Pamela Z will share her work and her process, and will discuss the increasingly blurred lines between disciplines in her practice. Highlighting her use of voice, processing, gesture-based MIDI controllers, and video, her multichannel sound and video installations, and her integration of sampled speech sounds with chamber music composition, she will illustrate the various directions her work has taken over the years.
Pamela Z is a composer/performer and media artist who works primarily with voice, live electronic processing, sampled sound, and video. A pioneer of live digital looping techniques, she processes her voice in real time to create dense, complex sonic layers. Her solo works combine experimental extended vocal techniques, operatic bel canto, found objects, text, digital processing, and wireless MIDI controllers that allow her to manipulate sound with physical gestures. In addition to her solo work, she has been commissioned to compose scores for dance, theatre, film, and chamber ensembles including Kronos Quartet, Eighth Blackbird, the Bang on a Can All Stars, Ethel, and San Francisco Contemporary Music Players. Her interdisciplinary performance works have been presented at venues including The Kitchen (NY), Yerba Buena Center for the Arts (SF), REDCAT (LA), and MCA (Chicago), and her installations have been presented at such exhibition spaces as the Whitney (NY), the Diözesanmuseum (Cologne), and the Krannert (IL). Pamela Z has toured extensively throughout the US, Europe, and Japan. She has performed in numerous festivals including Bang on a Can (New York), Interlink (Japan), Other Minds (San Francisco), La Biennale di Venezia (Italy), Dak’Art (Sénégal) and Pina Bausch Tanztheater Festival (Wuppertal, Germany). She’s a recipient of numerous awards including the Rome Prize, United States Artists, a Robert Rauschenberg Foundation residency, the Guggenheim, the Doris Duke Artist Impact Award, Herb Alpert Award, an Ars Electronica honorable mention, and the NEA Japan/US Friendship Commission Fellowship. She holds a music degree from the University of Colorado, Boulder. www.pamelaz.com
This event is part of the Department of Music’s main Colloquium Series, which showcases new research by leading scholars in music and sound studies and composers both in the United States and internationally.
*Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, our 2020-2021 Penn Music Colloquium Series will be held virtually until further notice. All Music Colloquia will take place using Zoom on Tuesdays at 5:15 PM. Registration through Eventbrite is required to receive a meeting link: