Transitory Sound and Movement Collective

The Greying Rainbow

The Greying Rainbow is a film-based project that explores three representations of a single character. An ever-evolving group of musicians, dancers, spoken-word performers, and visual artists, Transitory Sound and Movement Collective develops experiential, multidisciplinary projects and has shifted to create immersive performances for camera during the pandemic.

Artistic Director Lynn Lane wrote the libretto based on Swiss psychiatrist Carl Jung’s concept of the “shadow self,” or the suppressed side of the personality. One state is embodied by bass-baritone Saïd Henry Pressley while another is brought to life by dancer Annie Arnoult. The third state, a puppet designed by Afsaneh Aayani, will be on view in the museum lobby. Unified by the mask they each wear, the project reflects the complex interwoven nature of the parts of ourselves we accept and those we wish to reject.

Lynn Lane is the founder/artistic director/sound artist/filmmaker/poet/librettist of the Transitory Sound and Movement Collective. Based in Houston, TX he has performed and shown his work nationally an internationally as a photographer/filmmaker/artist. He began his work in the performance world in 1992 with his original collective Tolstoy’s Head.  His work with the TSMC has been performed/presented at  Houston Center for Contemporary Craft, the Rec Room, the Rice University Gallery, University of Texas in Dallas, the Texas Dance Improvisation Festival, the Rothko Chapel, Arts Mission Oak Cliff, the Contemporary Arts Museum Houston, Asia Society of Texas, 16th Annual Modern Dance Festival at The Modern (Fort Worth), Aurora Picture Show, the Blanton Museum (Austin) and at The NMASS Festival (Austin). Recently his poetry was published in the new anthology “Love Letters to Gaia”.

Ben Roidl-Ward is a bassoonist and improviser based in Chicago. His dedication to working with and advocating for composers of his generation has led him to commission and premiere numerous solo and chamber works featuring the bassoon with the goal of broadening the repertoire and expanding the possibilities of the instrument. Ben has appeared as a soloist with the Seattle Symphony and the Northwestern and Oberlin Contemporary Music Ensembles, along with several regional orchestras throughout the United States. He has performed with the International Contemporary Ensemble, Ensemble Dal Niente, the Spektral Quartet, the Chicago Symphony, and the New York Philharmonic. A 2018 Luminarts Fellow in Classical Music, Ben was recently named one of five finalists for the International Double Reed Society’s 2020 Gillet-Fox Competition. He received a doctorate from Northwestern University, where he studied with David McGill. Previous teachers include Ben Kamins at Rice University, George Sakakeeny at the Oberlin Conservatory, and Francine Peterson in the Seattle Area.

New York native Saïd Henry Pressley made his Houston Grand Opera main stage debut as the Jailer in Tosca as well as Hyde in Carlisle Floyd’s world premiere of The Prince of Players.  For HGOco, he appeared in the world premiere of The Pastry Prince and also in Cinderella in Spain. Pressley won first prize in the Tony and Sally Amato Opera Competition (2010) and second prize in the Harlem Opera Theater Competition (2013), and was a semi-finalist in Dallas Opera Guild’s Annual Vocal Competition (2014). Best Vocalist at the Sid Wright Accompanying competition (2018) Pressley is a graduate of Purchase College Conservatory and The Juilliard School. Currently, Pressley is pursuing Doctorate of Musical Arts in Performance and Pedagogy at the Butler School of Music.

Caitlin Mehrtens is a harpist based in Houston, TX.  She has performed numerous times as a concerto soloist, most recently with the Akademisches Orchester in Leipzig, Germany at the Gewandhaus, and also with the National Repertory Orchestra, the Texas Music Festival Orchestra, the Ocean City Pops Orchestra, the Stars in the Classics Concert Series, the Oberlin Mozart Players, and the Orchestra Society of Philadelphia. An avid supporter and performer of contemporary art,  Caitlin is the Harpist and Marketing Manager for contemporary music ensemble Loop38.  Before moving to Texas, Caitlin was also the Outreach Director and Harpist for “The Syndicate for the New Arts”, a Cleveland-based non-profit, for 4 years.

Caitlin graduated from Rice University’s Shepherd School of Music, achieving a Masters of Music in Harp Performance with Paula Page.  Previously, she graduated from the Oberlin Conservatory of Music, achieving a Bachelor of Music degree in Harp Performance under Yolanda Kondonassis, and also a second Independent Major called “Communication through Multi-Cultural Music and Movement”.

Afsaneh Aayani graduated with her MFA in Scenic design from UH in 2020. She began her career in Iran where she studied puppetry at the Art University of Tehran and worked as an award-winning voice actress, puppeteer, designer and director. Eight years ago she moved to the United States to pursue her dreams and has created work in Houston, NYC, Iran, China, Poland, Sri Lanka and Germany. In 2020 she was the winner of USITT young designer scenic design award and previously has received multiple national/international awards for puppeteering and puppet making as well as directing and design. Afsaneh continues to seek ways to express herself, her vision, and learn new things at every opportunity to create magic.

A clarinetist from Fort Worth, Texas, Thomas Frey performs widely as a soloist, chamber musician and orchestral player.  A substitute for the San Antonio and New World Symphonies, he also frequently performs with other groups around Houston, including Opera in the Heights, Hear&Now and Musiqa.  Mr. Frey has collaborated with members of the London, Houston and Fort Worth Symphonies, and he is an avid supporter of multimedia performances, touring with the Transitory Sound and Movement Collective to perform improvisatory works with music, dance and film.  His recordings appear on the documentary soundtrack for Saving the Great Swamp and Karim Al-Zand’s album Studies in Nature.  In the summer of 2018 Mr. Frey was a fellow at the Music Academy of the West, where he was a finalist for the Keston MAX orchestral competition.  Mr. Frey is currently pursuing his master’s degree at Rice University’s Shepherd School of Music, where he also received his bachelor’s.

Annie Arnoult (Artistic Director/Choreographer)is the founding artistic director of Open Dance Project where she directs the company’s professional performance season and oversees the company’s extensive dance education work in partnership with Young Audiences Houston and the Houston Arts Access Initiative. Arnoult returned to her native Houston from Chicago where she was the artistic director of Chicago’s Striding Lion Performance Group, garnering acclaim for the company as a “new center of gravity for indie dance in Chicago” and support from The Gaylord and Dorothy Donnelley Foundation, The Arts & Business Council, the Arts Work Fund, the Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events, and The Illinois Arts Council.

Arnoult’s creative work is deeply informed and influenced by her 19 years as an artist teacher and arts education advocate in Chicago Public Schools, Illinois Arts Council’s Arts-in-Education Residency Programs, Illinois Migrant Education Association, After School Matters Chicago. Arnoult has been a guest artist/teacher at Now Next Dance at Appalachian State University and Sam Houston State University,  Fairbanks Summer Arts Festival, The University of Alaska at Anchorage, Northwestern University’s National High School Institute, Evanston Dance Ensemble and Alaska Dance Theatre. Arnoult is a Certified Cecchetti Ballet teacher and a member of the National Dance Education Organization. Her research and choreography has been presented regionally and internationally. She has served on the dance faculty of Northwestern University and The School of Theatre and Dance at University of Houston.