New Resident Martha Mooke

“Dreaming in Sound” is inspired by the sleep stage REM (Rapid Eye Movement) and the concept of lucid dreaming. Scored for solo electric viola, electronic processing, interactive video and audience involvement, this immersive performance experience will create a dreamscape in a multidimensional plane where chaos and order co-exist .
Martha will collaborate with software artist Scott Draves on the work. (2016)

Residency sponsored by the Agosto Foundation

“Dreaming in Sound” is inspired by the stage of sleep known as REM (Rapid Eye Movement) and the concept of lucid dreaming (a dream in which one is aware that one is dreaming.) There is often a perceived chaotic state, where elements (time, place, people) do not make sense, yet there is an inherent orderliness in the dream realm that is often not perceived.

“Dreaming in Sound” will be created and realized in an interactive environment including audio and video components as well as audience involvement. Both the processed audio and visuals interact with the live electric viola sound. The audience will enter the dreamscape via an interactive response system controlled by handheld devices such as smart phones, computers and tablets.

The music will be semi composed, utilizing digital effects processors, multiple looping devices and include elements of improvisation informed by the arsenal of extended techniques that I have developed over the years. There will be a notated score, and each performance will be unique due to the improvisational, computational and interactive factors.

The solo performer (myself, in this case) develops into an ever-growing ensemble of individual musical and multidimensional audio-visual elements, becoming “avatars” or virtual embodiments of the protagonist. The result will be a comprehensive immersive performance experience where created sounds and images become blurred with perceived sounds and images and the notion of chaos is ultimately revealed to be the ordered nature of the dream world.

Martha will collaborate with software artist Scott Draves.


Martha Mooke, composer/electro-acoustic violist, a pioneer in the field of electric five string viola, transcends musical boundaries by synthesizing her classical training with extended techniques, digital effects processing and improvisation. A Yamaha, Eventide and Thomastik-Infeld Artist, she is a leading clinician on electric and progressive approaches to string playing including the use of electronics, extended techniques and improvisation.

Mooke is Artistic Director and violist of the electro-acoustic Scorchio Quartet, featured on David Bowie’s Heathen CD. A frequent collaborator of Philip Glass, she has toured with Barbra Streisand, Peter Gabriel, Damon Albarn, Star Wars in Concert and Andrea Bocelli. She has played with Elton John, Tony Bennett, Trey Anastasio, Lou Reed, Bon Jovi and many others. She is featured in the award winning documentary, “Inside the Perfect Circle”.

Mooke has received awards from ASCAP, Meet the Composer and Arts International. She was honored with the prestigious ASCAP Concert Music Award for conceiving and producing the new music showcase THRU THE WALLS featuring boundary-defying composer/performers. Her latest solo CD, No Ordinary Window, released in December 2015, is produced by Grammy winner Cynthia Daniels.

Scott Draves is a pioneering software artist best known for creating the Electric Sheep, a collective intelligence consisting of 450,000 computers and people that uses mathematics and genetic algorithms to create an infinite abstract animation.
His work has been shown at LACMA,, Prix Ars Electronica, ZKM, Art Futura, Emoção Art.ficial Bienial and is in collections world-wide including Carnegie Mellon School of Computer Science, the 21c Museum Hotel, MQS Capital, Google, the Simons Center for Geometry and Physics, and MEIAC. His clients range from Skrillex to the Adler Planetarium. Electric Sheep apps are available for iPad and Android.
Draves Bomb was one of the first interactive software artworks (1994) and also the first Open Source artwork, and the first interactive reaction-diffusion. His Fuse algorithm (1991) was also extremly influential.

“Even with so much promiscuous eclecticism on display, two segments of the concert stood out. Martha Mooke, using electric violas and effects pedals, bridged the gap between Romantic virtuoso composer-performers like Paganini and Liszt and MIDI-friendly successors like Todd Reynolds and Zoe Keating.” — Steve Smith, The New York Times

“Mooke shows off both an impressive dynamic range and a drop-dead-gorgeous tone on her custom five-string electric viola. In her hands, the instrument can sound like a keyboard synthesizer, a guitar, or even a saxophone. She seems to be able to translate almost any musical impulse into sound.”— Alternative Press

“With her white hair and blue five-stringed viola, Mooke is a striking figure, with a Terry Riley-ish array of electronic enhancements and a wider range of styles (from Cagean to minimalist to free jazz and beyond) than many improvisers can boast.” – The Village Voice (Kyle Gann)

Twitter @elecviola

Feature article in Journal News
Violist has had an electrifying career

Blog on Eventide

review by the Cuban equivalent of National Public Radio:
Protagoniza especial encuentro Martha Mooke

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