10 meditations in an emergency (Ethan Philbrick)

10 meditations in an emergency is a piece of music for cello, voice, and recorded sound that doubles as a series of meditation exercises for living through the ongoing everyday emergencies of the present. Beginning with a series of textual shards from Frank O’Hara’s 1957 book Meditations in an Emergency (“in times of crisis we must all decide again and again whom we love,” “everything is turbulent and green,” “the open flesh of the world,” “I could never be a boy,” “once you are helpless you are free”), the piece submerges O’Hara’s text in morphing sonic environments in attempt to pay attention to what O’Hara’s ghost might have to offer us.

Photo: Amelia Golden

Ethan Philbrick

Ethan Philbrick is a composer, cellist, and writer based in Brooklyn. He holds a Phd in Performance Studies from New York University and has performed in New York at Abrons Arts Center, BRIC, the Grey Art Gallery, the Kitchen, MoMA PS1, NYU Skirball, and SculptureCenter. His writing has been published in TDR, PAJ, Women and Performance, Studies in Gender and Sexuality and Movement Research Performance Journal. He is currently a Visiting Assistant Professor of Theatre and Performance Studies at Muhlenberg College. Recent projects include a choral setting of Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels’s Manifesto for the Communist Party and a series of participatory pieces for solo cello and audience members that engage with the legacy of cellist and performance artist Charlotte Moorman. ethanphilbrick.com