Emily Thorner


Voices of Consequence by Garrett Mendelow
Monologue: The Wrong Questions
(this sentence here fills the) AIR – Max Hundelshausen
Monologue 2: Speechless – written by Emily Thorner
LOOP 1: “The Voice” – improvisation by Emily Thorner
Berio Sequenza III by Luciano Berio
LOOP 2: “I AM” – improvisation by Emily Thorner

Voices of Consequence by Garrett Mendelow (b. 1989)

Commissioned by Emily Thorner

“Voices of Consequence…” (2022) is a stand-alone tape piece meant as a prologue to a recital program. The composition itself consists of a myriad of sounds and effects in order to set the ominous tone for the work. But out of the opening sonic material, an excerpt from President Ronald Reagan’s February 1981 address to the nation is heard; “You won’t like it. I didn’t like it.” From here, the performer is free to input recorded voices, which are reading recent credible news stories from around the world that are either considered to be bad or sad news. These news stories should be layered on top of one another gradually until they become almost a wall of sound. This sound of stories will then finally crescendo into a prescribed point in the tape track, and the piece fades into the beginning of the concert.

It is commonplace for us to block out the trauma and hurt that surrounds us in order to try and live the life we’ve all worked for. But though ignorance can be blissful at times, being apathetic can also cause great harm to that which we strive to preserve. It is the moments where we face the noise and the heavy burdens we are confronted with, and open our eyes to the struggles of others in this small world that we truly gain empowerment, release ourselves from a world of ever-compounding trauma, and have the ability to make an impact both in our own lives and the lives of others. – Garrett Mendelow 


(this sentence here fills the) AIR (2019)

Max Hundelshausen


The idea for STATE OF BEING began in a time of creation of AIR with Max Hundelshausen. AIR exists in 6 movements: Preparation, Meditation on One Voice, Embryo, BEING, Influx, and Cadenza Through the Looking Glass and goes through the process of choosing to go inward, facing your deepest “shadow self/dark night of the soul,” a moment of “breaking the self open” and some of the most raw and real moments of facing your inner demons. The line “so much lighter than air” exists to not only speak about the virtuosity of the voice but also the feeling one receives after releasing something significant internally. 98% of the electronics are created from recordings of Emily Thorner in collaboration. There will be moments that you cannot tell what is machine vs. human in the present moment and that is part of the incredible effect of this piece.


LOOP 1 – “THE VOICE” – A World Premiere by Emily Thorner on the subject of freeing the voice. This will be created in the moment.


Berio Sequenza III is born from a series of 14 compositions for extended techniques. “In Sequenza III the emphasis is given to the sound symbolism of vocal and sometimes visual gestures, with their accompanying “shadows of meaning”, and the associations and conflicts suggested by them. For this reason Sequenza III can also be considered as a dramatic essay whose story, so to speak, is the relationship between the soloist and her own voice. Originally written for Cathy Barbarian, this is a customizable piece and in STATE OF BEING we are using it as a relationship between the self and inner expression as it relates to the integration stage of healing (processing.)


LOOP 2 – “I AM” – First performed in North Carolina, USA in 2022, this is a live electronics piece using loop pedal created by Emily Thorner. Text may vary slightly.


“I am safe, I am stable, no matter what happens I’m safe.

I am creative, I express my creativity.

I believe in myself. 

I am powerful. I harness my inner power.

I speak from the heart. 

I give love to everyone in my life. I send understanding.

I send compassion. I send compassion to the things I didn’t understand.


[I speak my truth, I speak my truth even when they say no.]


I know my truth. I know my truth.

I feel the magic around me.


[I say yes, I say yes, I say yes.]


I say yes to myself, I am the leader in my life.

There is nothing you can’t do or be.


Audience: “I am” (repeat)

We are.


You are infinite.

Don’t forget you are infinite (x2)

Don’t forget (x2) 

Igniting who you are

Remembering who you are

Don’t forget, remembering who you are

beneath all the things that people tell you.

Who you are.

Who you really are.

it’s more than a STATE OF BEING.

You are infinite (x2).


“I am” (repeat until fade out).”


(You will be invited to join me in song to close the piece.)

