week via my Instagram as well, such as last night’s “sensor making party” where we assembled the sensors for the dance floor:

I hope you will join me, and please feel free to share with friends, especially those who live in or near the Ashview Heights neighborhood.

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