Composer/Collaborative Muliti-disciplinary Artist
(b. 1985, Queens, NY)
Jesse Perlstein is a multi-disciplinary artist born and based out of New York City. He has spent the last decade creating cross-genre works that often blend the mediums of sound, visual art, prose & interactive room installations, focusing on the confluence between fantasy and reality and exploring their inseparable tangle. The surrealism of nostalgia and memory is prominently explored in Jesse’s. He is a self-professed collector of moments, or an etcher of the shadows left as they pass. Through the practice of field recording he captures and repurposes temporal ambience for compositions that include vocal accompaniment and sonic manipulation, creating surreal auditory soundscapes. These sonic tapestries are designed to be immersive and nostalgic and have been featured and composed for film, room installations, dances, performance, and in his recorded music spanning over several different projects and collaborations. Most recently, Jesse has been studying the way in which sound can be planted in rooms or spaces, composing pieces that are meant for a specific time and place, providing specific context and a method of physical immersion for the listener/audience. He has further developed his work in interactive technologies (Arduino, Max MSP) in effort to bring spaces to life for the audience. In his most recent installations “Because I’m Just a Medium for Energy” & “Triggers Vol. 1” he used light and motion detectors to alter the sound of the space, causing various sonic events to occur based on the presence and movement within the room.
In his music practice and composition he is an experimental vocalist, focusing on instrumental music and sound collage to compose new works for film, radio and collaboration with other artists. His most prominent and acclaimed musical project to date is Sontag Shogun, an experimental trio where he uses sound collage and treated vocals to harmonize with piano (Ian Temple) & piezo’d beats and oscillator tones (Jeremy Young). This active group releases music on several labels, tours the globe and is often writing/recording new music for commissioned work and forthcoming releases. The project has also been a platform to collaborate with filmmakers, choreographers, writers, and a live scentscape artist, amongst others.
In 2018 he created a series called Braided Sound which combines curated improvisational ensembles with site-specific graphic scores painted/composed by Perlstein, himself. The series tours internationally and has seen a plethora of cities in Japan, Western Europe, Canada & U.S. featuring musicians such as Taco (JP), Moskitoo (JP), Booker Stardrum (US), Asuna (JP), Otto Kokke (NL), F.S. Blumm (DE), Shinya Sugimoto (JP), Echo Ho (DE), Andrew Bernstein (U.S.), etc. He has also held a performance/curation residency in Seoul, SK which led to a curated live-scored film series (VOVO) but later transplanted in Brooklyn. He is also the cofounder of an emerging Chinese(-American) musician showcase called Da-Yin which he produced with fellow sound artist, Xuan Ye.
BraidedSOUND - Portugal Tour, curated by Diana Combo, Jesse Perlstein and Jeremy Young
Sontag Shogun - Northeast US Tour, with Jerusalem In My Heart and Ben Shemie.
BraidedSOUND - Japan Tour, curated by Jesse Perlstein
Jesse Perlstein & Agnes Momirski - Digital Dawn, Luminous Voices premier/installation at Rodskapje, Rotterdam, NL
BraidedSOUND - Europe Tour, curated by Jesse Perlstein and Jeremy Young
Jesse Perlstein - Premier of “The Möbius Chorus” - for PRACTICE series at NeverApart, Montreal, QC, curated by Jann Tomaro
BraidedSOUND - San Francisco at Luggage Store Gallery, San Francisco, CA, curated by Jesse Perlstein and Jeremy Young.
Sontag Shogun - Northeast US Tour, with appearances at 24 Hour Drone Festival at Basilica Hudson, Hudson, NY, curated by Le Guess Who?, and Smilin’ Ambassador Festival at Underground Arts, Philadelphia. PA, curated by Luke Myers.
Jesse Perlstein & Stephen Somple - “Because I’m Just A Medium For Energy”, a 2-month interactive sonic sculptural installation - at HiLo Gallery (Catskill, NY)
Jesse Perlstein - “Memoream”, sonic sculptural installation, typewriter & paper - at HiLo Gallery (Catskill, NY)
Jesse Perlstein ”Vala Part I & II", Kibla Center for Intermedia Art (Maribor, Slovenia) - a collaboration with Agnes Momirski - as part of Shelters of Babylon festival, a multi-channel audio/video installation. [Nov - Jan '17/18]
Jesse Perlstein - a 3-day interactive installation/performance “Triggers Vol. 1” - at Westbeth Arts Colony (NYC), curated for CRAWL by Kate Ladenheim
Sontag Shogun - Spain and Portugal Tour, with appearances at Euphonic Festival at l’Esglesia Nova, Terres de l’Ebre, SP. and WOS Festival at Teatro Principal, Santiago De Compostela, SP, performing original works and in an improvising ensemble with Oren Ambarchi, Greg Fox, Julia Kent and René Gonzalez Schelbeck.
Jesse Perlstein & Agnes Momirski - “Vala Part I” at Kinosiska in Ljubljana, Slovenia, an exhibition/screening
Sontag Shogun - Frameworks Festival at Einstein Kulturhaus, Munich, DE.
Sontag Shogun - Scandinavian Europe Tour with Julia Kent.
Sontag Shogun - Northeast US/Canada Tour with Christopher Bissonnette.
Sontag Shogun - From the Rabbit Hole to Bermuda Festival, Night 2 at Fylkingen, Stockholm, SE, curated by Johannes Bergmark. Sontag Shogun & Julia Kent - perform the music of Hans Appelqvist at Inkonst, Malmö, SE, curated by Ulf Eriksson.
