Fall 2018 Visiting Artists

Akiko Hatakeyama

Akiko Hatakeyama is a composer/performer of electroacoustic music and intermedia. She explores the boundaries between written music, improvisation, electronics, real-time computer-based interactivity, and visual media. Storytelling, memories, and nature play an important role in Akiko's work, and she most often finds beauty in simplicity.

Akiko's research focuses on realizing her ideas of relations between the body and mind into intermedia composition, often in conjunction with building customized instruments/interfaces. It is a form of nonverbal communication with her inner self and with the environment, including the audience. By somatically actuating perceptions with sound, light, and haptic objects, her ideas of relations between the body and mind become embraceable. Her exploration in embodying time - in the form of memories, emotions, and personal experiences - is realized. As a result, the exploration brings therapeutic effects. Sharing this special experience only achievable by creating and performing music is an important part of Akiko's research and teaching.

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Kassandra Kocoshis

Kassandra Kocoshis has been playing percussion since she was eleven years old. She received her BM in Percussion Performance from DePaul University and her MFA from the California Institute of the Arts, where she studied with Randy Gloss. She currently lives and works in Los Angeles, CA, where she specializes in Pop, R&B, Soul, New Music, Rock, and Flamenco.

Since moving to Los Angeles, Kassandra has performed with Carlos Vives, Young the Giant, Vahagni, Mickey Hart, Shaherah White, Adam del Monte, Hamed Nikpay, and many more. She is a member of California soul band Beat Mosaic and the salsa band Las Chikas.

Kassandra has recorded with artists from a diverse array of genres, including Meghan Trainor, Vahagni, Soul Scratch, Beat Mosaic, and many others. She has recently contributed percussion to the Grammy nominated album Love Language by South African flutist, Wouter Kellerman and can be seen in Postmodern Jukebox's video "The Prayer" featuring American Idol stars Pia Toscano and Stefano Langone. Kassandra is a Latin Percussion (LP) and Amplified Timber artist.  

*Students should bring a cajon if they have one

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Argenta Walther

Argenta Walther is a singer of music from the sacred medieval to the modern experimental, living and working in Los Angeles. She performs on a regular basis at some of the city's best-loved venues, including the blue whale, REDCAT, Automata, Saint John's Cathedral and the Museum of Jurassic Technology. Argenta is a frequent guest artist with modern classical, jazz, traditional classical and early music groups including Bach Collegium San Diego, People Inside Electronics, The Alexander Noice Sextet and Southland Ensemble.  She is a founder of the contemporary vocal group Accordant Commons, and is one of the directing members of Ensemble Vocatrix, a group dedicated to the music of Hildegard von Bingen. Argenta is a student of somatic movement and expression and integrates this embodied approach with her work as a music educator and performing artist. Argenta received an MFA from California Institute of the Arts in Voice Performance.

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Austin Antoine

Austin Antoine is a performance artist that blends music, poetry, and theatrics. His commitment to mixing all of his passions span from singing soulful solos to conquering an opposing rapper in a battle of wit. After graduating California Institute of the Arts with a BFA in acting, Austin has sustained artistic success through touring performances, rap battles, musical collaborations, and hosting creative workshops. In addition to performance he also contributes as a teaching artist and performance coach with Get Lit Words Ignite. His work can be seen with Sofar Sounds, The Guinness Book of World Records, TeamBackPack, ThatLowd, Joomanji, and TheyGotTime.

