Sarah Grace Graves and Helēna Sorokina: Shared Monologues

Sunday, February 4, 2024 — 7:30 PM
Tickets: $15 General, $10 Members & Students
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Sarah Grace Graves and Helena Sorokina perform Scelsi’s Sauh I alongside solos and duos written for, and in certain instances by, them. Featuring music by Giacinto Scelsi, Jon Yu, Sarah Grace Graves, Carol Robinson, Gudenga Šmite, and Feliz Anne Reyes Macahis.


Experimental composer-vocalist Sarah Grace Graves venerates the ritual of performance, turning to installation, theater, movement, and raw vocal sound to create a space where both she and the listener can lose themselves. Her performances seamlessly weave together ancient and contemporary music, improvised and orally transmitted music, songs and virtuosic vocal sound that is neither spoken nor sung to express something internal that at the same time transcends the confines of the human body. She is an avid interpreter of the music of Carol Robinson, Giacinto Scelsi, and Erin Gee, among many others.

From 2020-2022 she studied extended vocal techniques with Nicholas Isherwood at Conservatoire de Montbéliard while conducting a Harriet Hale Woolley artistic residency at the Fondation des États-Unis in Paris centered around interdisciplinary collaboration with the voice. In summer 2023 she was the Michiko Hirayama Fellow at the Fondazione Isabella Scelsi in Rome. She is an alumna of the Voix Nouvelles Academy at Royaumont and is now in the composition PhD program at UC Berkeley.

Latvian contralto/mezzo-soprano Helēna Sorokina began her musical education with the violin and piano at the age of 5, going on to study choral conducting in her hometown Riga. Helena has studied classical vocal performance and vocal pedagogy and since 2021 has conducted doctoral research at the University of Music and Performing Arts in Graz, Austria.

Her gift of perfect pitch exposes her to contemporary music performance, which has become one of her biggest passions. Notable highlights include solo performances at the Steirischer Herbst Festival in Graz, Austria: Asteroid 62, opera by Dmitri Kourliandski (2013) and Paradise by Laure M. Hiendl (2016). Since August 2017, Helena is a resident member of the vocal ensemble Cantando Admont and has performed in different festivals and venues namely, Klangspuren Schwaz 2017 (composer in residence – Sofia Gubaidulina), Salzburger Festspiele 2018 and 2020, Imago Ljubljana 2018, Azorean Festival of Music 2019, Teatro Colon in Buenos Aires and Wissenschaftskolleg zu Berlin 2019 and in countries such as Argentina, Austria, Germany, Italy, Portugal, Singapore, Slovenia and Switzerland.

In 2020, Helena started a new project for an unaccompanied solo voice called VOICE.ONLY, which she premiered at CNMAT in Berkeley, California, and further developed into a new concert series in Styria, Austria. One of the parts called Shades of Solitude has been dedicated to the exploration of different possibilities of a solo alto voice a cappella.

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