This site provides information about current, past, and future EarSay projects, as well as news updates, press kits, press clippings, mission statement, bios, info on resources, associate artists and organizations, how to give, how to buy things and how to get in touch.
EarSay is an artist-driven non-profit arts organization dedicated to uncovering and portraying stories of the uncelebrated. Founded by Warren Lehrer and Judith Sloan in 1999, our projects bridge the divide between documentary and expressive forms in books, exhibitions, on stage, in sound & electronic media. We are committed to fostering understanding across cultures, generations, gender and class, through artistic productions and education. We bring our work to theatres, museums, schools, festivals and universities. Scroll over the top menu to view projects, get information, shop, etc.
IT CAN HAPPEN HERE a new play ONE NIGHT ONLY
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Queens Council on the Arts presented the first iteration of It Can Happen Here, a new play in development written by Artist Commissioning Program Awardee Judith Sloan.
Judith Sloan’s Artist Commissioning Program project, It Can Happen Here, is a reference to the Sinclair Lewis novel It Can’t Happen Here, which chronicled the fictitious election of a power-hungry politician who stirred up fear by promising a return to patriotism. For nine months Sloan — playwright/actor and longtime chronicler of Queens (Crossing the BLVD, 1001 Voices: Symphony for a New America) — talked with residents of Southeastern Queens about our hopes, fears, and aspirations.
“What struck me over and over were stories of love and support that often fly under the radar in times of extreme duress. I decided to zoom in on conversations between women. Like the novel It Can’t Happen Here, my play is inspired by real events,” says Sloan.
In It Can Happen Here, two hairdressers—one black, one white— in an ever-changing neighborhood in Queens, embark on a new dream. They follow their passion for singing and nurturing a community in the midst of a national political climate of chaos, division and autocracy. Through their journey they reveal stories of their customers, family members and neighbors, including a DACA recipient, an immigration lawyer, and an elder who lost everything in Hurricane Sandy.
2018 Indigo Design Award for 1001 Voices
Warren Lehrer wins a 2018 Indigo Design Award in Mix Media/Moving Image for 1001 Voices: A Symphony for a New America. It was one of four recipients given by the prestigious international design competition in the Motion Graphics category. The motion graphics runs throughout the 38 minute work and is an integral component of the multimedia symphony.
1001 Voices: A Symphony for a New America
Composed by Frank London Libretto by Judith Sloan Projections by Warren Lehrer
1001 Voices: a Symphony for a New America is a three-movement symphony/oratorio scored for orchestra, chorus and visual projections. The multimedia work is about migration, transformation, and the search for home. It is a 21st century, musical/poetic expression of the challenges and aspirations of so many of today’s American cities and their inhabitants who hail from many different parts of the globe. It is inspired by stories of immigrants and refugees in Queens, NY—the most ethnically diverse locality in the United States. 1001 Voices serves as an antidote to the poisonous and flattening rhetoric about immigrants and refugees currently dividing the United States and the globe. 1001 Voices is a collaboration between Grammy-Award-winning composer, trumpeter, and Klezmatics band member Frank London, EarSay’s Judith Sloan and the animated projections designed by EarSay’s Warren Lehrer.
Originally commissioned and premiered by the Queens Symphony Orchestra, this work can performed by full orchestras and choirs as well as by smaller orchestras and contemporary music ensembles and as few as four vocalists. Scores are available upon request. If you’re interested in the possibility of performing this work or want more information, contact: [email protected].
Warren Lehrer help launch new Pratt Institute Book Arts Minor
On Wednesday April 18, 2018, Warren Lehrer presented a performance of A LIFE IN BOOKS: The Rise and Fall of Bleu Mobley at Pratt Institute as the launch event for their new Book Arts Program.
In his funny, thought provoking performance/reading based on his illuminated novel A LIFE IN BOOKS: The Rise and Fall of Bleu Mobley, Warren presents an overview of his protagonist’s life in books via many of Mobley’s book cover designs, book-like objects, and other biographical materials including animations and video performances of Mobley book excerpts.
A LIFE IN BOOKS: The Rise and Fall of Bleu Mobley is an illuminated novel that contains 101 books within it, all written by Lehrer’s controversial author protagonist who finds himself in prison looking back on his life and career. In his funny, thought provoking performance/reading, Lehrer presents an overview of Mobley’s life in books via many of his book covers, book-like objects, and other biographical materials including animations and video performances of book excerpts.
Poetry in Windows Public Art Installation: 1001 Voices: An Anthem for a New America
This Window Exhibition was on view at CUNY School of Law from May 2017 through February 2018. We are currently seeking a new home for the installation.
