Pamela Madsen is a composer, sound artist, performer, theorist and curator of new music. From her massive landscape inspired projects and intimate chamber music creations to her multi-media collaborations, and organization of new music events she has created a body of work with a profound breadth of vision. As a composer/perfomer-theorist/curator, she is inspired by site-specific locations that intersect with the need for healing and sound. She travels to research, document, curate and create new work that she then presents in an immersive concert hall experience with live performers, spatialized sound and projected images that aims to heal the performer and the listener. Her focus involves collaboration and creating sonic landscape works through the intersection of Image-Music-Text: From her massive landscape inspired projects and intimate chamber music creations to her multi-media opera collaborations, and organization of new music and interarts collaborative project her work is constantly evolving and seeking new forms of expression that reveal deeper layers of meaning in sonic creation and performance.
With a Ph.D. in Music Composition from UCSD, doctoral studies in Music Theory at Yale University, Mellon Foundation award for Archival Research at Darmstadt Institute for New Music, post-doctoral studies and research in Music Technology at IRCAM in Paris, and Deep Listening with Pauline Oliveros, her work encompasses a vast sphere of interest. Her multi-media operas/music dramas and site-specific environmental works have been commissioned and premiered by such new music performers and ensembles as: Kathleen Supove, Eleloadbang, Either/OR, soundSCAPE, Zeitgeist, Ethel, Laurie Rubin, Tony Arnold, Aiyun Huang, Jane Rigler, Trio Solisti, Verdehr Trio, ICE flutist Claire Chase, New York New Music Ensemble, California Ear Unit, JACK and Arditti String Quartet, multi-media collaborations with IMAX filmmaker Greg MacGillivray, TED Fellow photographer Camille Seaman, video artists Quintan Ana Wikswo, Jimena Sarno,and documentary filmmaker Carolynn Coal and visual artist Judy Chicago.
Her current work explores the intersection of science, sound and healing and the environment—through research in the biomechanisms of vibroacoustics in music performance. She was guest composer in residence at Can Serrat, Montserrat, Barcelona, Spain—a known site for pilgrimages for healing to research and document ancient source materials and create new sonic luminous etudes for her proposed work: Visions of the Black Madonna of Montserrat in healing and sound for piano, voice, and projected images which received a NEW MUSIC USA Project Award. Currently, she is working on new project: There will come soft rains, a commissions from Los Angeles Percussion Quartet, Cellist Ashley Bathgate from Bang on a Can, and string quartet as composer in residence at Crystal Cove State Park, and the Mojave Desert Preserve at Zzyzx. Selected as an Alpert Award Panelist for 2010, she is a frequent guest lecturer, performer and invited scholar at festivals and universities world-wide. Currently, she is curator of the Annual CSUF New Music Festival, World Electro-Acoustic Listening Room (WEALR) Project, and InterArts Collaborative Projects at Cal State Fullerton where she is Professor of Music Composition/Theory, and Director of the New Music Ensemble.