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“The Present is a Ruin Without the People” (2016) by fiber artist and fashion designer Ruby Chishti, who is exhibiting her work in Jill Stuart Gallery as part of the CCA biennial and a residency on campus.

Things to Do, Oct. 19-26, 2018

Experimental music

Experimental musical instruments take center stage in “New Instruments of the Future Past,” a Cornell Council for the Arts (CCA) 2018 Biennial presentation Saturday, Oct. 20, at 2 p.m. at the Herbert F. Johnson Museum of Art.

The performance, organized by associate professor of music Kevin Ernste, features 16 intonarumori instruments played by The Orchestra of Futurist Noise Intoners conducted by Luciano Chessa (currently in residence at Cornell) and the Cornell Avant-Garde Ensemble (Ernste and senior lecturers in music Annie Lewandowski and Christopher J. Miller).

The program includes classic and new works composed for Chessa’s reconstructed-instrument orchestra, and improvised pieces on newly built instruments by Lewandowski’s Music Improvisation Ensemble students.

Chessa will give a presentation on his work reconstructing the instruments originally created circa 1910-13 by Italian Futurist composer Luigi Russolo, Oct. 19 at 4 p.m. in the museum’s Wing Lecture Room.

In conjunction with the events, assistant professor of music Marianthi Papalexandri-Alexandri presents her kinetic sound installation with Swiss artist Pe Lang, “Contact Points,” in the Wing Atrium all day Oct. 20, starting at 10 a.m.

Lewandowski’s composition “Cetus: Life After Life,” for recorded whale songs with the Cornell Chimes, a Biennial collaboration with bioacoustics researcher Katy Payne and percussionist Sarah Hennies, will be performed Oct. 19 at 6 p.m. at McGraw Tower on Ho Plaza.

All events are free and open to the public, presented by the CCA with support from the Cornell Sound Arts and Sciences Initiative.

Chorus, classical concerts

The Cornell University Chorus will perform music on the theme of “Dreams and Visions” in its annual Twilight Concert, Oct. 20 at 5 p.m. in Bailey Hall.

Violinist Jennifer Koh will perform in the Cornell Concert Series, Oct. 21 in Bailey Hall.

The nationally renowned treble choir will premiere a new commission from Australian composer Melissa Dunphy, along with music from Norway, Armenia, Spain, Canada and the U.S., and traditional Cornell songs. Tickets are $15, $5 for Cornell students and children at in advance, $15 and $8 at the door.

The Cornell Concert Series presents violinist Jennifer Koh with composer-pianist Vijay Iyer, Oct. 21 at 3 p.m. in Bailey Hall. Tickets are $29-$36 for the public and $19 for students at

The program features Koh performing Anna Clyne’s “Rest These Hands” with the Cornell Chamber Orchestra, Bach’s Violin Sonata No. 3 in C Major, and several of Iyer’s compositions. Koh was named Musical America’s 2016 Instrumentalist of the Year and has won the top prize at Moscow’s International Tchaikovsky Competition and the Concert Artists Guild Competition.

“Bound for Glory”

Folk musicians Cliff Eberhardt and Louise Mosrie perform Oct. 21 in Durland Alternatives Library in Anabel Taylor Hall, for a “Bound For Glory” live broadcast on WVBR, 93.5 FM. Admission is free for all ages, with three sets of music starting at 8:30 p.m.

Mosrie has been described as “William Faulkner with a guitar,” and Eberhardt produced her latest album, “Lay It Down.” Eberhardt’s songs have been covered by Richie Havens, Shawn Colvin, Buffy Sainte-Marie and a newer generation of singers, and he created and performed original songs for a 2012 production of "The Taming of the Shrew” set in America’s Old West, at the Folger Theatre and Shakespeare Library in Washington, D.C.

The 52nd season of “Bound for Glory” continues Sunday, Oct. 28, with local music from Mac Benford and UpSouth.

Fiber art exhibition

An exhibition by Ruby Chishti, “Narratives of Memory: A Conversation With Time,” runs from Oct. 22 to Nov. 4 in the Jill Stuart Gallery in the Human Ecology Building as part of the CCA Biennial.

Born in Pakistan and based in Brooklyn, Chishti is the Department of Fiber Science & Apparel Design’s designer-in-residence this fall. Her fabric installations with electronic sound explore migration and immigrant survival.