Sontag Shogun - premiers of new works, Trans Pecos, Queens, NY, with David Grubbs, Aki Onda, John Fell Ryan.
Sontag Shogun - Japan Tour with Shinya Sugimoto, Yuki Murata, Minamo.
Sontag Shogun - Jue Festival at YuYinTang, Shanghai, CN, and Zaijia Lab, Beijing, CN.
Sontag Shogun - Beijing Literary Festival at Bookworm and School Bar, Beijing, CN.
Sontag Shogun - “Woodstock” 2015 Festival at private location, Woodstock, NY, curated by Liam Singer.
Sontag Shogun - CRAWL Series Volume 2 at Gowanus Lofts, Brooklyn, NY, curated by Kate Ladenheim.
Jesse Perlstein & Agnes Momirski - “OBVSNSS” an audio/video installation at UAUU Gallery in Ljubljana, Slovenia
Sontag Shogun - Mono No Aware Festival at LightSpace Studios, Brooklyn, NY, with Tomonari Nishikawa.
Sontag Shogun - National US/Canada Tour with Blevin Blectum, Aaron Martin.
Sontag Shogun & People Movers Dance Co. - premier of “And He Saw That It Was Good” at Triskelion Arts Center, Brooklyn, NY.
Sontag Shogun - Europe and Iceland Tour with Dead Rat Orchestra.
Sontag Shogun - Northeast US/Canada Tour with Liam Singer.
Sontag Shogun - residency at Geertruida, Haarlem, NL.
Sontag Shogun - Da Yin Films with Live Scores Festival at Videology, Brooklyn, NY, curated by Jesse Perlstein.
Jesse Perlstein (as Absent Warrior) - European Tour w/ Foxout! & Lauren E. Walker
Jesse Perlstein (as Absent Warrior) - South Korean Tour w/ Russell Moore, G.T. Arpe & Lauren E. Walker
2012 - 2007
Sontag Shogun - The Night Wears a Sombrero Festival at Littlefield, Brooklyn, NY.
Sontag Shogun - Northeast US/Canada Tour 2011.
[The] Slowest Runner [in All the World] - National USA Tour 2010, with appearances at Vision Festival XIV at Le Poisson Rouge, New York City, NY, and Bitchpork Festival, Chicago, IL.
[The] Slowest Runner [in All the World] - Northeast US/Canada Tour 2009, with an appearance at Pop Montreal Festival in Montreal, QC.
[The] Slowest Runner [in All the World] - 28 Hours of Innovative Art Festival at Clemente Soto Velez Arts Center, New York City, NY.
[The] Slowest Runner [in All the World] - Popolo in the Parc, Suoni Per Il Popolo Festival, Montreal, QC.
[The] Slowest Runner [in All the World] - UnPop Montreal Festival at Parc Des Ameriques, Montreal, QC.
Jesse Perlstein & Shinya Sugimoto - I Confess [tba]
Sontag Shogun - It Billows Up [ LP, Youngbloods]
Sontag Shogun - Floréal EP [ EP, Beacon Sound], feat. Lau Nau and Ora Cogan
Jesse Perlstein & Jade Shames - “The Backwards Astronomer”, dir. Jake Nelson [film]
Jesse Perlstein - “The Imposter”, prod. Aliya Pabani [podcast, Canadaland]
Jesse Perlstein - Track & Field, Vol.1 [cass/dig, self-released]
Sontag Shogun & Stijn Hüwels - The Floating World & the Sorrowful World [USB drive, THESIS]
Liam Singer - Finish Him [CD, Birdwatcher Records]
Jesse Perlstein -“ Vala Parts I & II”, dir. Agnes Momirski [film]
Sontag Shogun & Moskitoo - The Thunderswan/The Things We Let Fall Apart [ 7”, Home Normal]
Sontag Shogun - Patterns for Resonant Space [LP, Youngbloods]
Sontag Shogun - Patterns Outtakes EP [ dig, Youngbloods]
Sontag Shogun - Tale Remixed [ 12”EP, Folk Wisdom/CD, Ricco Label], feat. SchneiderTM, Radicalfashion, Hakobune, Indian Wells, Perdurabo, Jake Chudnow, Anoice, and Takahiro Kido.
Sontag Shogun - 2015, NYC [ cass, self]
Jesse Perlstein - “OBVSNSS”, dir. Agnes Momirski [film]
Jesse Perlstein - “Affinit”, dir. Agnes Momirski w/ Sontag Shogun [film]
Jeremy Young - Chants Beneath the Bed of the Furnace Brook [cass, Palaver Press]
Lauren E. Walker - Fascinating Everything [cass, Obsolete Media Objects]
2011 - 2008
Sontag Shogun - “Looped Alphabet”, dir. Agnes Momirski [film]
Sontag Shogun - “Tale” [CD, Luau Records/Ricco Label]
Sontag Shogun - LTFI EP [ EP, Palaver Press/CD, Ricco Label/cass, Infinite Waves]
Absent Warrior - Carry On, Carrion [digi, Palaver Press]
[The] Slowest Runner [in All the World] - We, Burning Giraffes [CD, Future Recordings]
[The] Slowest Runner [in All the World] - The Flophouse Sessions [CD, Grinding Tapes]
*No contributions to compilations are listed.
Teaching Artist Certificate from Community Word Project (NYC)
Bachelors of Arts in Creative Writing from Concordia University (Montreal, QC)
email Jesse: robotsarebetter[at]gmail.com