janet biggs

Video Works / Performances / Recent & Upcoming Activities / Biography / Contacts / Home

How the Light Gets In
Multimedia performance (work in progress)

Hyphen Hub Presents
How the Light Gets In (work in progress)
A multi-disciplined workshop performance created by Janet Biggs and workshopped at Theater at New Museum on July 18, 2019.

Photo credit: Robert Cmar

Biggs's performance, How the Light Gets In, explores the relationship between, and confluence of, humans and technology through shared creative production, driven by aural triggers and machine learning.

The evening opens with vocalist Mary Esther Carter singing a duet with A.I. Anne, a machine learning program trained on Maryís voice by composer and music technologist Richard Savery. The duet, fluctuates between instruction, inspiration and frustration as both human and machine challenge each other.

Also paired are drummer Jason Barnes and marathon runner Brian Reynolds. Jason lost his arm in a workplace accident. Fitted with a robotic, prosthesis developed by Georgia Techís Gil Weinberg, Jasonís prosthetic arm has not one drumstick, but two. One stick is controlled by Barnes and one controlled by Artificial Intelligence which improvises off Barnesí drumming.

Brian Reynolds is a record holding, double (below-knee) amputee marathon runner. Reynolds is equipped with carbon fiber running prostheses, or running blades. By amplifying his blades as he runs on a treadmill, Brianís strides become percussive, at times following Jasonís beats and at times controlling the rhythms.

The performance also includes violinists Earl Maneein and Mylez Gittens against a backdrop of video projections. Maneein is a heavy-metal violinist who also has performed baroque, bluegrass and jazz music. Gittens came to New York from Barbados with an extensive background in jazz and fusion.

The piece was constructed in 4 movements. It opened with a duet between Mary Ester Carter and A I Anne. Mary is a singer songwriter, dancer and actor. A I Anne is an artificial intelligence entity trained on improvisations from jazz to world music. Anne actively listened to Mary and generates new ideas based on what she hears.

The second movement was a composition by Jason Barnes, titled Entity. Jason was wearing a prosthesis with 2 drum sticks attached. One stick is controlled by Jason and the other stick has artificial intelligence that allows it to hear what Jason is play and improvise off him.

Violinists Earl Maneein and Mylez Gittens as well as singer Mary Ester Carter improvised off of Jasonís composition.

The next movement paired Jason Barnes with runner Brian Reynolds, who ran on prosthetic running blades. Brain and Jason became a percussive background as Mary tried to teach A I Anne language. In this segment, A I Anneís voice controled Jasonís 3rd drum stick.

Director: Janet Biggs
Presenter: Asher Remy-Toledo, Hyphen Hub
Drummer: Jason Barnes
Marathon Runner/Percussionist: Brian Reynolds
Vocalist: Mary Ester Carter
Vocalist: A.I. Anne
Violists Earl Maneein and Mylez Gittens
Music Technologist: Richard Savery
Video Editing: Janet Biggs


Photo: Paula Court


Photo: Paula Court                                                                       Photo: Robert Cmar

Photo: Janet Biggs                                                                       Photo: Paula Court

Higher-resolution images.



Contact info
All images, videos, and texts on this site are protected by copyright and may not be reproduced without permission.
© 2020 Janet Biggs