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COMPOSE LA 2019 is occurring throughout the month of February, 2019. With the theme What is Human, What is Race? as inspiration, the first edition of this festival will surface and address a unique myriad of topical issues as they relate to the future of the City of LA and its thriving music scene. For more information, see below and go to

The City of Los Angeles Department of Cultural Affairs (DCA) is launching Compose LA 2019 as its inaugural platform to showcase LA's leading contemporary composers, innovative music artists, dynamic thought-leaders, and engaging music spaces. Compose LA 2019 is a collaboration between DCA's Performing Arts Division and the following partners: American Composers Forum of Los Angeles, the University of California Humanities Research Institute at UC Irvine, and the Center for Music Innovation at The UCLA Herb Alpert School of Music.


Monday, February 11, 7:30 pm
Curated by Anna Bulbrook, Founder and Artistic Director, GIRLSCHOOL
Location: Navel, 1611 South Hope Street, Los Angeles, CA 90015
Artist: Maral, Jarina del Marco, and Jasmine Albuquerque
Speaker: SA Smythe, Ph.D.
Program: JELLY
Tickets: Eventbrite:

Through a new collaboration between composer Maral and GIRLSCHOOL, JELLY will explore radical self-love using the medium of Jell-O as an avatar for the very strange universal human experience of embodiment. Exploring and transforming the sounds of traditional Iranian music, Los Angeles-based artist Maral has formed a unique vision of club music, one that embraces her heritage and recontextualizes it for a new audience. She is collaborating with creative visionary and interdisciplinary artist Jarina del Marco and choreographer Jasmine Albuquerque on the questions: What does it meant to be embodied? What does “body positivity” mean? What gives a body value? By pushing the limits of the once-celebrated medium of Jell-O, JELLY investigates, dismantles, and laughs at the rigid cultural expectations and false dichotomies that tell us what makes a “good” body, the value we ascribe to “jiggle” and “bounce,” and how we decide what is “cool.” Dr. SA Smythe (they/ them) is a poet, translator, and scholar of Black European Literary & Cultural Studies, Contemporary Mediterranean Studies, and Black Trans Poetics. Smythe’s research is focused on literature and other cultural responses to racism, misogyny, colonialism, and other relational aspects of inequality and oppression between Europe (in particular, Italy), East Africa, and the Mediterranean. They are an assistant professor in the Department of African American Studies at UCLA, currently completing the UC President’s Postdoctoral Fellowship in Anthropology at the University of California, Irvine.