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Katherine Young

 

Katherine Young makes electroacoustic music using expressive noises, curious timbres, and kinetic structures to explore the dramatic physicality of sound, shifting interpersonal dynamics, and tensions between the familiar and the strange. As an improviser, Katherine amplifies and processes her bassoon for solo and collaborative performances. She has led her own groups such as Architeuthis Walks on Land with violist Amy Cimini and the sludge improv quartet Pretty Monsters with violinist Erica Dicker, drummer Mike Pride, and guitarist Owen Stewart-Robertson, while also working with Anthony Braxton, Hans Joachim Irmler from Faust, Maja Ratkje, Mary Halvorson, Peter Evans, Sam Pluta, Birgit Uhler, Tomeka Reid, and many others. The LAPhil’s Green Umbrella series, Chicago Symphony Orchestra’s MusicNOW, Ensemble Dal Niente, Third Coast Percussion, Spektral Quartet, Weston Olencki, Nico Couck / Internationales Musikinstitut Darmstadt, and Fonema Consort are among those who have commissioned her music. She’s excited about recent and coming-soon projects with WasteLAnd and RAGE Thormbones, Lucy Dehgrae for Resonant Bodies Festival, Distractfold Ensemble’s Linda Jankowska, Callithumpian Ensemble, and Yarn/Wire. She’s releasing new music this year with Michael Foster & Michael Zerang and Wet Ink.

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Robin Hayward

The tuba player and composer Robin Hayward was born in Brighton, England in 1969. He studied classical music at the University of Manchester and tuba at the Royal Northern College of Music, where he graduated in 1991. In following years he was active in the improvised and experimental music scenes in Manchester and London. Since 1998 he has been based in Berlin.

He has introduced radical playing techniques to brass instruments, initially through the discovery of the 'noise-valve' in 1996, and later through the development of the first fully microtonal tuba in 2009. In 2012 he invented the Hayward Tuning Vine, partly out of a desire to visualise the harmonic space implicit within the microtonal tuba. In 2005 he founded the ensemble Zinc & Copper to explore brass chamber music from an experimental music perspective.

In 2012 the International Tuba and Euphonium Association (ITEA)presented him with the Clifford Bevan Award for Excellence in Research for his 2011 article on the history and development of the microtonal tuba. In 2016 he received the ITEA's Jim and Jamie Self Creative Award for his work with the microtonal tuba and Hayward Tuning Vine.

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Christopher A. Williams

Christopher Williams (1981, San Diego) is a wayfarer on the body-mind continuum. His medium is music. PhD, Leiden Univesity; BA, University of California, San Diego. As a composer and contrabassist, Williams's work runs the gamut from chamber music, improvisation, and radio art to collaborations with dancers, sound artists, and visual artists. Williams’ artistic research on improvisation, notation, and his body-mind continuum takes the form of both conventional academic publications and practice-based multimedia projects. He also curates the Berlin concert series KONTRAKLANG and works with immersive sound experience makers Charles Morrow Productions.

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Fidelia Lam

Fidelia Lam is an experimental designer, artist, and researcher examining the intersections of everyday performance in physical and digital spaces, digital technologies, and Asian/North American identity, experimenting across mediums and forms to synthesize theoretical work with creative practice. Her work often attends to the overlooked, intimate, and mundane spaces and moments that are shared collectively yet experienced singularly. 

Lam is an Annenberg Fellow and PhD student in Media Arts + Practice at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles, CA.

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Eric "King Cre8" Walker

Eric "King Cre8" Walker is a legendary Graffiti Artist, muralist, illustrator, graphic designer and art instructor from South Central, Los Angeles who is heavily influenced by all elements of Hip Hop, King Cre8 is best known for his ability to produce original characters. An accomplished artist, King Cre8 has exhibited his painted in many prominent galleries and museum exhibitions. As a commercial artist, he has worked for clients including General Motors,, Mars candy and Dodge. King Cre8 canvases and murals have appeared in music videos for Mya and Guniwine and films such as Friday after next and Anchorman.

