Faced-Paced World

Music and video by Mendel Lee

Choreography by Jakki Kalogridis

Fast-Paced World (2022) for digital audio/video and live dancers ***WORLD PREMIERE***

Years ago I found myself wondering what it would sound and feel like to be standing or walking in the middle of a road with fast and loud vehicles speeding by me on all sides. I imagined closing my eyes, feeling the slipstream air whip my hair around as vehicles of all shapes and sizes passed by me.
Because this would be hazardous to experience in real life, I set my sights on creating a digital audio work that could represent this phenomenon. Fast-Paced World is the result, an atmospheric work aimed at transporting the listener into what would be a dangerous sonic environment made safe and meditative by transforming the sounds into a peaceful virtual soundscape.

Since its completion, Fast-Paced World has also served as a launching point for a larger collaborative project of audio, video, and live dancers currently in development. The project, titled Through the Sonic Glass, will explore other sonic phenomena that would be dangerous to experience in real life.

All samples used were obtained from freesound.org under a Creative Commons license. Full attributions (“sample title” – username):

“Passing cars 2” – yngwiem
“Full Take – Car Approach and Pass By” – Wikusv
“Footsteps” – crooner
“London Car Bys – 04 – Feb 2013” – Carivus
“passing cars” – saphe

Mendel Lee (he/him) (b. 1975) is a music professional whose career oscillates between composition/artistic entrepreneurship and music education/pageantry arts. Based in New Orleans, LA, he is currently the Founding Executive Director of nienteForte Contemporary Music, a composer and performer with Versipel New Music, a member of the Rhythm X, Inc. Board of Directors, and a former Assistant Director of Tulane Bands.

Mendel’s artistic vision has earned him recognition as a National Performance Network Take Notice Fund grantee. His work have been performed and featured across the globe, including the World Expo 2020 Dubai, New Music on the Bayou 2022, and the National Performance Network 2023 Annual Conference. His music has been described as “finding the right balance between minimalist… [static] space and forward motion and trajectory.” His solo timpani work Timpani Forces has been praised as a “…virtuosic tour de force…[whose] attention to melodic and lyrical content and the creative use of glissandi result in a unique addition to the repertoire.”

In addition to his regular performing duties with Versipel New Music, Mendel has performed as a percussionist and brass band snare drummer for various national and international events, including the “Shakespare 400” jazz funeral in Stratford-upon-Avon, England, and the 2022 NCAA Final Four “Fan Fest”. In his spare time, he enjoys a myriad of amateur hobbies including cooking (and eating), data analytics and spreadsheets, branding/graphic design, audio/video/motion graphics production, poker, and tabletop and video games.


Jakki Kalogridis is a New Orleans-based artist, dancer, costume designer, and writer. She holds an MFA in Dance from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and a BFA in Studio Art from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro.

Kalogridis has performed with Roxane D’Orleans Juste (Deliveránce), Sara Hook (Cedar Closet), Jan Van Dyke (Design for Ten), Loren Groenendaal (Palm, Plume, Plumeria), Carrboro Modern Dance Company, and in a multi-media dance gameshow by John Toenjes (Soundwave Surfer).

Recent collaborations include TANGENT SPACES, a multi-media trilogy featuring sound by Kerrith Livengood; The Negative Space Project, a movement and sound installation with sound design by Kerrith Livengood; Untitled (Ode to a New Atlantis) with music by Miles Hancock, projection art by John Boesche, and choreographed lighting design by Elliot Hubiak; Emergence, with music by Miles Hancock and featuring live band Loose Willis; Elements, a short film with choral director Kristen Hedegaard, and The Library, with sound design by Clare Marie Nemanich.

Kalogridis was a recipient of the Moe Family Dance Award in 2022. She has been a Featured Designer at New Orleans Fashion Week and was awarded New Orleans Fashion Designer of the Year in a Raw Showcase in 2014. From 2001-2019, she taught numerous colorguard and band programs across NC, LA, and MS and served as Executive Director for New Orleans Colorguard Arts, The Proposition, and Fortitude Independent.

Bayleigh Breanne grew up in Draper, Utah where she began dancing to selections from The Little Mermaid. She studied contemporary dance, sociology, and theatre arts at Brigham Young University (BYU). There, she trained with various choreographers and artists from around the country and Europe. Bayleigh recently finished her third year teaching 5th Grade Social Studies at KIPP Leadership Academy, where she also helped coach the Dance Team and assisted with the production of The Lion King, Jr. In addition to Mélange Dance Company, Bayleigh has danced with ELLevate Dance Company and Artivism Dance Theatre here in New Orleans. She has also performed in the works of Arouna Guindo and Jakki Kalogridis and trains in Waacking and Krump with local mentors. Bayleigh is passionate about making change through dance.

Laura Bernas is a performing artist with an MFA in Acting from the Bristol Old Vic Theatre School, who has worked with numerous theatrical companies at home and abroad. Her background in movement spans across multiple mediums and focuses on creating physical theater through improvisation, Spolin, and devising
techniques. Laura loves spending her time performing, making music, and working with the community as a teaching artist. Her interests lie in exploring the limitlessness of our capabilities as humans, and
guiding people of all ages to greater self-love and acceptance through artistic expression.

Rosalind Kidwell grew up in Wyoming with a love of dancing, color guard, and performing arts. She graduated from Tulane University as a computer science and linguistics student, but will start attending LSU School of Dentistry this coming summer. Rosalind is the color guard instructor of the Tulane University Marching Band where she choreographs and instructs students performing at football games and in Mardi Gras parades. She is excited to be involved in this project, featuring choreography and music by Jakki and Mendel, two of her former instructors while she was a student at Tulane.

Let’s give a big round of applause for the indigogo donors for “Fast-Paced World”

John and Lyn Banghart
Bert and Joyce Lee
George Liang
Andrew Shieh
Lindsay Baird Shirey

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