I am a musician, and I make music not only by vocalizing, playing instruments and writing notes on paper but also via dance, computer, and electronics. I create works in which the physical act of creating sound is transformative. People become dinosaurs by blowing into a hadrosaur skull, creating their own roar. Social dancers become musical ensembles.
In my experience, sound is entrenched in movement and vice versa. My research examines the subjective associations between sound and bodily movement. I study the ways musical response engenders, disrupts, and shifts feelings of musical agency and embodied experience. While science is one way of knowing the world, my work explores how a musical instrument can also produce knowledge. My work with dinosaur vocalization and singing hadrosaur skull instruments is an example of this line of inquiry.
My recent work engages with participatory music, that is, music as a social act. By creating sound or moving in a way that is essential to the musical and movement outcome, participants are contributing and engaging in an on-going tradition and community. I investigate and seek to induce trance, social flow states, and intersubjectivity in these contexts through musical interface.
My work also upsets traditional power structures in these communities by shifting and changing previously static and established musical relationships and agencies, allowing critical social engagement. For instance, when orchestrating musical interactivity in social dance, I enable the follower, traditionally the female role, to drive the central melody in real-time with her foot movements, while the leader drives the accompaniment.