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Wilfrido Terrazas

Wilfrido Terrazas (Camargo, 1974) is a Mexican flutist active since the early 1990s, whose career spans performance, commissioning, collaboration, improvisation, composition and pedagogy. His recent work has been focused on finding points of convergence between notated and improvised music, and in exploring innovative approaches to collaboration and collective creation. He is a founding member and Herald of the Mexico City-based improvisation collective Generación Espontánea since 2006. As an interpreter, Wilfrido has performed over 340 world premieres, and has been a member of Liminar ensemble since 2012. As a composer, his main interest is the exploration of dialogues between composition, improvisation and performance. As such, he has written over 40 works for diverse instrumental forces. In 2017 he was appointed Assistant Professor in Contemporary Music Performance (Flute) at the University of California, San Diego.


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Jie Ma

Jie Ma will introduce and demonstrate traditional pipa music and culture, as well as modern pipa music. She will also talk about traditional instruments and music education in China. Jie will share her artistic journey: improv, world music, collaborations and current projects

Jie Ma is a Los Angeles-based educator, composer, concert producer, and classically trained musician on the traditional Chinese stringed instruments known as pipa and ruan. She is also the founder of One World Music Concerts, a non-profit organization aimed at promoting world music and musicians to diverse and enrich our communities.

Jie has been performing on traditional instruments both as a soloist as well as with numerous ensembles, including performing symphonic works in the Chinese and Western Classical traditions.  In recent years, she has been experimenting with the fusion of traditional Chinese instrumentation with non-traditional musical forms, blending the classics with the avant-garde, the structured with the impromptu, and the old sound with new techniques. As well as collaborating with musicians from around the world, performed and recorded for numerous film scores, video games, and plays.

 

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Josh Nelson & the Discovery Project

The Discovery Project is an ongoing collaboration between jazz composer and pianist Josh Nelson, live improvisational video mixer Travis Flournoy, architect Jesse Ottinger and artist Claudia Carballada. The artistic goal for each presentation is to create an immersive experience of music and moving images projected onto sculptural forms, transforming a space into a fusion of sound and image.

The initial idea behind this collaboration was born from Josh Nelson's album Discoveries. He was seeking to meld early sci-fi film video montages with original jazz compositions performed by a chamber jazz ensemble in a uniquely curated experience. The result has been an exciting integration, where the video becomes light, sculpture becomes the backdrop, and the music takes center stage, enveloped by the projected art.

The Discovery Project aims to deconstruct and play with the familiar relationship of performer, audience, and space.

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Daniel Baker

Daniel will be doing a Tech Forum Talk on creative producing and technology development for themed entertainment.

Daniel Baker is a Producer at Walt Disney Imagineering (WDI), the creative force that imagines, designs and builds all Disney theme parks, resorts, attractions and cruise ships worldwide. Daniel is currently the Producer for the "Play Disney Parks" app, which turns wait time into play time with interactive in-park adventures, attraction-themed fun, Disney trivia, achievements and unique experiences that bring surrounding environments to life. Most recently, Daniel was a Producer on the WDI Marvel Global Portfolio, where he led the creative development of a new Marvel-themed land as well as an unannounced interactive attraction. Prior to that, Daniel helped manage the WDI Creative Technology Studio managing several teams of technologists, artists, programmers and innovators working on projects spanning Virtual Reality (VR), Augmented Reality (AR), PreVisualization, Digital Media Pipeline and Multimedia Projection. Daniel graduated from UCLA with a Bachelor of Arts in Theater Design and Production and a minor in Cognitive Science.

 

 

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Kurtis Blow

"Up in the Bronx where the people are fresh..."

Kurtis Blow has been instrumental in raising a generation of MC’s, and continues to carry the torch for hip-hop music into new arenas.

In 1979, at the age of twenty, Kurtis Blow became the first Rapper to be signed by a major label.  Mercury released “Christmas Rappin,” and it sold over 400,000 copies and it became an annual classic.  Its gold follow‑up “The Breaks” helped ignite a still‑spreading international “Rap Attack.” He released 10 Albums over 11 years -- The first entitled “Kurtis Blow”, his full length debut and his second, a Top 50 Pop Album “Deuce,” a big hit across Europe; “Party Time” which featured a pioneering fusion of Rap and Go‑Go; “Ego Trip,” which includes the hits “8 Million Stories”, “AJ”, and “Basketball” and in 1985, “America.”  “America’s video innovation received a MTV Monitor Award.  From this album, the song “If I Ruled the World” became a top 5 hit on Billboard’s R & B chart.  Columbia/Sony recording artist Nas debuted at # 1 on the Billboard’s Pop Album chart with a cover of the song in 1997.

