Pamela Z is a San Francisco-based composer/performer and audio artist who works primarily with voice, live electronic processing, and sampling technology. Processing her live voice through "MAX MSP" software on a PowerBook, she creates solo works that combine operatic bel canto and experimental extended vocal techniques with found percussion objects, spoken word, and sampled concrète sounds. These sounds are often triggered via custom MIDI controllers such as Ed Severinghaus' BodySynth or Donald Swearingen's Light SensePod, both of which allow her to manipulate sound with physical gestures. Her performances range in scale from small concerts in galleries to large-scale multi-media works in flexible black-box venues and proscenium halls. In addition to her performance work, she has a growing body of inter-media works including multi-channel sound and video installations– some solo, and some involving visual collaborators.
Pamela Z has toured extensively throughout the United States, Europe, and Japan. She has performed in numerous festivals including Bang On A Can at Lincoln Center in New York, the Interlink Festival in Japan, Other Minds in San Francisco, and Pina Bausch Tanztheater's 25 Jahre Fest in Wuppertal, Germany. She has composed, recorded and performed original scores for choreographers and for film and video artists, and has done vocal work for other composers (including Charles Amirkhanian, Vijay Iyer, and Henry Brant). Her large-scale, multi-media performance works, Parts of Speech , Gaijin, and Voci, have been presented at venues including The Kitchen in New York, Theater Artaud and ODC Theatre in San Francisco, the Museum of Contemporary Art Theatre in Chicago, as well as at theaters in Washington D.C. and Budapest Hungary. Her one-act opera Wunderkabinet (co-composed with Matthew Brubeck) premiered in 2005 at The LAB Gallery in San Francisco, and was presented at REDCAT in Los Angeles and the Open Ears Festival in Canada. Her new inter-media work The Pendulum is scheduled to have its San Francisco Premiere at the Royce Gallery in 2008. She has had audio works included in exhibitions at the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York and the Erzbischiöfliches Diösanmuseum in Cologne. Her site-specific, multi-channel sound works have been presented at the Tang Museum in Saratoga Springs NY, the Dakar Biennale in Sénégal, and the Hellenic Museum in Chicago. Her work has also been presented at the San Jose Museum of Art, El Museo del Barrio in New York, and La Biennale di Venezia in Italy.
Ms. Z has been commissioned to compose works for new music chamber ensembles: the Bang On A Can Allstars, Ethel, the California E.A.R. Unit, the Left Coast Chamber Ensemble, the Empyrean Ensemble, and the St. Luke's Chamber Orchestra. Since 1986, she has been producing "Z Programs", an ongoing series of interdisciplinary events in which her own work has been featured along with that of other experimental artists in various genres. She has collaborated with a wide range of composer/performers, media artists, and choreographers including Miya Masaoka, Joan Jeanrenaud, Jeanne Finley + John Muse, Shinichi Momo Koga, Leigh Evans, and Jo Kreiter. She has participated in several Zakros New Music Theatre events (including their John Cage festivals), and has performed with The San Francisco Contemporary Music Players. Pamela is the recipient of numerous awards, including: the Guggenheim Fellowship, the CalArts Alpert Award in the Arts; the Creative Capital Fund; the ASCAP Music Award; and the NEA and Japan/US Friendship Commission Fellowship. She holds a music degree from the University of Colorado at Boulder. For more information, please visit: www.pamelaz.com
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Updated 2/7/09 11:24 AM