Arooj Aftab, Anjna Swaminathan & Rafiq Bhatia Trio
Featured performers, {Re}HAPPENING 9
Historic Black Mountain College campus at Lake Eden
March 30, 2019

Arooj Aftab is a neo-sufi and minimalist composer/singer who gracefully experiments and bends the lines between ancient mysic poetry, south asian classical, jazz, soul and electronic dreamscape musics. In 2018, Aftab was named among NPR’s 200 Greatest Songs by 21st Century Women, and The New York Time’s 25 Best Classical Songs of 2018. Aftab has collaborated with artists such as Meshell Ndegeocello, Vijay Iyer and more. She has performed at MoMa’s Summer Series, and will be performing at the Brooklyn Museum’s First Saturday this May 2019. Her latest album ‘Siren Islands’ was dubbed ‘easily one of our favorite music of 2018’ by The New York Times.

Anjna Swaminathan is a versatile violinist, composer, and multidisciplinary artist. A disciple of the late violin maestro M.S. Gopalakrishnan and H.K. Narasimhamurthy, she performs regularly in Carnatic, Hindustani and creative music settings. Anjna often engages in artistic work that ties together multiple aesthetic forms towards a critical consciousness. During the past few years, Anjna has delved into the realm of composition and is currently a fellow at the Gabriela Lena Frank Creative Academy of Music.

Heralded as “one of the most intriguing figures in music today” by the New York Times, composer, producer, and guitarist Rafiq Bhatia’s music reconciles meticulous sound art with mercurial improvisation to deliver searing emotional intensity. His second album, Breaking English (2018, ANTI-) reveals “a stunningly focused new sound” (Chicago Reader) that is “mesmerizing” (XLR8R), “dark, powerful, inventive” (Stereogum), and “a thoroughly engaging experimental enterprise” (Wall Street Journal). “A guitarist who refuses to be pinned down to one genre, culture, or instrument” (New York Times), Bhatia is a member of the band Son Lux, and has appeared on recordings or in performance with artists across disciplines including Olga Bell, Sam Dew, Marcus Gilmore, Billy Hart, Heems, Helado Negro, Vijay Iyer, Lorde, Valgeir Sigurðsson, Sufjan Stevens, Moses Sumney, David Virelles, and numerous others.


In 2009, Black Mountain College Museum + Arts Center board member Jolene Mechanic developed a fundraising idea that grew into the {Re}HAPPENING, a dinner and performance event inspired by John Cage’s 1952 Theatre Piece No. 1, considered by many to be the first Happening. For the first six years, the Media Arts Project (MAP), an artist-run non-profit in Asheville, collaborated to organize and produce the event with BMCM+AC.

The {Re}HAPPENING is a one-day event at the historic campus of Black Mountain College, 15 minutes from Asheville. It is part art event, part fundraiser, and part community instigator, providing a platform for contemporary artists to share their responses to the vital legacy of Black Mountain College by activating the buildings and grounds of the BMC campus with installations, new media, music, and performance projects.

General admission brings in hundreds of visitors annually. In addition to providing a forum for regional artists and an accessible, immersive, educational experience for attendees, every year the event is a community collaboration between local businesses and arts organizations.