Composer

Gelsey Bell composes music that is often focused on the voice and song form. She makes sound walks and works that expand beyond the sonic. She often performs the music she writes. She is also an improvisor, which she thinks of, following the wise sentiments of Pauline Oliveros, as composing very quickly. She is a member of the composer-performer collectives thingNY and Varispeed. She is a member of the improvisation trio The Chutneys with Chris Cochrane and Fast Forward.

Works

mɔːnɪŋ

2023

IN DEVELOPMENT. Experimental opera for five voices, synthesizer, daxophone, metallophone, sundrum, celtic harp, and percussion. Commissioned by the HERE Arts Center. Workshop showings at HERE Arts Center, February 2020 and July 2021.

The Blurring Test

2020

Evening-length song cycle collaboratively composed by Varispeed, includes my songs “I” and “All Bots are Liars.” Libretto by Peggy Weil. Workshop performance at the Exponential Festival, the Brick, Brooklyn, NY, January 2020.

shuffleyamamba: Yamamba as a Bear

2021

Experimental dance work by Yasuko Yokoshi with music by Gelsey Bell. The second show in the shuffleyamamba series. The piece is a feminist reimagining of the Japanese archetype Yamamba, drawing extensively on the Noh tradition. The cast includes Mina Nishimura and Shiori Shinoda, in addition to Bell and Yokoshi. Will premiere at the Yokohama Dance Collection festival in Yokohama, Japan, December 9-11.

A Series of Landscapes

2020

evening-length collaboratively composed opera by thingNY for Zoom, commissioned by the HERE Arts Center. Premiered on July 11-12, 2020 in Zoom.

Cairns

2020

hour-long sound walk for Green-Wood Cemetery, text and music by Gelsey Bell, additional sound and music by Joseph White. Commissioned by the HERE Arts Center. Premiered July 31, 2020 at Green-Wood Cemetery, Brooklyn, NY.

SCALING

2008

Song cycle for two performers for voice, piano, and electronics. Premiered at Roulette with Gelsey Bell and Paul Pinto.

SubtracTTTTTTTTT

2020

evening-length online opera collaboratively composed by thingNY, includes my song “Less Alone.” Premiered on April 24-26, 2020 on YouTube Live and Facebook Live.

Skylighght

2019

Thirty-minute duet for voice and saxophone, created by Gelsey Bell and Erin Rogers. Premiered at Artefixe, Queens, NY, May 2019. Other performances: Hamden, CT, May 2019; Arts at the Armory, Somerville, MA, August 2019; Pineapple Reality, Brooklyn, NY, November 2019; National Sawdust, Brooklyn, NY, January 2020; Green-wood Cemetery, Brooklyn, NY, April 2021; Central Park, New York, NY, October 2021.

shuffleyamamba

2019

Experimental dance-theatre piece, music by Gelsey Bell, direction and choreography by Yasuko Yokoshi, performed by Gelsey Bell, SUNAYAMA Noriko (dumb type), UENO Aimi, Osaki Terunobu, SHIBUYA Haruna, NISHIOKA Jyuri, and FUKUOKA Sawami. Premiered at Izushi Eirakukan, Toyookya City, Japan, October 2019. Other performances: Kyoto Experiment, Urbanguild, Kyoto, Japan, October 2019; BeSeTo Festival, Tottori, Novemebr 2019.

BUOY

2016

35-minute performance for vocalist and dancer by Gelsey and Biba Bell, premiered April 24, 2016 at Roulette, Brooklyn, NY.

Wealth from the Salt Seas

2018

Evening-performance with choreography by Anna Sperber and music by Gelsey Bell, premiered March 21-31 at the Chocolate Factory, Long Island City, NY.

Prisoner's Song

2015

Evening-length performance by Gelsey Bell and Erik Ruin, premiered Oct. 14, 2015 at Roulette, Brooklyn, NY.

This Takes Place Close By

2015

Opera collaboratively composed and performed by thingNY, premiered Sept. 24, 2015 at the Knockdown Center, includes my songs “Ghosts” and “Death Comes Quick.”

Spent Horizon

2015

10-15-minute duet for two improvising musicians by Gelsey Bell, premiered by Gelsey Bell and Odeya Nini on March 18, 2015 at Roulette, Brooklyn, NY. SCORE AVAILABLE UPON REQUEST.

WIFE

2015

One-act opera by Gelsey Bell for three vocalists, who also play synth, vocoder, and domesticated feedback. Premiered on April 12, 2015, Wild Project, New York, NY.

Airs and Interruptions

2015

Evening-length piece for voice, metallophone, and vocoder. Created to be played alongside John King’s EVENTtangos for a Merce Cunningham’s EVENT. Premiered March 10, 2015 with Compagnie CNDC-Angers/Robert Swinston at the Joyce, New York, NY. Other performances: The Stone, New York, NY (May ’15); Roulette, Brooklyn, NY (Apr. ’16); BAM, Brooklyn, NY (Apt. ’19) The Roulette performance was released as the album Ciphony (2017) on Gold Bolus Recordings.

Our Defensive Measurements

2013

Song cycle for five vocalist/instrumentalists by Gelsey Bell, premiered Feb. 22, 2013 at Roulette.

Bathroom Songs

2010

Site-specific song cycle of 10-25 minutes for solo voice in a bathroom. Performed in New York City, Toronto, Paris, Amsterdam, and other spots.

Telephone Songs

2006

Set of songs for solo voice and boom box, premiered on October 19, 2006 at the Events Center in Brooklyn as part of AUNTS.

Song Cycle in Time/Space

2005

Alternative “campus tour” for soloist and chorus. It was created and performed at Lehigh University on April 22, 2005.