Amanda Schoofs                                             Composer : Experimental Vocalist : Artist
Amanda Schoofs - Downloadable Press Image

I am a composer, improviser, vocalist, and visual artist. I create visceral works that emphasize timbre and intimacy while exposing the vulnerable and violent nature of the human spirit. My compositions extend from the American experimental music tradition and exist in the space between diverse artistic practices. At times I use traditional notation to convey musical ideas, but often I find it restricting; as a result I have developed a method of painting performance scores. My painted scores explore relationships between breath/pitch, timbre/hue, intensity/shade, gesture/shape, noise, and silence. They are visual representations of sound that deconstruct traditional and contemporary forms of musical notation with erased and layered text, raw mark and intense gesture to achieve equilibrium between composition and spontaneity in performance.

As a vocalist I fuse extended techniques with traditional forms of blues, opera, chanson, and punk. Always pushing the limits, I embody extremes in timbre, texture, and breath while playing with fragmented melody, intimate phonemes, and nonsensical (text?). I have performed and collaborated with exceptional artists like: Hal Rammel, Fred Frith, Christopher Burns, Jason Hoopes, Ryan Gregory Tallman, Shayna Dunkelman, Phillip Greenlief, Steve Nelson-Rainey, Damon Smith, Trevor Saint, and many others.

I have lived and worked in Milwaukee, Florence, Oakland, Paris, and San Francisco. In 2008 I earned my MA in Music Composition from Mills College, where I received the Elizabeth Mills Crothers Award for Outstanding Musical Composition. At Mills I had the honor to work with Joëlle Léandre, Pauline Oliveros, Zeena Parkins, and Roscoe Mitchell. I graduated with Dean’s Honors in 2005 from University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee’s Peck School of the Arts with dual bachelor degrees in Music Composition and Technology, and Vocal Performance.

I am a Lecturer in Music Composition and Theory at University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. I was recently a Visiting Artist at Rochester Institute of Technology’s Fine Arts Printmaking Department; and I am currently a Guest Vocal Artist with Wild Space Dance Company.

Curriculum Vitae (updated 20 Jan 2013)

Mills College, Oakland, CA
Master of Arts in Music Composition, 2008, Commencement High Honors
Thesis composition: Say Somethings for chamber ensemble and dance
Written thesis: Say Somethings: a collage of scores, paintings, essays, and interviews
Principal teachers: Joëlle Léandre, Pauline Oliveros, Fred Frith, and Roscoe Mitchell

University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, Peck School of the Arts, Milwaukee, WI
Bachelor of Fine Arts in Music Composition and Technology, 2005
Bachelor of Arts in Vocal Performance, 2005, Dean’s Honors, Phi Kappa Phi, Commencement High Honors
Principal teachers: Christopher Burns, Bill Heinrichs, and Steve Nelson-Raney

Santa Reparata International School of Art, Florence, Italy International Exchange Studies in Painting, Summer 2005

Year of the Arts Grant, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, 2012
Vilas Foundation Grant, 2012
Graduate Research Opportunity Grant, Mills College, 2008
Wisconsin State Grant for Study Abroad, 2005

Honors and Awards
Peck School of the Arts Dean’s Faculty Development Award, 2012
First Year Student Success Award (for excellence in teaching), University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, 2012
Leslie Whitaker Memorial Fund Award, 2011
Peck School of the Arts Dean’s Faculty Development Award, 2010
Elizabeth Mills Crothers Award for Outstanding Musical Composition, Mills College, 2008

Academic Appointments and Opportunities
Lecturer, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, Department of Music, Composition and Technology/Theory, Fall 2010–present

Director and Curator of The PSoA-RIT Artist Exchange Project in collaboration with Paul Mitchell, Milwaukee, WI and Rochester, NY, January-May 2011

Visiting Artist and Lecturer, Rochester Institute of Technology, School of Imaging Arts and Design, Fine Arts Printmaking Department, March 2011

Instructor/Teaching Assistant, Mills College, Department of Music, Musicianship and Theory, 2007-2008

