Powering Up / Powering Down 1/30/04-2/1/04
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Nina Eidsheim


nina eidsheim, vocal/electronics
gustavo aguilar, percussion/electronics
phil curtis, electronics
alan lechusza, woodwinds

The improvisational group soNu, based in Southern California, has been described by Anthony Braxton as producing “the music of the Third Millennium.” The group synthesizes the wide range of musics and cultures that its various members have studied and/or absorbed: serialism, post-serialism, Mexican folkloric music, non-western classical musics, Norwegian folk song traditions, Native American musics, rock, electronica and hip hop. SoNu's members--Gustavo Aguilar (acoustic and electronic percussion), Phil Curtis (electronics), Nina Eidsheim (voice/electronics), and Alan Lechusza (woodwinds)--create a collective musical language informed by their individual sensibilities, with digital media providing new resources for the group to engage both past and future forms and textures. SoNu has collaborated and performed with an impressive group of figures from the world of post-free improvisational music, including performer/composers Anthony Braxton, Anthony Davis, Lisle Ellis, Vinny Golia, Earl Howard, George Lewis, and Wadada Leo Smith. Sonu is committed to extending the music exemplified by these musicians and thinkers by critically reexamining and reconceptualizing improvisational forms and means, with an eye toward the socio-cultural context of contemporary communities.


Nina Eidsheim received her BFA at Agder Music Conservatory in Krisitansand, Norway. She was awarded her MFA in Performance from the California Institute of the Arts in 2001, and is currently pursuing a PhD Degree in Critical Studies and Experimental Practices at UCSD. Eidsheim explores the voice as a creative musician both within and outside the parameters of classical Western music. Influenced by the work of Wadada Leo Smith, she has developed a desire to address social and political issues in conjunction with her explorations of the boundaries of current vocal techniques and digital processing of the voice. As an artist-scholar, her work explores and attempts to destabilize the intersections of voice/machine, gendered voice/machine and the domestication of technology. She is a two-time recepient of the National Geographic Society Education Foundation (NGSEF) Grosvenor Grant (2002, 2003) for designing “Mapping the Beat”.

“Powering Up/Powering Down” is sponsored in part by the University of California Institute for Research in the Arts (UCIRA), the Center for Research in Computing and the Arts (CRCA), and the UC San Diego Department of Music in connection with the departments of Visual Arts, Music, and Literature at UCSD along with the UC Riverside and Los Angeles campuses.