 

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George Colligan

George Colligan is a New York based pianist, organist, drummer, trumpeter, teacher, and bandleader, who is one of the most original and compelling jazz artists of his generation. An award-winning composer (Chamber Music America/Doris Duke Foundation grant recipient) and player (winner, Jazzconnect.com Jazz Competition), Colligan is highly in demand as a sideman, having worked with players like Cassandra Wilson, Don Byron, Buster Williams, and Lonnie Plaxico, both on the bandstand and in recording sessions (appearing on over 100 CDs). He has released 24 recordings full of his intelligent writing and impressive technique. His latest CD on the Origin Label is called ”The Endless Mysteries” and features Larry Grenadier and Jack DeJohnette. Colligan’s musical style incorporates everything from show tunes to funk, from free improvisation to 20th century classical music. His performances include dazzling technique as well as mature restraint. Colligan was on the faculty of the Juilliard School for two years and is currently an Assistant Professor at Portland State University. He is currently a member of Jack DeJohnette’s New Quintet. Recently, Colligan started playing the Hammond 44 Melodion (melodica).

 


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Massimo Cusato

Massimo Cusato will show the versatility of sound that the tamburello is able to produce combined with a drum set. The result of this fusion was brought to life by two important related popular music realities. One being the rhythm of Calabrian Tarantella played by the tamburello and the other being the rhythm of the San Rocco drum section played by bass and snare drums plus hi-hat.

Cusato pioneered the use of the tamburello in combination with drum set. He has developed an unique style using his multi-hybrid drumset  and combining it with other percussion instruments. His sound has become reference point for many percussionists in the Italian/Ethnic folk music genre. Massimo is Remo artist since 2015, and he designed and launched the Tamburello Calabriaand a hybrid instrument the Pandurello.


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Emily Lacy

Emily Lacy is a folk and electronic sound artist generating works in music, film, and other media. Her work investigates confrontations between economics, politics, language, and power, and is increasingly concerned with the rights and lives of women and children around the world. Her performances and recordings have been included in various exhibitions at PS1 MOMA, MCA Chicago, the Whitney Museum of American Art, the Hammer Museum, the Walker Art Center, and LACMA, in addition to various DIY spaces all throughout America.

 

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Robert Schwarz

Robert Schwarz works in the intersection of fine art, music and architecture in various artistic and experimental settings. He holds a Master of Architecture degree from Vienna University of Technology, and a Master of Arts from Berlin University of the Arts and studied computer music at the University of Music and Performing Arts Vienna. His compositions have been released under different aliases by the labels Gruenrekorder, AVA, Laton, Vienna Wildstyle and Sonic Terrain. His solo debut ''The Scale Of Things'' in the Sound Art Series of Gruenrekorder received international commendatory reviews, has been honored in 2015 top lists by A Closer Listen, A-Musik and Espaces Sonores and was featured on The Wire Tapper 38 (The Wire Magazine 2015).

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Women in Jazz

A panel discussion with Tina Raymond, Kathleen Grace, Alina Roitstein, and Cathlene Pineda

 

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David Binney

Acclaimed as a considerable and highly individual compositional talent, saxophonist David Binney is one of the most prolific jazz musicians on the scene today. Winning praise from critics and colleagues alike, David was  singled out by JazzTimes as one of a handful of “players who have created an alternative jazz scene… all of whom are playing adventurous, original music.”

