Amanda Schoofs                                             Composer : Experimental Vocalist : Artist
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Biography (150 words)

Composer, vocalist, improviser, and visual artist Amanda Schoofs creates visceral works that emphasize timbre and intimacy while exposing the raw, vulnerable, and violent nature of the human spirit. Trained in contemporary composition and theory, her work extends through the experimental tradition and exists in the space between diverse artistic practices. Her pieces have been commissioned, performed, and exhibited throughout the United States and Canada. Known for her uninhibited vocalization and powerful presence on stage, Amanda has performed with Alison Knowles, Christopher Burns, and Hal Rammel, among others.

Amanda is a Lecturer in Music Composition and Theory at University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, where she directs Contemporary Music Ensemble and teaches Experimental Improvisation. She is a Composition Mentor with Milwaukee Youth Symphony Orchestra and Present Music’s Creation Project. Amanda holds a MA in Music Composition from Mills College, where she mentored with Joëlle Léandre, Zeena Parkins, Pauline Oliveros, Roscoe Mitchell, and Fred Frith.


Biography (Complete)

Composer, vocalist, improviser, and visual artist Amanda Schoofs creates visceral works that emphasize timbre and intimacy while exposing the raw, vulnerable, and violent nature of the human spirit. Trained in contemporary music composition and theory, her work extends through the experimental music tradition and exists in the space between diverse artistic practices. She superimposes elements of music composition, vocalization, painting, printmaking, poetry, performance art, and authentic movement, creating provocative works that are uniquely interdisciplinary.

Amanda’s compositions have been commissioned and performed throughout the United States and Canada by prominent new music ensembles and festivals including: Present Music, New Keys, Dal Niente, Unruly Music Festival, Zeitgeist, Milwaukee Laptop Orchestra, and Wild Space Dance Company, among others. Her work has been performed at prominent institutions such as the Milwaukee Art Museum, Mills College, Artist Proof Gallery, Center for New Music, Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art (Bang on A Can), and University of Wisconsin. Her visual scores have been exhibited in solo and group shows at galleries and museums throughout the United States. Her work is held in a number of private collections.

Amanda is known for her uninhibited vocalization and powerful presence on stage. Specializing in extended vocal technique and improvisation she fuses her contemporary vocal palette with vintage styles of chant, opera, chanson, blues, and punk. Always pushing the limits, she explores timbre, texture, and breath, interwoven with ethereal melodies, intimate phonemes, and percussive, nonsensical text. In addition to realizing indeterminate works by contemporary composers, Amanda also performs many classic graphic and text scores. Recent performances include Loose Pages with Allison Knowles at the Milwaukee Art Museum, and John Cage’s Songbooks (Aria A and B) and Aria w/Fontana Mix at Unruly Music Festival, and Woodland Pattern.

As an improvising vocalist Amanda plays with a rotating group of musicians and performs regularly in several dynamic ensembles, including Skøefst with Trevor Saint, glockenspiel; and Christopher Burns, guitar. Their trio explores raw, noisy, and gritty sounds, placed in both slow burning, spacious architectures and in furious outpourings of jagged energy. Their introductory album, Cadmium Dust, was released in September 2013. She is a vocalist in Hal Rammel’s Great Lakes Improvising Orchestra a fifteen-member ensemble that features conducted improvisation. As an original member of Christopher Burn’s Minor Vices Schoofs lends her vocal prowess to the improvisatory septet’s diverse instrumentation. Minor Vices released their debut album, Misdemeanors in October 2013. Amanda has performed with Milwaukee Laptop Orchestra, an improvisation collective fusing live electronic sound, video projection, instrumental and vocal performance, since returning to Milwaukee in 2010. From 2006 - 2008 she was a member of Fred Frith’s Music Improvisation Ensemble at Mills College. She is a member of International Society of Improvised Music, and gave her first performance with them at Roulette (Brooklyn, NY) in 2013.

Embracing movement as an inherent quality of performance, Amanda has created and performed in several works for performer specializing in vocalization and dance. Recent works include My Lipstick is the Color of Your Heart (2012), and An Inherent Presence/ For Laura (2013), both works were in collaboration with movement artist Laura Murphy. Amanda has been a featured Artist with Debra Loewen’s Wildspace Dance Company, performing in the improvisational duo Layers in Luscious (2012-13), and both composing the music for, and performing in, the company’s evening length show In the Space Between (2011). She is presently creating a series of visual and poetic scores for soloist titled Corpus Femme.

Since 2010 Amanda has been a Lecturer in Music Composition and Theory at University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, where she directs Contemporary Music Ensemble and teaches Experimental Improvisation. She is a Composition Mentor with Milwaukee Youth Symphony Orchestra’s Creation Project, in conjunction with Present Music. In 2008 Amanda earned her MA in Music Composition from Mills College, where she received the Elizabeth Mills Crothers Award for Outstanding Musical Composition, and mentored with Joëlle Leandre, Pauline Oliveros, Zeena Parkins, Roscoe Mitchell, and Fred Frith. In 2005 she earned dual undergraduate degrees, her BFA in Music Composition and Technology, and BA in Vocal Performance from University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. Amanda has engaged in international exchange studies in Painting and Art History at Santa Reparata International School of Art in Florence, Italy. From September - December 2014 she will be a Transdisciplinary Fellow at Center for 21st Century Studies.



Curriculum Vitae (updated 20 Jan 2013)

Education
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

Grants
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

Publications
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







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updated 20 Jan 2013
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