Sugar Vendil

Photo credit Mabou Mines

Antonym: ii. Spring


Work in Progress showing at High Concept Labs · October 26, 2019

There’s no word for the opposite of nostalgia. Antonym attempts to construct the thing we don’t have a word for: if nostalgia is a yearning for the past, Antonym longs for forward motion and envisions the future as an escape from pain. Using field recordings of New York City throughout the year, the four seasons serve as a cyclical frame and context for memory. This work was developed, in part, in the 2019 Mabou Mines Resident Artists Program with support from The Jerome Foundation and public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council.

Sugar Vendil, Composer and Pianist
Laura Cocks, Flutist, Creative Collaborator
Natalie Calma, Violinist, Creative Collaborator


Sugar Vendil is a composer, pianist, and interdisciplinary artist. Her artistic practice is strongly rooted in rigorous discipline as a musician and gradually expanded into performance that integrates music, movement, and unconventional approaches to the piano. She is a proud second generation Filipinx American.

Vendil has performed at a variety of venues, ranging from arts spaces such as BAM Fisher, Dixon Place, Knockdown Center’s Ready Room, MoMa PS1, National Sawdust, the New School’s Glassbox Theater, The Stone, and Roulette; to galleries and spaces such as The Development Gallery, Milk Studios, and Spring Studios.

Vendil was a runner up in National Sawdust’s 2019 Hildegard Competition. ETHEL will premiere her new string quartet in December 2019 as part of their Homebaked commissioning program. In 2019, she was resident artist at Mabou Mines and in residence at Target Margin Theater. In 2016, she was a Fellow in the Target Margin Institute for Collaborative Theater Making, which encouraged her to further pursue composition and performance making. Other residencies: Marble House Project, Summer Labs at National Sawdust, Avaloch, Earthdance, the A-Z West Wagon Station Encampment, Arts Letters & Numbers, and Yaddo. She is the founder of The Nouveau Classical Project, contemporary music ensemble.

Laura Cocks is a New York based flutist who works in a wide array of creative environments as a performer and promoter of contemporary music. Laura is the flutist and executive director of TAK ensemble, and a member of the Nouveau Classical Project and the Association of Dominican Classical Artists. She has performed across the Americas and Europe as a soloist and chamber musician in ensembles such as The London Sinfonietta, International Contemporary Ensemble (ICE), Talea Ensemble, Wet Ink Ensemble, and Ensemble Dal Niente. Laura can be heard with TAK, International Contemporary Ensemble, Wet Ink Ensemble, and others on labels such as Carrier Records, ECM, New Focus Recordings, Sound American, Denovali Records, Orange Mountain Music, and Gold Bolus.