She gives a public lecture Oct. 24 at 4:45 p.m. in G71 Martha Van Rensselaer West, and a research seminar, “Isness and Being: Narratives of Memory and Transformation,” Oct. 31 at 12:20 p.m. in T01 Human Ecology. A closing reception for the exhibition is Nov. 2 at 3:30 p.m.

Book talk: Atheists in America

What does it mean to be American and an atheist? Does the First Amendment to the Constitution protect nonbelievers’ religious liberty?

In a Chats in the Stacks book talk, Oct. 23 at 4:30 p.m. in 107 Olin Library, Isaac Kramnick and R. Laurence Moore will discuss their new book, “Godless Citizens in a Godly Republic: Atheists in American Public Life.” The co-authors address the history of atheism in the U.S. and legal cases that have questioned religious supremacy in America. Kramnick is the Richard J. Schwartz Professor of Government Emeritus at Cornell and Moore is the Howard A. Newman Professor of American Studies Emeritus.

The event is free and open to the public and includes light refreshments. Books will be available for purchase and signing.

Poetry, silent histories and elephants

Filmmaker Helga Fanderl, who explores a personal visual language in her work, presents a program of Super 8 and 16mm short films in “Poetry in Motion,” Oct. 24 at 7:15 p.m. in Willard Straight Theatre, cosponsored by Cornell Cinema and the Department of Art.

Also showing: As part of Silent Movie Month in Ithaca, Cornell Cinema and the Wharton Studio Museum present two new documentaries on early film history – “Specters of Feminist Silent Film Comedy,” Oct. 23 at 7 p.m., with author Maggie Hennefeld; and “Saving Brinton,” Oct. 25 at 7 p.m.

Animator Lynn Tomlinson ’88 introduces her short film “The Elephant’s Song” Oct. 26 at 7 p.m. at the Ithaca premiere of “Love and Bananas: An Elephant Story.”

Building in India

Indian architect Brinda Somaya, on campus Oct. 21-27 as an A.D. White Professor-at-Large, gives a public lecture Oct. 23 at 5 p.m. in Rhodes-Rawlings Auditorium, Klarman Hall. Admission is free.

The talk is based on her new book, “Works and Continuities,” a chronicle illustrating the diverse typology of work Somaya has built over 40 years as India has grown and transformed, and the story of her studio, Somaya & Kalappa Consultants.

“Architecture has to go beyond buildings, beyond the physical and extend into the soul, without feeling that one is compromising on creativity or the thrill and excitement of design,” Somaya says.

Fast energy

Learn about how fast and efficient alternative energy can be in your home or car at “The Fast and the Furnace,” Oct. 24, 7 p.m. at the next Science Cabaret, in The Cherry Artspace, 102 Cherry St., Ithaca.

Cornell senior lecturer of engineering Francis Vanek ’91 and energy activist Jonathan Comstock will discuss the race for beneficial electrification. The Science Cabaret program is free and no science background is required.

Vanek’s research specializes in energy efficiency, alternative energy and energy for transportation. He teaches in the School of Civil and Environmental Engineering and is the lead author of “Energy Systems Engineering: Evaluation and Implementation” and “Sustainable Transportation Systems Engineering.”

Comstock, Solar Tompkins’ HeatSmart program director, was content coordinator (2013-16) for the website and co-authored the Agriculture and Ecosystems chapters of the ClimAID report, a comprehensive assessment of climate change impacts expected in New York and steps for adaptation.

Author Nguyen to read

Pulitzer Prize-winning novelist and cultural critic Viet Thanh Nguyen will read from his work, Oct. 25 at 4:30 p.m. in Hollis E. Cornell Auditorium, 132 Goldwin Smith Hall.

Free and open to the public, the reading is part of the Fall 2018 Barbara & David Zalaznick Reading Series presented by the Creative Writing Program and the Department of English. Books will be available for purchase at the reading courtesy of Buffalo Street Books. A free, catered reception and book signing will follow in the English Lounge, 258 Goldwin Smith Hall.

Nguyen’s novel “The Sympathizer” won the 2016 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction. His latest book is the bestselling short story collection, “The Refugees.” He is a critic-at-large for the Los Angeles Times and a contributing opinion writer for The New York Times.

Nguyen is the Aerol Arnold Chair of English and a professor of English, American studies and ethnicity, and comparative literature at the University of Southern California. His honors include fellowships from the Guggenheim and MacArthur foundations.

American Sign Language interpretation will be provided at the reading. The venue is wheelchair accessible and equipped with assistive listening technology. For additional accommodations to participate, email or call 607-255-7847.

Media Contact

Gillian Smith