P-ART JOURNAL

42

 

 

THE BODYSYNTH

Photo by Marion Gray

Pamela Z is a San Francisco-based composer/performer and audio artist who works primarily with voice, live electronic processing, and sampling technology. In performance, she creates layered works combining operatic bel canto and experimental extended vocal techniques with a battery of digital delays, found percussion objects, and sampled sounds triggered with a MIDI controller called The BodySynth which translates data from electrode sensors worn against skin to generate MIDI. The BodySynth (designed by Ed SEVERINGHAUS ) allows her to manipulate sound with physical gestures. Pamela Z's voice ranges from the guttural depths to operatic soaring. Her work combines opposites of high and low tech into a result that both spiritually and organically is.

Pamela Z produces "Z Programs", an ongoing series of interdisciplinary events in which her own work has been featured along with that of other artists doing experimental work in various genres. She is a member of the electroacoustic ensemble sensorChip, a american collective of three performers/artists doing visually compelling performances of sonically rich material by making use of gestures and movement to generate sound. sensorChip is made up of Miya Masaoka (koto and electronics), Donald Swearingen (keyboard, light controllers and sampler), and Pamela Z (voice, live processing and sampler) all of whom use sensor technology and computers to generate MIDI control information in performance. Miya Masaoka works with the "Koto-Monster", an instrument she created by combining her 21 string Japanese Koto with a receiver for sensors rings she wears on her hands and a series of foot pedals to access electronics that were developed during her residency at Steim in Amsterdam. Donald Swearingen triggers samples and controls panning and effects in a surround sound environment using infrared, and visible light controllers, as well as traditional keyboards.

PARTS OF SPEECH (1998) is a performance work of Pamela Z about language. Parts of speech focuses on the language of asking (begging), the changing language of gender, questioning, grammar (dialect), small talk, coercion, technology, and news (mass media). It examines and makes music of the subtleties of the human speaking voice. Pamela Z appears as narrator, news commentator, storyteller, and cantor in this word ritual.

DICE 2 is the second addition of CD compilations from Ishtar records (harvestw@dti.net). It contains works by many of the composers from the first DICE CD and includes "Parts" and "Questions (Trip)" form Parts of Speech by Pamela Z.

Pamela Z has released her solo CD on label Starkland Recordings.

GAIJIN is the newest performance-project by Pamela Z at the TheaterArtaud in San Francisco (May 17-19, 2001). Gaijin is a multi-media performance work by Pamela Z with Butoh dancers:  Kinji Hayashi, Leigh Evans, and Shinichi Momo Koga.

With a live, electro-acoustic soundscore, vocal performance, projected video, and Butoh dance, GAIJIN explores the concept of "otherness" from all angles. In this large-scale performance work inspired, in part, by her 1999 residency in Japan, Pamela Z will take the audience on a magical, engaging journey that provokes a new look at the meaning of the world "foreigner".

For full information, visit Pamela Z's homepage on http://www.pamelaz.com/gaijin.html with various alternative links.


© P-ART 2000-2001

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