Leah Muir: You Are What you Eat

Short Description / Kurzbeschreibung

Our identity being conjoined with our personal consumption is a uniquely post-modernistic, late-capitalistic phenomenon infiltrating our day- to-day choices. We inherently believe through our consumption of anything “green“, whether it be packaging or plant material, is somehow better. Likewise, the Western fixation with eastern meditation practices create a consumer culture for „spiritual gains“.

Kellogg’s Cornflakes were originally created for patients at a sanitarium by Will Kellogg in 1894 as a way to indoctrinate through food, the teachings of the seventh-day Adventist church. By creating an associative link from the old Kellogg Company ads about cornflakes and the Lojong Buddhist tradition of using slogans for meditative practice, a feeling of enlightenment through consumption is implied. However, mostly we eat the consumerist propaganda of what we think will make us healthy, neglecting our actual spiritual nourishment and starving the spirit. Ginsberg and others coming after the beat generation have utilized the shruti box in poetry readings, as a counter-cultural quest to go beyond western culture and also consumerism. The performer makes an offering at the end reflecting all of our desire be in contact this spiritual realm, but ironic in which the offering is the prepackaged cornflakes.

“Here is what wonderful taste looks and sounds like!“
“There is golden goodness in these crisp, crunchy cornflakes.“
„Gloriously gluten free at a delicious price!“
„According to Nancy Reagan, I’m not poor until I start putting water on my cornflakes instead of milk.“
– Kellogg Cornflake Slogans

“…the cosmic dances to create universe, huge mythological great world, elephant-headed God Ganesha, my favorite, he rides on a rat … is a household divinity, every morning pious Hindus give him cornflakes.”
– Alan Ginsberg“

Interprets And Location / Interpreten und Ort

  • Irene Kurka, Sopran
  • Berlin, Germany

Short Biography / Kurze Biographie

Leah Muir (1978). Bachelor Studium: Mathematik, Physik und Komposition (Allen Shawn und Stephen Siegel) bei Bennington College und Master of Music Universität Kansas City Missouri mit Chen Yi und James Mobberley. 2002-2006 Dozentin für Komposition in Buffalo, New York, dort auch 2008 PhD in Komposition, David Felder und Cort Lippe. 2006-2007 Fulbright Recherche Stipendiatin. Gründung und künstlerische Leitung des Ensembles „ilinx“, Studio für Neue Musik der UdK. Seit 2019 Gastprofessorin für Komposition an der UdK Berlin und Dozent beim Stanford Programm in Berlin.

Aufführungen u.a.: Münchener Biennale, MaerzMusik, Heroines of Sound mit KNM Berlin, Deutsche Oper Berlin, Konzerthaus Berlin, Ensemble SurPlus, Akademie Schloss Solitude, WIEN MODERN, Klangforum Wien, Ensemble PHACE, Bruckner Orchester Linz mit Dennis Russell Davies und David Friedman, Ars Electronica Linz, SoundTrack_Cologne, Matera Festival, DSZ Venedig, Aspen Music Festival, June in Buffalo, Goethe-Institut Mexico City.

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