NonSeq: Mangal

Mangal is an experimental ensemble conceived by mrudangam artist and composer Rajna Swaminathan, gathering artists across disciplines and locales to collaboratively improvise while pushing the boundaries of their creative process. In English, the word mangal refers to an assemblage of mangroves, which form a chaotic, non-hierarchical rhizome. In Sanskrit, mangal describes harmonious or sacred timing. This imagery of entanglement and serendipity guides a creative space of encounter, transformation, and expansion. This performance brings together a cohort of Seattle-based artists — Zahyr Lauren, Carlos Snaider, Neil Welch, and Ha-Yang Kim — and contributions from visiting artists, including Rajna Swaminathan, Anya Yermakova, and Caroline Davis.

This iteration of Mangal is presented with support from The Ocean Memory Project, a collaborative network of researchers across the sciences, arts, and humanities dedicated to exploring the intersections of Ocean and Memory, as a new field of scholarship and creative expression. In the days leading up to the performance, the artists will gather for a short creative residency at the Chapel Performance Space, interfacing with oceanographers and environmental scholars, and meditating on oceanic modes of creating and remembering through immersion, dissipation, and opacity. 

Rajna Swaminathan is an acclaimed mrudangam (South Indian percussion) artist, composer, and scholar. Described as “a vital new voice” (Pop Matters), Rajna’s artistic trajectory blossomed through a search for resonance and fluidity among musical forms and aesthetic worlds. Since 2013, she has led the New York-based ensemble RAJAS, writing expansive, boundary breaking music for herself and like-minded improvisers, spanning multiple musical approaches. As a composer, Rajna has received commissions from the LA Phil, Chamber Music America New Jazz Works, and Bang On A Can Marathon, among others. She holds a PhD in Music (Creative Practice and Critical Inquiry) from Harvard University, and degrees in Anthropology and French from the University of Maryland, College Park. She is currently an Assistant Professor of Music (Integrated Composition, Improvisation, and Technology) at UC Irvine’s Claire Trevor School of the Arts. 

Curated by Carlos Snaider for Nonsequitur’s NonSeq series.

COVID-19 PROTOCOLS: For the safety of performers and audience, all audience members will be required to show proof of vaccination and wear masks covering nose and mouth.