Pamela Z

 Miya Masaoka

 Donald Swearingen


sensorChip is a collective of San Francisco Bay Area composer/performers made up of Miya Masaoka (koto and electronics), Donald Swearingen (keyboard, light controllers and sampler), and Pamela Z (voice, live processing and sampler) all of whom use sensor technology and computers to generate MIDI (Musical Instrument Digital Interface) control information in performance.

The members of sensorChip are three very individual artists who work both together and separately. All three artists do visually compelling performances of sonically rich material by making use of gestures and movement to generate sound

Miya Masaoka works with the "Koto-Monster", an instrument she created by combining her 21 string Japanese Koto with a receiver for sensors rings she wears on her hands and a series of foot pedals to access electronics that were developed during her residency at Steim in Amsterdam.

"An improviser operating at virtuoso levels of technique, imagination and expression."


"Masaoka explores with intelligence and depth, and in a new way she gives life to a distinctly serious avante-garde ritual, at times melancholy, another times, spiny, hard-edged and dissonant."

Gianluigi Gasparetti, DEEP LISTENINGS, Italy

Donald Swearingen triggers samples and controls panning and effects in a surround sound environment using infrared, and visible light controllers, as well as traditional keyboards.

"I never know what to expect next from Donald Swearingen. His remarkable musical works are all over the map."

Charles Amirkhanian, Composer

"He has a distinctive personal vision, and his work is smart, witty, socially perceptive, and beautifully produced."

Jacki Apple, AMERICAN RADIO ART 1980-1993

Pamela Z does live processing on her voice while triggering samples using a MIDI controller called "The BodySynth" which translates data from electrode sensors worn against skin to generate MIDI.

"Her superb, multi-octave voice ranges from the guttural depths to operatic soaring "

Nancy Clegg, WESTWORD

" her work combines opposites of high and low tech into a synthesis that echoes life at the end of the 20th century. The result is both intellectually satisfying and powerful at the gut level."

John Weber, Curator/SFMOMA, WEST Magazine

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