Art Omi: Music 2024

Shasha Chen

China/U.S.

Shasha Chen, a composer, performer, and multimedia artist, utilizes compositional, interdisciplinary, and collaborative approaches within the form of “conceptual (new) music theater,” to examine socio-political topics such as identity, gender, patriarchy, and violence. Her music has been programmed in Wiener Festwochen, TIME:SPANS Festival, MaerzMusik Festival, Forecast Forum, PHŒNIX SATELLITE, impuls, Montreal Contemporary Music Lab, and elsewhere. She has worked with Talea Ensemble, loadbang, International Contemporary Ensemble, Dal Niente, LIGAMENT, Ensemble Phoenix, Ensemble Musikfabrik, NEKO3, Ensemble Linea, Klangforum Wien, sculptor Christopher Cairns’ Studio, among others, and her artworks have been exhibited at multiple galleries.

Amine Dhouibi

Tunisia/U.S.

Amine Dhouibi, a Tunisian-born independent artist, composer, and guitarist, embarks on a musical odyssey transcending conventional boundaries. Born in Sousse in 1990, his lifelong passion for music and the guitar fuels an exploration of diverse influences, melding classical, African, and hybrid sounds into a singular modern expression. His debut album, The Resurrection, garnered acclaim and a nomination for Best Newcomer in Jazz at the Mzansi Jazz Awards in 2021, while his latest release, Eternity, received a nomination for Best Contemporary Jazz Album in 2023. Through resonant melodies, Dhouibi invites listeners on a journey of introspection, proving the limitless power of music as a universal language.

Ana Gamboa

Ecuador/Argentina

Ana Gamboa is a composer, improviser, and experimental cellist. Since 2016, she has actively participated in various musical and interdisciplinary cycles, meetings, and festivals in Latin America. She has six EPs released on different projects. Her music navigates the limits between the saturation and ambiguity of the Latin American context that surrounds it. Sound, as a particle that transmits thoughts, sensations, and emotions, is her mode of communication. Gamboa focuses her production on instrumental, electroacoustic, audiovisual, free improvisation, and noise music.   

Man Kifimbo

Tanzania

Man Kifimbo, a reggae-afro-fusion artist from Dar Es Salaam, sings about real life: peace, love, happiness, and the struggles of life. Dance rhythms, memorable melodies, and lyrics with a message are the key ingredients of his music, stylistically combining elements of reggae, afro-pop, and traditional Tanzanian rhythms. Kifimbo is also a master of Tanzanian traditional dance and drumming, utilizing his local cultural heritage as a great inspiration for his original music, fusing rhythms of the Zaramo, Makonde, Ngoni, Sindimba, Mangaka, Chikocha, Msewe, and more. Kifimbo released his first full-length album, Mwana Mkala, in 2020, featuring a seven-piece band in collaboration with Finnish rock’n’roll musician Baby Pelkonen. 

Yeji Kim

Republic of Korea

Yeji Kim is a Haegeum performer and improviser/composer exploring the boundaries between noise and music to express delicate emotions and sensations through colorful sounds. Her works explore the potential of the haegeum, the only Korean musical instrument that contains all eight of the materials used to make Korean musical instruments: metal, stone, silk, bamboo, gourd, clay, leather, wood. By deconstructing the instrument into its individual parts, she converts its characteristics and textures into sound. Her works are centered on delivering contemporary messages through interaction. She works across boundaries through collaborations with classical music, sound art, dance, and video.

Olivier Marin

France

Olivier Marin, violist, eclectic and multi-talented musician, extending his art to the viola d’amore and specializing in Indian and Iranian modal improvisation. He has collaborated with a number of renowned artists such as Garth Knox, Ibrahim Maalouf, Olivier Calmel, Grégoire Pont. He has benefited from a residency at the Cité internationale des Arts de Paris and co-founded the Kimya ensemble with Amir Amiri, currently supported by the French Institut. Olivier has extensive chamber music experience, notably with the Quatuor Debussy and with the Quatuor Tana, the Quatuor Odyssey and others. He has received a prize from the CEMF and is a graduate of the C.A. of the CNSMDP. He has taught at the Paris Conservatory (CRR) for four years and currently directs the Terres Vibrantes festival in Auvergne.

Amelia Ray

U.S./Finland

Amelia Ray is a writer, composer, and performer who engages in barrier-breaking storytelling. As a polyglot, Ray has spent decades contemplating how similar concepts are expressed differently linguistically across cultures. This research has permeated her versatile artistic work, which includes cross-genre and multilingual compositions, Can’t Jemima—a one-act musical about cultural appropriation—and the award-winning “Hambone Says” exploration of American racism and musical history. In 2020, Ray organized The Quarantined Music Festival to benefit artists affected by COVID-19 concert cancellations. Ray is also the founder of Europe for Ukraine, a musical initiative to support Ukraine.

