Viola Yip
Viola Yip in a performance of liminal lines | Credit: Stephen Harvey

A lot of musicians feel their instruments are extensions of their bodies. But few push that idea as far as Viola Yip.

The Berlin-based sound artist performs on — or is it in? — a self-built PVC dress, which produces electronic sounds in direct response to her movements. Say yes to this dress, and it answers you.

Her unique performance will be a highlight of the upcoming schedule from Tuesdays @ Monk Space. This monthly series presented by Brightwork newmusic brings innovative musical performances to Monk Space, a onetime speakeasy in downtown Los Angeles.

Shalini Vijayan
Shalini Vijayan is a member of the Brightwork Ensemble

“Our next few concerts feature Josh Rubin, Viola Yip, and Rajna Swaminathan,” said Shalini Vijayan, the violinist in the Brightwork Ensemble who curated this set of performances. “I hope they represent the direction new music is going.

“All three are innovators in my mind: Josh, with all the incredible work he’s done not only as a clarinetist but as a founder of ICE [International Contemporary Ensemble], now settled on the West Coast; Viola, by pushing the boundaries of electronic music to new ground; and Rajna, a composer-performer who unites the traditions of her South Asian culture with Western instrumentation and styles.”

Rubin, who will perform on Feb. 27, has worked closely with many prominent contemporary composers, including George Crumb, David Lang, Tyshawn Sorey, John Zorn, and Kaija Saariaho. His program will include the world premiere of Pequeña familia by Wilfrido Terrazas, a performance that also features Terrazas on flute and Peter Ko on cello. Rubin will also present the West Coast premieres of works by Saariaho, Alvin Singleton, and Felipe Lara.

Yip will bring her unique performance liminal lines to Monk Space on March 12. Her dress, which Brightwork describes as a “wearable instrument,” is embedded with “various audio cables that allow audio signals to pass through.” In this way, the ensemble notes, her body movements “allow complex sonorities to emerge and modulate over time.”

Rajna Swaminathan will perform with members of the Brightwork Ensemble and guest artists on March 26. She is a composer, scholar, and virtuoso on the mrudangam, an ancient Indian percussion instrument.

Later in the season, on May 28, vocalist and composer Molly Pease will perform new music for voice and electronics. Her concert will include erde dreams, her 2024 work for voice, saxophone, and bass, which explores mental health and the natural world.

Monk Space is located at 4414 W. Second St. in Los Angeles. Tickets for the Tuesday performances are $25 general admission or $15 for students. For more information, go to Brightwork’s website.