[May 28 – Aug 7] New Works by Miya Masaoka

These new works were commissioned by Harvestworks and will be exhibited in listening and seeing: an exhibition of art and technology.

Location: The Art and Technology Program exhibition in Building 10a, Nolan Park, Governors Island

Open to the public from 11 am to 5 pm Weekends and by appointment

Meet the Artist Day: Saturday June 11, 2022

Untitled: For Conch shell, Ceramic speaker and secondary reflective sound,2022
Resonant frequencies meet parabolic surfaces made from clay of the earth, animals of the sea, and met with the activity of human toil.
When you were a child, did you ever listen to the roar of the ocean in a sea shell and marvel at its paradoxical size, grandeur, simplicity? A hollowed-out space makes way for sprials of sound, but was made originally for the sea animal to live.
The above is the mathematical equation for the properties of the “Miraculous Spiral” first articulated by Jacob Bernoulli (1655-1705), as the shell grows proportionally with the sea animal and creates particular proportional resonant frequencies.

Vegetal Artifice and Wild Root Systems 2022: Note: This piece is not available at this time.
In this newest iteration of Masaoka’s decades long inquiry into plants and interactive communication, Artificial Plants in small pots host root systems meander around the room and down the hall with sounds and vibrations shivering through its tendrils.

Conicals of Sound: Things to Hide, Things to Tell 2022
Hyper Directional speakers and multiple conicals create a listening encounter specific to this location, investigating silence, locality and the inner workings of our human psyche.


Miya Masaoka is a composer and artist based in New York City. Classically trained, her
work operates at the intersection of spatialized sound, frequency and perception, performance, social and historical references. Whether recording physical objects, plants or the human body, within architecturally resonant spaces or outdoor resonant canyons, she creates incongruencies that reflect current realities.

Her interconnected artistic practices include notated composition, alternative personas, and hybrid acoustic-electronic performance on Japanese traditional string instruments such as the koto and ichigenkin. Her work includes writing new Noh music, instrument building, wearable computing, and sonifying the behavior of plants, brain activity and insect movement and orchestra works. Her work has been exhibited nationally and internationally, including the Venice Biennale, MoMA PS1, Kunstmuseum Bonn, Institute of Contemporary Art Philadelphia.

Masaoka is an Assistant Professor of Practice at Columbia and the Director of Sound Art MFA, and previously taught at the Milton Avery School of the Arts at Bard College. She is a Park Avenue Armory Studio Artist in 2019. She has a commission to create an outdoor sound installation for Sonic Innovations at the Caramoor in 2019.
She has exhibited at the Contemporary Art Chicago, and the Laboratorium for Contemporary Art Museum at Ujazdowski Castle and Siggraph. She was the keynote speaker for NIME (New Interfaces for Musical Expression) in Brisbane, Australia and a Fulbright Fellow to Japan in 2016. She has been the recipient of such grants and commissions as the Doris Duke Artist Award, the Alpert Award in the Arts, The Gerbode Foundation, The Electronic Music Foundation, the MAP Fund, The NEA, The Montalvo Arts Center’s Lucas Artists Residency, STEIM, Issue Project Room (Siloh), The Headlands, and others. Masaoka has taught at New York University and at the Sound program at the Milton Avery School of the Arts at Bard College. She has recorded dozens of CD’s, and most recently a double CD with Anthony Braxton. She is named a Park Avenue Armory Studio Artist in 2019, as has a commission to create an outdoor sound installation for Sonic Innovations at the Caramoor in 2019.

The BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra and Glasgow Chamber Choir premiered her work in Glasgow, Scotland in 2018 (Ilan Volkov conducting). Other premiers include the Bang On a Can Allstars, Either/Or (Richard Carrick conducting), So Percussion, Del Sol string quartet, the La Jolla Symphony (Steve Schick conducting), Joan Jeanrenaud (formerly of Kronos), members of the Gugak National Orchestra (Seoul, Korea), Kathleen Supove, James Ilgenfritz. She has scored dance works for Movement Research at Judson Church and a full ballet for Alonzo King. Composers Pauline Oliveros and Toshiko Akiyoshi have written pieces for her. Her teachers at Mills College include Alvin Curran, David Tudor and Maryanne Amacher. In improvised settings, she has performed and recorded in large groups with Cecil Taylor, Henry Brandt, Christian Wolfe, Dr. L. Subramaniam, and in smaller ensembles with Steve Coleman, Fred Frith, Ingrid Laubrock, Myra Melford, Zeena Parkins, Andrew Cyrille, Reggie Workman, Pharoah Sanders, Vijay Iyer and most recently she recorded a double CD with Anthony Braxton.

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