Ben Richter

U.S.

Ben Richter is a composer, accordionist, and director of Ghost Ensemble. Inspired by nonhuman consciousness, Richter’s music orients toward new orders of magnitude in musical parameters to auralize the vast and infinitesimal timescales we do not experience in everyday life. Richter’s recent compositions include Rewild for Ghost Ensemble; works for loadbang, House On Fire Trio, and UMass Amherst’s The Futuring Lab; and microtonal accordion albums Aurogeny, “an epic symphony of accordion mastery” (Noel Gardner, Buzz), and Panthalassa: Dream Music of the Once and Future Ocean, hailed by Stephen Smoliar as “likely to offer a profound impact on the very nature of listening.”

Ana Paula Santana

Mexico

Ana Paula Santana is a multidisciplinary artist who explores sound, graphics, ceramic, video, and installation art. Her work focuses on analyzing the human voice and pays close attention to how sound affects us both physically and psychologically. She has received grants from FONCA and PECDA, as well as recognition from the Mexican government for her Resilience project. She uses the pseudonym Ana Fauna for musical productions and is the founder and director of O.Y.E. Oficio y Experimentación, a space for the exhibition of sound arts.

Michael Sarian

Canada/Argentina/U.S.

Michael Sarian, a trumpeter and composer praised for his “unique compositional and instrumental voice” (Friedrich Kunzmann, All About Jazz) and his “endlessly renewable strain of lyric improvisation regardless of context or material” (Peter Margasak, DownBeat Magazine), was born in Toronto, raised in Buenos Aires, and now lives in NYC. He has performed at the Montreux Jazz Festival, the Kennedy Center, Teatro Colón in Argentina, Blue Note Jazz Club, BRIC JazzFest, and Central Park SummerStage. A semifinalist at the prestigious DCJazzPrix, a Performer-Composer-in-Residence at Westben Centre for Connection & Creativity, and an Artist-in-Residence at Culture Lab LIC, he recently toured across the globe with the Jonas Brothers band. 

Adriana Tampasis

U.S.

Adriana Tampasis is a Hudson Valley-based composer, performer, and poet. She has composed for solo, chamber, and large ensemble groups, integrating traditional and nontraditional notations including narrative and graphic scores into her compositions. Her work is inspired by the fusion of jazz, chamber, and literary arts, employing both improvisation and through-composition. She has recently held a residency at Westben Centre for Connection & Creativity as a Performer-Composer and is currently recording an album with her jazz-fusion quartet, Pocket Merchant.

Chao Tian

China/U.S.

Chao Tian is a Chinese dulcimer musician, improviser, and sound designer. Her dexterity has led to her breaking down barriers and working across creative genres. She explores the distinct sounds and techniques of the Chinese dulcimer to create a multidimensional sensation of improvisation. Her creative interest is mainly in intercultural improvisation study, the applications of Chinese musical aesthetics and vocabulary, and creative synthesis in cross-disciplinary improvisation, specifically interactions among music, dance, and visual art. She is pursuing her Ph.D. in Ethnomusicology at Boston University and mainly focuses on critical improvisation study. Her latest project, Unheard Sounds is dedicated to better exploring the transformation of artistic language in cross-disciplinary collaboration. 

Fay Victor, Alum-in-Residence

U.S.

Fay Victor, a sound artist/bandleader, uses performance, improvisation, and composition to examine representations of modern life and Blackness. Victor has released thirteen critically acclaimed albums as a leader, has performed with luminaries such as Gary Bartz, Archie Shepp, Nicole Mitchell, Randy Weston, Roswell Rudd, and Moor Mother, and is a member of the esteemed International Contemporary Ensemble. Victor is on the faculty of the New School’s College of Performing Arts and at ROC Nation School for Sports, Music, & Entertainment at Long Island University, and is the Board chair of the Jazz Leaders Fellowship, a Brooklyn Conservatory of Music initiative to fund Black women/non-binary jazz leaders.

Eli Wallace

U.S.

Eli Wallace pianist/improviser/composer, resides in Brooklyn, envisioning his own projects and collaborating with other like-minded artists. His work as a pianist displays a proclivity to free improvisation, incorporating elaborate piano preparations that John Lewis (The Guardian) says is “…pushing the boundaries of the prepared piano.” His compositions employ notational strategies to broaden how musicians produce sound and the ways in which they interact. Over the past decade, he appeared on dozens of albums and performed at venues such as Roulette (Brooklyn), Experimental Sound Studio (Chicago), Bemis Center (Omaha), and cave12 (Geneva).