Artist biographies

International “ultra-soprano” (Second Inversion, WA, USA) and “new music rising star” (The Stranger, WA, USA) Emily Thorner is one of the highest operatic voices worldwide and is equally at home in contemporary operas, mainstream opera, orchestras, and chamber ensembles. Invited to sing for the worlds elite including Heads of State, royalty, and the top global leaders on the mission of social impact and sustainability, she sings for a greater purpose: to raise the frequency of humanity. Known for her command of stratospheric high notes, Ms. Thorner is highly sought-after for world premieres due to her unusual high range and fearless virtuosity. She made her Netherlands debut at Muziekgebouw and TivoliVredenberg at the Gaudeamus Festival this September 2023 as the solo soprano with Asko|Schönberg, singing “Uma só divina Linha” by Jan Van de Putte which was be on NPO radio, and was the only featured opera singer at the CC Forum Dubai.Invited to relocate to London on a Tier 1 Exceptional Talent visa, Ms. Thorner was the leading Soprano in Hotel Paradiso, a contemporary opera conducted by Clement Power in Bolzano Italy, gave the world premiere of Crossing Songs by Laura Shipsey written for her voice and containing a rare Ab6 in the Aldeburgh Festival this June 2022, and was a winner of the NYIOPS international anon auditions, being the only vocalist to present contemporary opera. Upcoming performances in 2023 and 2024 lead her to Scotland in a collaboration with the United Strings of Europe where she will sing the World Premiere of “Emptiness” written for her voice by Matthew Whiteside and Quatuor ii by Betsy Jolas at “The Night With” Festival. 2024 brings her to California for STATE OF BEING and an evening of world premieres. 2023 in total brings her to Amsterdam, Milan, Dubai, and Scotland for performances.
Dedicated to the belief that the power of sound and vibration can heal, and that the end of Climate Change begins with us, Ms. Thorner is passionate about singing with the purpose of healing through the voice on the global stage, and is dedicated to bringing this purpose, extraordinary high notes, and fearless passion to every stage. She is the inventor and founder of www.moonrising.com, a sound powered healing platform.Her discography includes The Miller in Rumpelstiltskin with Guerilla Opera on PARMA Records and Off Latch Press with three albums on Spotify, Apple Music, Itunes, and Deezer.Originally from Boston, MA, USA, she now resides in London and travels frequently all over EU and UK and is under representation by HOST TALENT GROUP.Range: G3-A6 (and an occasional Bb6)

(Creative Director) is a writer, director, podcaster, singer, and visionary. After 10 years as an opera and concert singer, with an international career as a soloist and professional chorister that took her from Atlanta to Berlin to San Francisco and back, she has found her own voice in storytelling for the operatic and concert stage by asking: How can we use the forms and the music that we have to tell larger stories that reach beyond the concert stage? How can we make an experience for the audience, one that heals, illuminates, and helps people feel heard? How can our work be of service?


In her work as the host of Makin’ It in Opera, a podcast about artists who are finding their own voices and subverting the Industry Pipeline path that fails to serve either the artists or the art form, she has seen the effects of empowering artists by helping them articulate their own stories. These two objectives: making art that is more than the sum of its parts, and helping artists to articulate their stories, have come together in her work with Emily Thorner on STATE OF BEING.

(b.1989) is a solo and collaborative percussionist from the United States. Though his interest in percussion extends to many different facets of the art, he dedicates much of his time to contemporary percussion performance practices and new music in a wide variety of settings. In the last decade, Garrett has appeared in national and international venues throughout North America, Europe, Australia, New Zealand, and regions of the Asian continent. Venues include the Concertgebouw Amsterdam, Muziekgebouw Eindhoven, De Doelen Concert Hall in Rotterdam, Hill Auditorium, the Vienna Muziekverein, and the Salzburg Großes Festspielhaus. Major festival appearances include PASIC (2013), the Cross-Linx Festival (2014), the Tromp Percussion Festival (2014), the Transplanted Roots Festival (2015), and the International Society for Performing Artsconvention in New York (2017). In November of 2020, Garrett’s first solo album, ‘ Speaking to His Craft,’ was released in collaboration with the Orpheus Classical Music Label. He is currently preparing for his next recording project of works by Iannis Xenakis. As an educator, Garrett has presented masterclasses and clinics at universities and conservatories around the world

(*1991 in Germany) is a tonmeister, sound director and composer. After finishing his precollege studies, he continued to study at the Erich-Thienhaus-Institute at Hochschule für Musik Detmold with Minas Borboudakis, Fabien Lévy, Mauro Lanza, Carola Bauckholt and Gilbert Nouno. After his Master’s degree he continued to study composition with Wolfgang Rihm at the Hochschule für Musik Karlsruhe in 2018. In 2019 he started writing a doctoral thesis in musicology regarding conservation techniques for electronic music. To widen his perspective he visited masterclasses with Brian Ferneyhough, George Aperghis, Johannes Kreidler, Hans Tutschku and many more. Max received multiple regional, national and international awards for his compositions, including the audience’s and jury’s Carl-Orff-Awards, the ad libitum Award, the federal award for composition (five times) and the Young Talents’ Award issued by the Berlin Philharmonics. Additionally, he is the founder of Studio Maximedes in the region of Frankfurt am Main, Germany.

(1925-2003) is, understandably, the only composer who did not directly write for Emily Thorner or STATE OF BEING. Luciano Berio was an Italian composer noted for his experimental work (in particular his 1968 composition Sinfonia and his series of virtuosic solo pieces titled Sequenza), and for his pioneering work in electronic music and is arguably one of the main composers to influence experimental “new” music. His early work was influenced by Igor Stravinsky and experiments with serial and electronic techniques, while his later works explore indeterminacy and the use of spoken texts as the basic material for composition.

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