David’s distinctive saxophone sound and innovative compositions have been heard from basement clubs in New York to jazz festivals in Europe and the world. In addition to his extensive work as a leader, he has been sought after as a sideman, appearing on record with Medeski, Martin & Wood, Uri Caine’s Mahler Project, and hundreds of others. David has also appeared on stage with Aretha Franklin, at Carnegie Hall, and with Maceo Parker, to name a few. He has produced all of his own 22 albums, and many others including two of the Lost Tribe releases, Scott Colley’s The Architect of the Silent Moment, and 8 Donny McCaslin releases, including the highly acclaimed Casting For GravityFast Future, and Beyond Now.

 

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Inigo Wilkins

Inigo Wilkins is the author of the pioneering critical work Irreversible Noise (Urbanomic, 2018). He took his masters in Sonic Culture at the University of East London, and completed his doctorate in Cultural Studies at Goldsmiths, University of London in 2016. He is a co director of Glass Bead, a research platform and journal concerned with transfers of knowledge across art, science and philosophy, as well as with their practical and political dimensions. His other publications include “Interfacey McInterface Face’, Litteraria Pragensia 2017; “The Sharpest Point of Sensation is Pointless” in a booklet accompanying an LP by musician Eric Frye entitled ‘On Small Differences in Sensation’, 2016; Destructive Destruction: An Ecological Study of High Frequency Trading’ first published in Mute magazine, 2013. An extended version of Destructive Destruction” was published in HFT Review, February 2013, in the Journal of Sustainable Finance and Investment in 2014, and in ‘Plants, Androids and Operators: A Post Media Handbook’ published by PL Books, 2014. 

 

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kyttenjanae

Kyttenjanae will be talking about how to survive as an artist and the compromise of creativity vs capitol.

Kyttenjanae is a media artist based in Los Angeles. She runs a production studio with her longtime partner. They create art, animation, and immersive experiences.

 

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Wolfgang Amadeuz

Wolfgang Amadeuz is a producer, Hip Hop historian, Hip Hop technophile and writer. He is a member of the Universal Hip Hop Museum, a docent for the California African American Museum and Compton’s 125 Historical Society. Born and raised in Los Angeles, and graduate of Compton High School and Los Angeles Southwest College. Wolfgang Amadaeuz produced and directed the documentary Set in the West: the Genesis of L.A. Hip Hop (2017) and he has been featured in the the documentary Beyond Gangster Blackface

 

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Bill Frisell: A Portrait (2017 documentary film)

Filmmaker Emma Frantz's salute to guitarist Bill Frisell provides an immersion into the creative world of the prolific composer and bandleader, Grammy Award winner, and Downbeat Guitarist of the Year for 10 consecutive years.

A character portrait of anti-archetype guitar hero, Bill Frisell, this nuanced film traces the ideas and processes that shaped Frisell’s music, and provides rare insight into the mind and personality of one of the significant musicians of recent decades. Full of live music, revealing stories, and intimate access to the normally reclusive Frisell, various collaborations are followed from development to fruition, including the last ever performance of the Paul Motian Trio with Frisell and Joe Lovano. Also featuring Bonnie Raitt, Hal Willner, Paul Simon, Nels Cline, Joey Baron, Jim Hall, Jason Moran, Mike Gibbs, John Zorn, Jack DeJohnette, Ron Carter and John Abercrombie. 

 

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Kirk Brundage

Kirk Brundage  is a REMO Artist, author of the "AFRO-BRAZILIAN PERCUSSION GUIDE" book series and has self-released two percussion CDs.  He has performing and recording with different styles of groups including the Latin Grammys with Brazilian pop-star Daniela Mercury, a show with The Police drummer Stewart Copeland, and a recording for Lincoln with Grammy-artist Beck.