Invited Guest Artist Lectures and Panels
Art to Art, Artist Feedback Panel – constructive critique of new interdisciplinary performance works integrating choreography with other disciplines, Danceworks, Milwaukee, WI, July 2012

Indeterminacy and Graphic Notation, Guest Lecture, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, Music 421: Materials of Contemporary Music, November 2011

Pauline Oliveros’ Sonic Mediations, Guest Lecture, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, Music 120: Composition Colloquium, February 2011

Ink Makes a Sound: Painted Performance Scores, Artist Lecture on my work, Rochester Institute of Technology, Fine Arts Studio II: Non-Toxic Printmaking, March 2011

How to Succeed as a Music Major, Alumni Artist Panel, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, Music 106: Foundations of Music, November 2012, November 2011, November 2010

Courses Taught
University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, Fall 2010-present
Advanced Composition (Music 761, G) Fall 2012
Advanced individual instruction in composition for graduate composition students

Advanced Independent Work (Music 699, U) Spring 2011
Advanced independent study of indeterminate music through research and composition of a new work that had a public premiere and was presented during a portfolio review with the entire composition faculty

Composition Colloquium (Music 120, U) Fall 2012
Lectures on contemporary composition topics; organization of guest lectures and workshops with visiting composers and performers presenting current compositional and aesthetic techniques

Contemporary Music Ensemble (Music 454, U; Music 762, G) Fall 2011, Fall 2012
Study and performance of indeterminate scores from the contemporary music and interdisciplinary performance cannon, final presentation of work in a public recital

Introduction to Composition (MusPerf 361, U) Fall 2010, Fall 2011, Fall 2012
Contemporary compositional techniques for first-year students in the BFA composition program; study and analysis of music since 1945

Improvisation and Aleatoric Scores (Music 489, U/G) Spring 2011, Spring 2012
Study of non-idiomatic improvisation; composition of original indeterminate scores; performance and presentation of student work in a public recital

Lessons in Composition (MusPerf 361/MusPerf 461, U) Fall 2010-present
Individual instruction in composition for undergraduate composition students

Materials of Theory I (Music 127, U) Fall 2010, Spring 2011, Fall 2011
Fundamental study of theory in Western diatonic music

Materials of Theory II (Music 128, U), Spring 2012, Fall 2012
Intermediate study of theory in Western diatonic music

Senior Recital (Music 660, U), Fall 2011
Independent supervised preparation and performance of student’s senior thesis composition; preparation of composition portfolio for final jury

Theory Fundamentals for Majors (Music 1, U), Fall 2010, Spring 2011, Fall 2011, Spring 2012
Basic music theory covering written proficiency and aural skills at an introductory level

Mills College, 2007-2008
Musicianship Levels I, II, III and IV (MUS 003, U)
Practical training in basic musical skills including: reading notation and music theory; sight-singing; melodic, rhythmic, and harmonic dictation; and basic keyboard skills

Recent Commissions
Devil’s Door (in progress) commissioned by Trevor Saint
for solo glockenspiel/voice
Painting: performance score, 22”x30”, watercolor, acrylic and ink on paper

Acedia (2012) commissioned by Kevin Stalheim of Present Music
for voice, viola, percussion, drum kit, and dancer
A triptych of drawings: performance scores, 11” x 17” each, graphite on paper

This is called breathing (2012) commissioned by Chris Burns/Unruly Music Festival
for A clarinet, violin, cello, and piano
A polytych of six paintings: performance scores, 11” x17” each, acrylic and ink on paper

Cowboy Mouth (2010) commissioned by MiLO–Milwaukee Laptop Orchestra
for laptop ensemble with or without live-processed voice and monophonic instrument
A diptych of paintings: performance scores, 22” x 30” each, acrylic and ink on paper

Brazen + Bruised (2009) commissioned by Mike K of Langton Labs
for voice, ¾ violin, and analog feedback
Painting: performance score, 22” x 30”, acrylic, ink and eye shadow on paper

Fragility of Permanence (2009) commissioned by Jason Hoopes
for solo upright bass/voice
Painting: performance score, 22”x30”, acrylic and ink on paper

