Interactive Performance with beatboxer/visual artist HARRY YEFF, aka REEPS ONE

Date: 

Saturday, October 29, 2016, 7:00pm

Location: 

Lowell Lecture Hall

Presented by: Learning From Performers and Arts @ 29 Garden
ADMISSION: Free for all events (tickets/RSVPs not required); seating first-come, first-served, subject to venue capacity.
EVENT TIMES: 3 PM conversation/workshop; 7 PM interactive performance.
RELATED EVENTSalon @ 29 G - "ADO: Attention. Deficit. Order."

Harry Yeff—also known by his stage name Reeps One—is a prize-winning beatboxer, or vocal percussionist. Hailing from London, his musical style is famous for his own dubstep sounds and fast routines. Yeff began beatboxing at around age 15, and has become internationally recognised as a leading artist of the New School Beatbox Scene, and along with Beardyman is the only beatboxer to win the Vauxhall UK Beatbox Championships twice running (2009 and 2010). During his week-long residency at Harvard sponsored by Learning From Performers and Arts @ 29 Garden in association with KoolKidz Media, he will participate in a number of activities, including, on Saturday, October 29, a conversation and workshop at 3 PM; and an interactive performance at 7 PM.

HARRY YEFF's work is the product of a highly intimate, lifelong relationship with the human voice. The London-born artist and musician has been obsessively experimenting with innovative vocal practices and the creative representation of physics and sound since the age of eighteen. Yeff’s unique skills have seen him uncover new keys to cognitive efficiency and expand his phonetic vocabulary to new boundaries. Dedicated to depicting his findings in an explicit and tangible way, Yeff’s vocal performances are increasingly accompanied by potent, aesthetically arresting visual displays.

In 2014, Yeff debuted his first major exhibition, Attention. Deficit. Order, at London Newcastle Gallery, Shoreditch, exploring the benefits of mental processes traditionally associated with ADD. Yeff’s mixed-media, multi-sensory installations disputed negative notions of “overstimulation," while showcasing examples of his elaborate canvas work. Yeff’s labyrinthine illustrative pieces consistently subvert ideas of chaos by depicting high levels of complexity and acute cognitive flow.

Capturing the attention of the academic realm, Yeff became the the subject of a study of expert behavior, led by Professor Sophie Scott of University College London's Neurological Department—the first neurological investigation of its kind to utilize the voice as a medium. Yeff has continued to marry involvement with academia with his own music and performance, harnessing cymatics to fluently translate the organizational powers of sound in real time, and for the first time, reconstitute the medium as a visual instrument for the deaf. Last year he conceived and delivered the hugely successful Polyphonic Playground, a large-scale playground structure comprising electric paint circuitry and instrumental trigger pads. Yeff’s augmentation of this classic, climbable structure transformed it into an unorthodox tool which challenges predetermined patterns of musical composition.

Yeff’s specialization in oral percussion and performance has generated a global online following, gathering over 40,000,000 views, and an established reputation as a key pioneer in the field of experimental vocalism. Exhibiting work across multidisciplinary events like Miami Art Basel, and the London, Milan and Tokyo Design weeks, he is a polyglot of audio and visual communication who has redefined the role of phonetics as a cross-disciplinary means to connect the artistic, musical and scientific communities. He has been invited to join Harvard University as Artist in Residence in October 2016.

CONTEMPORARY BEATBOXING AND PHONETICS: Over the last 10 years the subculture most commonly known as ‘Beatboxing’ has grown exponentially, both in terms of the number of participators and the volume of output produced around the globe. Each of the world’s continents contains its own amalgamation of performers and artists pushing the limit of what is known to be possible in the pursuit of new articulatory phonetics. The artform’s foundation is based on exploring and utilizing all of the phonetic pallet to create original and unique music and any other form of semantic free communication. 

Contemporary beatbox culture is responsible for over a billion YouTube views. Although its roots are buried in entertainment, the estimated 500,000 hobbyists and professionals worldwide are, in some cases, unknowingly researching and developing new articulatory phonetics.

Does the contemporary beatboxing culture have something to contribute the current Phonetic alphabet? As Yeff’s work with Professor Sophie Scott has demonstrated, this artform can allow the artist to compose, write and perform musical compositions with the same fluid instancy as speech. Its abstract and meta qualities are a universal language free of semantics, similar but not limited to that of music. 

There is currently no formal contemporary beatboxing short course available to institutions and the public that teaches the techniques developed by contemporary beatboxing culture. Using the voice to understand and express music theory and repurposing the voice to create compositions is something that can be taught, even if those studying have no specialized ability; the alphabet and its 26 pressures is enough of a pallet that can be used immediately by any teacher and student.

 

HARRY YEFF has generated a global online following, gathering over 40,000,000 views for his videotaped beatboxing performances, and an established reputation as a key pioneer in the field of experimental vocalism. Exhibiting work across multidisciplinary events like Miami Art Basel, and the London, Milan and Tokyo Design weeks, he is a polyglot of audio and visual communication who has redefined the role of phonetics as a cross-disciplinary means to connect the artistic, musical and scientific communities.

Yeff’s work is the product of a highly intimate, lifelong relationship with the human voice. The London-born artist and musician has been obsessively experimenting with innovative vocal practices and the creative representation of physics and sound since the age of eighteen. Yeff’s unique skills have seen him uncover new keys to cognitive efficiency and expand his phonetic vocabulary to new boundaries. Dedicated to depicting his findings in an explicit and tangible way, Yeff’s vocal performances are increasingly accompanied by potent, aesthetically arresting visual displays.

In 2014, Yeff debuted his first major exhibition, “Attention. Deficit. Order,” at London Newcastle Gallery, Shoreditch, exploring the benefits of mental processes traditionally associated with ADD. Yeff’s mixed-media, multi-sensory installations disputed negative notions of “overstimulation,” while showcasing examples of his elaborate canvas work. Yeff’s labyrinthine illustrative pieces consistently subvert ideas of chaos by depicting high levels of complexity and acute cognitive flow.

Capturing the attention of the academic realm, Yeff became the the subject of a study of expert behavior, led by Professor Sophie Scott of University College London’s Neurological Department—the first neurological investigation of its kind to utilize the voice as a medium. Yeff has continued to marry involvement with academia with his own music and performance, harnessing cymatics to fluently translate the organizational powers of sound in real time, and for the first time, reconstitute the medium as a visual instrument for the deaf. Last year he conceived and delivered the hugely successful Polyphonic Playground, a large-scale playground structure comprising electric paint circuitry and instrumental trigger pads. Yeff’s augmentation of this classic, climbable structure transformed it into an unorthodox tool which challenges predetermined patterns of musical composition.