September 12, 2014, BY Kathryn Kopchik

Sound Artist Joan La BarbaraJoan La Barbara, a composer, performer and sound artist, will present a masterclass and a recital at Bucknell University.

Both events, which are free and open to the public, are sponsored by the Department of Music at Bucknell.

The vocal masterclass will be held Tuesday, Sept. 23, at 3:30 p.m. in the Rooke Recital Hall of the Weis Music Building. During the masterclass, La Barbara will focus on extended vocal techniques.

La Barbara will perform a concert of her work Wednesday, Sept. 24, at 7:30 p.m. in  Rooke Recital Hall of the Weis Music Building.

A sound artist hailed as "one of the great vocal virtuosas of our time" (San Francisco Examiner), La Barbara explores the human voice as a multi-faceted instrument expanding traditional boundaries in developing a unique vocabulary of experimental and extended vocal techniques: multiphonics, circular singing, ululation and glottal clicks have become her signature sounds.

Recent commissions include "in Solitude this fear is lived ...", a sound painting for amplified voice, orchestra and sonic atmosphere inspired by the minimalist work of Agnes Martin, placed the musicians of the American Composers Orchestra around and in the audience, premiering in 2011 at Carnegie's Zankel Hall. Phase One of "Storefront Diva", a new work for pianist Kathleen Supové in a theatrical environment, premiered at a pop-up store at 159 Bleecker in Greenwich Village in 2011; the subsequent phase of this work premiered at Flea Theater in Tribeca in 2013. 

Her chamber ensemble work, "Persistence of Memory", premiered at The Kitchen in 2011; an expanded version with complementary film premiered at MaerzMusik in Berlin in 2012, along with her new production of John Cage's "Song Books." "Parallel Dreams", an interdisciplinary work for actors and pianist in a theatrical setting premiered June 2014 at FIGMENT festival on Governors Island. She is composing a new opera reflecting on the artistic process and sounds within the mind.

La Barbara composed and performed the Angel Voice for actress Emmannuelle Béart in the feature film, Date with an Angel, vocal solos on John Frizzell's soundscore for I Still Know What You Did Last Summer and performed the Alien Newborn Vocals for Alien: Resurrection.

Awards and prizes for creating works for multiple voices, chamber ensembles, music theater, orchestra and interactive technology include the American Music Center's Letter of Distinction for significant contributions to the field of contemporary American music, Meet The Composer and ASCAP Composer Awards, a 2004 Guggenheim Fellowship in Music Composition and seven National Endowment for the Arts Fellowships in Music Composition, Opera/Music Theatre, Inter-Arts, Recording (2), Solo Recitalist and Visual Arts.

La Barbara is on the Composition Faculty of New York University's Department of Music and Performing Arts Professionals and maintains a private studio in New York City. She has served on the faculties of California Institute of the Arts, Hochschule der Künste in Berlin, The College of Santa Fe, The University of New Mexico, and visiting lecturer at Princeton University.

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