After an exciting year of inspired and interesting live performances performing as the collaborative duo MNP (My New Project) , Shantell Martin and I (Anna Callner) became interested in finding ways to collaborate outside of the live arena. Shantell and I decided to send each other weekly “homework assignments” via email. Shantell would send me a voice file through email, I would upload it and add my cello to it, often recording multiple cello lines while playing with slicing, dicing and re-interpreting Shantell’s vocals. I’d send my additions back to Shantell and she’d get busy adding visuals. Our goal with this first round of HW assignments was as much about forging ahead with a new way of creatively connecting and collaborating in a very intentional way as it has been about us each exploring and pushing our own approaches to our mediums and our shared aesthetic of MNP. I’ve long wanted to learn more about home recording and sound editing and Shantell has stretched her creative legs in the direction of vocals and video editing- the fruits of which we are presenting here as “MNP Does HW” (vol. 1). The process of ‘owing’ each other work on a weekly basis has kept us accountable to both each other and our project in a different way than that afforded in live performance. We’ve had a wonderful time seeing and hearing the HWs come together and are already underway with the next installment of MNP HW. We hope you enjoy the sights and sounds.
Love, MNP (Shantell Martin and Anna Callner)
More about MNP:
“I want people to experience our work without attaching any story line to it,” MNP half, Shantell Martin says. “I don’t really care about preserving the moment, just about being in it.” Enter into the world of MNP and drift into a playful exchange of visuals, strings and beats by artist Shantell Martin and cellist Anna Callner. Collecting verbal musings, ambient sounds and images from its audience, MNP presents a captivating display of continuously morphing words and drawings paired with a live audio sampling of the space set to strings. MNP explores the experiential dance between the sometimes percussive and ambient textures, sometimes melodic and sweeping lines of Callner’s cello and the vibrant wonderland of Martin’s live illustration, ultimately challenging its audience to melt into the impermanence of the present moment.
The dynamic collaboration is a celebration of the fringes of music and art - the spaces where audience and performer merge as subjects of creation. As the lights dance off of Callner and her cello and Martin draws to the beats, it is clear that the two are just as much a part of the display as the scene created by the visuals and unique sounds.
Martin is an internationally acclaimed visual artist expanding conventional definitions of drawing and animation to transform visual experience in the design, fashion and music industries. Her work has been featured in iconic spots such as New York’s Museum of Modern Art, super-hip design blog, PSFK, and and on the enormous screens at Shibuya and Harajuku crossings in Japan.
Trained in classical cello in the United States and Russia Anna Callner is now an active performer in the classical, improvisational, and independent music scenes. She has toured the globe with singer-songwriter Chris Garneau, performed at the Latin American Grammy Awards with Spanish singer David Bisbal, and created original compositions for the Emmy award winning documentary "Home."