As an artist, teacher and writer, my work embraces music, media art, installation, auditory culture, documentary, social participation/cooperation, and the intersections among all of these.
My formal studies were in music (at Wesleyan and UC San Diego), where some of my important teachers were Anthony Braxton, Alvin Lucier, Ron Kuivila, Anthony Davis, Anthony Burr, David Borgo, Charles Curtis, Mark Dresser, and Pauline Oliveros. While I have been most active as an improvising woodwind player, singer-songwriter, and electronic musician, my musical palette is wide: my notated compositions have been presented at the Holter and Hammer Museums, commissioned by the Diagenesis Duo and Machine Project, and supported by grants from New Music USA and the Samuel Lawrence Foundation. My music has been released on labels including Edgetone and Risky Forager.
Since 2014 or so, I have expanded my performance and composition practice into audiovisual and video art performance — often “misusing” video equipment in ways inspired by electronic music technique, or combining sound, light and color in synaesthetic and mutually co-imbricating ways. These projects include: “They Shoot Lasers, Don’t They?: Electronic Music with Instruments of Interferometry” (with inventor/synthesist Joe Mariglio), presented at Stanford University’s CCRMA, NYU’s Waverly Project and on Risky Forager Records; a series of interactive A/V performances as Timbree (with Paul Hembree) at Bard College, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, and Maxwell’s Tavern (for ~pdCon), and, most recently, a series of solo music performances in multiscreen environments (presented by Alfred University’s Institute for Electronic Arts and CollarWorks, Troy NY)
Collaboration is central to my practice and cosmology. As a member of the collaborative music-installation-radio group Seven Count, I have made numerous performances, broadcasts, gallery exhibitions, albums, and zines, plus one editioned deck of cards for divination and creative strategy, and one research/creation-based intervention into the musical instrument collection of a regional history museum. My other major collaborations have traversed the worlds of theatre, dance, film, literature and media. These include composing live scores for the La Jolla Playhouse (San Diego, CA), a headphone soundscape for a mobile theatre experience at the Old Globe Theatre (San Diego, CA), onstage improvisations with the lauded contemporary dance company Lux Boreal (Tijuana, MX), the production of an audio drama with Marina Abramović and Kim Stanley Robinson, and an immersive, head-reactive (or “ambisonic”) sound design and musical score for “How to Tell a True Immigrant Story,” an award-winning 360 VR film that was the first 360 film ever brought to competition at the Locarno Film Festival — and which subsequently toured to numerous other festivals.
I have also sustained varied explorations in collaboration with animals, amateurs, students, kids, strangers and communities. These have included designing and leading a children’s ensemble playing experimental home-built musical instruments (the Universal Language Orchestra, 2011-14) and a summer jazz camp that taught free, as well as more traditional, forms of improvisation (2012-14), participation in performances and community around Pauline Oliveros’s Deep Listening (2014-2016), a concert of Music for Mineral Springs with Chris Kallmyer and Machine Project (2015), and the development of my own workshop series, SoundMind (2016-2019), which combined meditation, sensory awareness, and aesthetic activation of the breath, body, and voice, as participants explored resonance and vibration through touching, listening, and collaborative creation.
Such projects were, variously, groundwork, inspiration, and test site for the ideas in my 2015 dissertation, “The Expanding Universal: Participation and Pedagogy in Experimental Music,” which was supported by a UC President’s Fellowship. Since then, my writing on sound and experimental music has been published in exhibition catalogues as well as scholarly journals and edited volumes.
Among the most sustained threads running through my work have been songwriting and nonfiction audio. I have been performing and recording my songs for 20 years, and making field recordings for almost as long. At the interface of these is one of my most substantial projects, my multi-media nonfiction performance A Mess of Things, a radio play that blends live performance, songs, documentary recordings, and abstract video in an exploration of family archives, memory, hoarding, and the difficulties of divesting, through the central character of my grandfather, inventor Ben Seltzman. I have toured this piece on both coasts to concert halls, fringe festivals, and rock clubs, and continue to remix its source material in sound sculptures and artist books.
I have taught at Skidmore College since 2014, where I have guided the development of the John B. Moore Documentary Studies Collaborative (MDOCS) and its summer Documentary Storytellers’ Institute from their inception, teaching courses in sound, media studies, and co-creative modalities, recently, launching the college-wide Co-Creation Initiative, a 4-year project funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, which links Skidmore to partners in its regional communities, through collective artistic response to the challenges of our time.
Extracurricularly, I am a queer socialist outdoorsman, on a sourdough kick (at least, at the moment I write this), and eternally proud to serve as parent Alice (b. 2012) and Milo (b. 2016).