Recent Select Premieres and Performances
Aria w/Fontana Mix, performance of Cage’s virtuosic vocal work as part of Woodland Pattern's John Cage Centennial Celebration, Woodland Pattern, Milwaukee, WI, October 28, 2012

Studies in Space (a Tate Bunker film) I improvise vocally in the film and co-composed the film score with Seth Warren-Crow, premiere at Milwaukee Film Festival, Milwaukee, October 4, 2012

Fieldwork, a solo vocal performance of Christopher Burns’ multimedia improvisation structure
The Borg Ward, Milwaukee, WI, August 29, 2012

My Lipstick is the Color of Your Heart, an interdisciplinary work co-created and performed with movement artist Laura Murphy, premiered at Studio Lounge, Milwaukee, July 20, 2012

This is called breathing, a chamber quartet premiered at Unruly Music Festival, Marcus Center, Milwaukee, WI, March 10, 2012

Songbooks: Aria 2, an interdisciplinary performance of John Cage’s virtuosic vocal work, Unruly Music Festival, The Marcus Center for the Performing Arts, Milwaukee, WI, March 9, 2012

Acedia, my new interdisciplinary chamber work premiered at Present Music’s Around 30, Turner Hall, Milwaukee, WI, March 3, 2012

University of Wisconsin–Milwaukee Faculty Recital, Trio improvisations with Christopher Burns and Steve Nelson-Raney, UWM Fine Arts Recital Hall, Milwaukee, WI, February 17, 2012

Great Lakes Improvisation Orchestra, dir. Hal Rammel, Woodland Pattern, Milwaukee, WI, December 18, 2011

Fragments for the Space Between as a guest composer/vocal artist for Wild Space Dance Company’s interdisciplinary performance In the Space Between, The Pritzlaff Building, Milwaukee, WI, September 15-17, 2011

MiLO–Milwaukee Laptop Orchestra, an electro-acoustic improvisation ensemble, as part of (zerospace), UWM Fine Arts Recital Hall, Milwaukee, WI, February 18, 2011

Cowboy Mouth, an electroacoustic work featuring laptop orchestra, premiered by MiLO at Unruly Music Festival, Milwaukee, WI, October 7, 2010

Brazen+Bruised, an electroacoustic duet, premiered at Equilibrium SF: Sensorium, Langton Labs, San Francisco CA, November 2009

Say Somethings, an electroacoustic interdisciplinary chamber work (masters’ thesis) premiered as part of Signal Flow, Mills College, Oakland, CA, March 8, 2008,

Solo Exhibitions
MAPP–Mission Art Project and Performance, San Francisco, CA, December 2009
Ink Makes a Sound, Painting: Performance Scores, a solo exhibition with live performance of my painting: performance scores.

Equilibrium SF: Sensorium, Langton Labs, San Francisco CA, November 2009
Ink Makes a Sound – Painting: Performance Scores, with sound/video installation of Fragility of Permanence, and a site-specific projection of Brazen+Bruised with live performance.

Select Group Exhibitions
10-22-38 Astoria 2, The Lab, San Francisco, California, October-November 2012, I exhibited works from my series Xerographic Variations

10-22-38 Astoria, FICTILIS gallery, Seattle, Washington, November 2011
I exhibited nine pieces from my series Xerographic Variations: Fragility of Permanence (v.1-4), Say Somethings (v.1-3), and Brazen + Bruised (v.1-2)

Jason Hoopes-Improvised Music and Dance, Mills College, Oakland, CA, April 2009
Site-specific projection of Fragility of Permanence with live performance by Jason Hoopes

Resonant Migration, Mills College Art Museum, Oakland, CA May 9, 2008
Exhibition and live performance of my painting: performance score Three Portraits for Trombone

10.22.38 Astoria: A Compilation of Xerographic Prints
Limited Edition, by book artist Amber Nelson, edited by FICTILIS art gallery, 2012

Say Somethings, Thesis (M.A.) Mills College, 2008

Subcutaneous Sound, 2007 [coll] A curated cd compilation of graduate work from Mills College

updated 20 Jan 2013