The Demo is an electronic opera by Mikel Rouse and Ben Neill. The piece is inspired by the remarkable story of computer pioneer Douglas Engelbart’s prophetic vision of a world interconnected through personal computers. His 1968 demo rolled out virtually all that would define modern computing including videoconferencing, text editing, and something called a "mouse." Using emerging digital technologies to explore live performance with interactive media and original music, The Demo reveals the origin of computing and the internet as a unique hybrid performance event.
Press for the world premiere performances can be viewed here. Touring prospectus for The Demo can be viewed here
Manitoga Concert 2015
Ben Neill will lead an ensemble of 15 musicians in a program of contemporary music designed to respond to SANCTUARY by Stephen Talasnik. The performance will feature violinist Todd Reynolds playing original works as well as a performance of John Cage's Five - one of the composer's later 'Number Pieces'. The concert will conclude in grand style with a group of 15 players performing a spirited version of Terry Riley's landmark minimalist composition In C.
Mimi Goese and Ben Neill at the Whitney Museum of American Art
Mimi Goese and Ben Neill premiere a new song at the Whitney Museum of American Art on Wednesday, July 22 as part of the Dancenoise retrospective exhibition and performance series.
Mimi and Ben are currently working on a new set of songs in the studio, more performances to come this Fall.
Performances of The Second Dream by La Monte Young at Dia Art Foundation
On July 31 and August 1 Ben Neill and Charles Curtis lead 2 performances of The Second Dream of the High Tension Stepdown Line Transformer by La Monte Young at the Dia Art Foundation in New York City.
This fall The Second Dream will be performed in several European cities with an ensemble of 8 trumpets in Harmon mutes.
Manitoga Commission and Premiere 2014
MANITOGA is a new outdoor work commissioned through a New York State Council on the Arts Individual Artists grant by the Russel Wright Center in Garrison, NY for a unique brass quintet with live computer controlled processing. The piece is for Neill's self-designed mutantrumpet along with 4 players of Carol Szymanski’s brass “phonemophones,” each of which forms a letter of the alphabet in a font of her design. The horns used are the letters in the word MANITOGA. Neill’s mutantrumpet acts as the controller for processing the other instruments along with sounds of the environment. The piece was premiered on July 26, 2014 at Manitoga/the Russel Wright Center for Art and Design.