In this hands-on workshop participants will learn various Brazilian carnaval rhythms including: maracatu, batucada, samba reggae & frevo baiano—as played by some of the most prominent groups of those styles (Estrela Brilhante, Salgueiro, Olodum and Timbalada). Attendees will also discover connections between the carnaval rhythms and the sacred music of candomble, plus understand the historical and cultural significance of the music through songs. Ideas for getting the right sound and feel will also be discussed.


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Jose Pablo Jimenez

Jose Jimenez will be facilitating a workshop on throat singing during Experimental Voice Workshop.

José Pablo Jiménez began his career specialized in the interpretation of old music and different stringed instruments of Europe, Asia and the Middle East. Jose has performed in different forums in Mexico and abroad, among which stand out Manuel M. Ponce Hall of the Palace of Fine Arts, in Gothenburg Cathedral, during the Gothenburg Baroque old music festival in 2013 in Sweden, and in the Aarhus Festuge in the Bispetorvet square in Denmark. He has received scholarships on three occasions from the cultural promotion of the  State of Mexico with which he has made two recordings, he is founder and director of the projects, Sonidos de Cuerda y Crin, Evolution of the String Rubbed Instruments in the year 2011, Abgal project, original music with early instruments year 2015, and the solo project La voz ancestral de los Instrumentos de Arco, being the most recent for the period 2017-2018. Jose Pablo  has been teaching courses of old vertical stringed instruments and throat singing for 15 years.

 

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Jeronimo Garcia Naranjo & Carlos Chinchillas

 

The talk will with start with Jerónimo García Naranjo´s gigantic instrument Huey Mecatl (ten string harp placed inside shipping containers) and move to his recent collaboration with Carlos Chinchillas (experimental luthier) in creating the Suspended Piano. They will discuss themes related to instrument functionality, new tunings, playing techniques, and composition.

 


 

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Esteli Gomez

Praised for her "clear, bright voice" (New York Times) and "artistry that belies her young years" (Kansas City Metropolis), soprano Estelí Gomez is quickly gaining recognition as a stylish interpreter of early and contemporary repertoires. In January 2014 she was awarded a Grammy with contemporary octet Roomful of Teeth, for best chamber music/small ensemble performance; in November 2011 she received first prize in the Canticum Gaudium International Early Music Vocal Competition in Poznan, Poland. Estelí can be heard on the Seattle Symphony’s 2017 recording of Nielsen’s Symphony No. 3, as well as Roomful of Teeth's self-titled debut album, for which composer Caroline Shaw's Partita was awarded the 2013 Pulitzer Prize. Originally from Watsonville, California, Estelí received her Bachelor of Arts with honors in music from Yale College, and Master of Music from McGill University, studying with Sanford Sylvan. She currently travels and performs full-time.


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The Kraken Quartet

The quartet will give a session concerning their original music and the business process of building a new ensemble. 

The Kraken Quartet (Chris Demetriou, Andrew Dobos, Taylor Eddinger, and Sean Harvey) is a genre-crossing group known for its highly energetic and engaging performances. Since their formation in 2012, the Austin-based group has been heralded for merging elements of math rock, minimalism, indie, post-rock, electronica, and the avant-garde. The Kraken Quartet has been featured on festivals and broadcasts including South by Southwest, Fast Forward Austin, Audiotree Live, Austin Instrumental Music Festival, WNYC, KUTX, SoundSpace, and more. Their debut full-length album, Separate | Migrate, is available now. 


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Stephanie Smith

Stephanie Cheng Smith is a composer, performer and programmer who creates interactive pieces, installations, improvisations and through-composed works. She often uses electronics, violin and light, and her explorations with motor arrays have been featured in the latest issue of Experimental Music Yearbook. Smith frequently performs electronic music under the name Stephie’s Castle, is a member of networked music ensemble bitpanic, and has composed for and performed as a member of the Dog Star Orchestra. Serving on the wulf.’s Artistic Advisory Board, she also curates and produces experimental music concerts in the Los Angeles area. She has studied composition at the University of Chicago with Kotoka Suzuki and earned an MFA in Experimental Sound Practices and Integrated Media from California Institute of the Arts. In addition to her creative work, she currently teaches interactive programming at CalArts and works as a web developer at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory.

