Pamela Madsen is acclaimed internationally as a composer, performer and scholar. Through her compositions, interactive opera/installations, writings, collaborative projects, collected archives of works by women in electronic music, teaching, performances and organization of events she has created a body of work with a profound breadth of vision. With a Ph.D. in Composition from UCSD with Brian Ferneyhough, doctoral studies in Music Theory from Yale University, and post-doctoral studies in Music Technology at IRCAM, Paris, Madsen has been honored with awards, grants, residencies and concerts internationally. Whether traveling with the Listening Room Project throughout the US, Europe and Canada, or working with artist Judy Chicago’s Envisioning the Future Project in Los Angeles, or the Arditti String Quartet in France, Zeitgeist Ensemble in Minnesota, CA Ear Unit at Arcosanti, Pauline Oliveros in California or as resident composer at Mills College, Madsen’s commitment to interaction and collaboration with the performer in electroacoustic music is evident. Madsen’s ritual interactive electroacoustic opera/installations works focus on the concept of transformation and transcendence in musical performance through intensive focus on the moment, voice, movement and virtuosity in conjunction with multi-media and spatialized electronics. She works collaboratively to create new works that challenge performers beyond their current technical, musical, and personal limitations. To engage in this experience requires focus, concentrated musicianship, strong improvisational skills, and willingness to reflect in the moment and engage with technology, which are crucial elements of Madsen’s work.
Her large scale operas/music dramas for various ensembles, voices and electronics have been commissioned and premiered by such ensembles as: Zeitgeist, Ethel, SONOR, New York New Music Ensemble, California Ear Unit and the Arditti String Quartet. Current projects include: Sedna, multi-media opera commissioned by Zeitgeist for multiple performances in California and Minnesota, Fallen for SATB choir and piano for CSUF University Singers and Sea Nymphs for flute, electronics and piano a consortium commission by flutists Anne LaBerge and Jane Rigler. She has been invited guest composer, researcher at major centers for contemporary music throughout the United States and Europe, namely: BIMHUIS, Gaudeamus, Amsterdam, Sparkfest, IAWM International Congress, Miami, Acrosanti, June in Buffalo, Darmstadt Ferienkurse fur Neue Musik, IRCAM, Paris, Acanthes Festival, Avignon-Villeneuve and Mills College. Her theoretical work focuses on issues of voice, women in new music, collaboration and the influence of technology on compositional thought and is published in Contemporary Music Forum and Musik Texte, “Resonances” at IRCAM, Pompidou Center, Paris. A frequent guest lecturer, performer and invited scholar at festivals and universities she is organizer of the Annual Women in New Music Festival, International Electro-Acoustic Listening Room Project, Film as Collaborative Art and Director of the New Music Ensemble at Cal State Fullerton where she is an Professor of Composition, Music Theory and Music Technology.