ONE NIGHT performance of 1001 Voices: A Symphony for a New America
On Saturday December 16 at 8pm, Colden Auditorium Queens College
in collaboration with the Queens Choral Society and the Aaron Copland School of Music, 900 people came to see the full performance of 1001 Voices. Video excerpts coming soon.
Queens College Choral Society 77th Annual Winter Concert
Judith Sloan Awarded Commissioning Grant
Queens Council on the Arts announces four selected artists for the Inaugural Year of the Artist Commission Program. Judith Sloan hosts an event for her commission of a new work “IT CAN HAPPEN HERE” a new theatrical performance developed from gathering stories of anguish and defiance in the face of xenophobia and repression.
3 pm Saturday December 2nd Performance & Storytelling WorkshopYork College, Jamaica Queens. Free and Open to the Public. RSVP HERE
Sloan will present excerpts of the work in progress accompanied by Andrew Griffin on Viola.
Judith Sloan Performances
Saturday December 16 at 8pm
1001 Voices: A Symphony for a new America. A collaboration between EarSay and the Queens Choral Society and the Aaron Copland School of Music with 120 voice choir. Composed by Frank London, Libretto by Judith Sloan, Animations by Warren Lehrer. Saturday December 16, 2017 at Colden Auditorium.
Warren Lehrer was honored by the Center for Book Arts in NYC “for his contribution to book arts and its connection to the broader world of contemporary art.”
“Every year The Center for Book Arts honors three important people who have and continue to inform the book arts field, such as curators, librarians, collectors, organizations, and, of course, artists.” Lehrer was recognized as one of the 2016 honorees at this year’s Center for Book Arts Gala Benefit on April 4th at the National Arts Club in NYC. The other honorees this year were May Castleberry, librarian at MoMA, and Peter Kraus, proprietor of Ursus Books.
Lehrer’s Center for Book Arts award describes him as a “Pioneer in visual literature and design authorship” and honors him for his “commitment to furthering the mission of The Center for Book Arts and championing the Art of the Book.”
On March 24 Warren Lehrer premiered the A LIFE IN BOOKS: Bleu Mobley Retrospective Exhibition at the O’Kane Gallery at the University of Houston, Downtown. Based on Lehrer’s award-winning illuminated novel A LIFE IN BOOKS, the exhibition presents itself as a retrospective of Bleu Mobley’s life work. It encompasses over 250 pieces, including all 101+ Bleu Mobley book jackets, accompanied by “original” catalogue descriptions, select interior pages, book-like objects, animations and video performances of book excerpts, and facsimiles of letters, articles, notebooks, and other artifacts that help tell the Bleu Mobley story.
A LIFE IN BOOKS: The Rise and Fall of Bleu Mobley is an illuminated novel that contains 101 books within it, all written by Lehrer’s protagonist—Bleu Mobley—a controversial author who finds himself in prison looking back on his life and career. Mobley’s autobiography/apologia is paired with a review of all 101 of his books, each represented by its first-edition cover design and catalog copy, and more than a third of his books are excerpted. The resulting retrospective contrasts the published writings (which read like short stories) with the confessional memoir, forming a most unusual portrait of a well-intentioned, obsessively inventive (if ethically challenged) visionary. A LIFE IN BOOKS explores the creative process of a writer/artist, as it reflects upon a half century of American/global events, and grapples with the future of the book as a medium, and the lines that separate and blur truth, myth, and fiction.
A LIFE IN BOOKS is the winner of 9 Awards including: The 2015 International Book Award – Best New Fiction, The 2014 IPPY Outstanding Book of the Year Award for “Most Original Concept” (Independent Publisher), The 2014 Best New Fiction Award (USA Best Books), a Next Generation Indie Book Award, a National Indie Book Award, a CBAA Exhibition Prize, and a Print Magazine Regional Design Award
In his funny, thought provoking performance/readings, Warren Lehrer presents an overview of Bleu Mobley’s life in books via many of Mobley’s book cover designs, book-like objects, and other biographical materials including animations and video performances of Mobley book excerpts.
To inquire about booking the exhibition and/or Warren Lehrer’s performances and lectures contact [email protected]
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Lehrer recently completed a book of visual poetry in collaboration with the investigative journalist and poet Dennis Bernstein titled The Bullet That Pierced His Son’s Skull. Bernstein’s poems, Lehrer’s visualization. The book contains 254 poems, eight chapters, and runs 340 pages. To be published sometime next year. Stay tuned!
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