 

 

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Doug Kearney and Michael Demps in Dialogue

Michael Demps (b. 1976 in Detroit, MI) is an interdisciplinary artist, musician, and DJ. A graduate of Calarts, and the Yale School of Art, he now serves on the sculpture faculty at VCUarts, and was recently included in “Fictions”, an exhibition of emerging artists at The Studio Museum in Harlem. His sculptures have incorporated candle wax, magnetic marbles, rock salt, and low frequency sounds. His upcoming performance as part of Rashid Johnson’s “Monument” at the ICA at VCU In Richmond, VA, will draw on his experiences as a hip hop practitioner / vinyl collector, with a collection that numbers over 5,000 records.

Douglas Kearney has published six books, most recently, Buck Studies (Fence Books, 2016) winner of the Theodore Roethke Memorial Poetry Prize, the CLMP Firecracker Award for Poetry, and silver medalist for the California Book Award (Poetry). BOMB says: “[Buck Studies] remaps the 20th century in a project that is both lyrical and epic, personal and historical.”  He earned an MFA in Writing at CalArts (2004) where he taught until May 2017. He now teaches Creative Writing at the University of Minnesota–Twin Cities.


 

 

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World Music Alumni: Discussing Careers and Life After CalArts

Rajib Karmakar is undoubtedly one of the finest young sitar players today. He is currently residing in Los Angeles, California as a performer, educator and digital artist. His open mind has led to an extension of his musical horizon to incorporate imaginative experiments in world music styles that delight the young and the old, creating some fusion projects like Wahh (USA), Fuzorhythm (India), Loop Science (Germany), Nada Naissance (France) etc. He is also the creator of the world’s first double-necked electric Sitar “Mayur Tantri”. Rajib is performing frequently in India and abroad including USA, Canada, Germany, France, Italy, and Switzerland to name just a few. 

Andy Cheng is a multi-percussionist from Taiwan who has a double master’s degree in World percussion and North Indian Music at California Institute of the Arts. He is a performer, educator and composer who is currently teaching at the Seoul Institute of the Arts. His world music training includes North and South Indian, Brazilian, Ewe African, Latin, Balkan, Arabic and Persian music. He has performed in the U.S, Japan, Holland, Indonesia, China, and Taiwan. Andy also performs with world music groups such as Hands On’Semble, Lian Ensemble, Go organic orchestra and the Salaamuna Near East Ensemble.

 


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Billy Childs

Pianist-composer, five-time Grammy® Award-winner and 14-time nominee Billy Childs remains one of the most diversely prolific and acclaimed artists working in music today. Childs' canon of original compositions and performances have also garnered him the Doris Duke Performing Artist Award, a Guggenheim Fellowship, and an American Academy of Arts and Letters Award. Billy Childs has developed into one of the most distinctive and distinguished composers of our time. He has also amassed a career's worth of jazz originals that can swing hard, dazzle with intricacy, touch you with direct simplicity, or mesmerize with lyricism. 

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Audrey Chen

AUDREY CHEN is a Chinese-American musician who was born into a family of material scientists, doctors and engineers, outside of Chicago in 1976. Parting ways with the family convention, she turned to the cello at age 8 and voice at 11. After years of classical and conservatory training in both instruments, with a resulting specialization in early and new music, she parted ways again in 2003 to begin new negotiations with sound in order to discover a more individually honest aesthetic.

Since then, using the cello, voice and occasional analog electronics, Chen’s work delves deeply into her own version of narrative and non-linear storytelling. A large component of her music is improvised and her approach to this is extremely personal and visceral. Her playing explores the combination and layering of the homemade analog synthesizer, preparations and traditional and extended techniques in both the voice and cello. She works to join these elements into a singular ecstatic personal language.

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