Tomoko Momiyama (Resident composer)

Tomoko MomiyamaTomoko Momiyama graduated from Stanford University with B.A. in Music and Human Biology in 2001. Since then, she has been internationally active as a music composer, dramaturg, and producer of multi-disciplinary art events, installations, and performances. Her works, many of which are community-based and site-specific, have been performed throughout Japan, as well as in different parts of Asia, Europe, Central America, and the U.S. She is based in Tokyo.

By intervening in the relationships between people, cultures, and environments, Tomoko weaves diverse narratives into multi-layered music that is original, and yet anonymous and universal. Composed through in-depth collaborations with different localities, her music is intimately connected to its contexts of creation and questions what is home in today’s society. In search of music that is folk and contemporary at the same time, she has developed a unique methodology for collective composition involving people from various backgrounds, who are not necessarily professionally trained in music. In addition to working with communities of displaced people, disaster survivors, social minority groups, children, and elderly people, Tomoko has collaborated with international music ensembles and composers, visual artists, dance choreographers, theater artists, educators, and shamans, among others. Her projects cross a wide range of media and vary from live concerts to electroacoustic music for radio, from audience-participatory sound installations to theater pieces on disability and gender issues, and ritual performances inviting people to communicate with natural elements in our environment, such as wind, water, and trees. By functioning as a medium of communication and sharing moments of paradigm shifts through creative dialogues and exchanges, Tomoko challenges pre-existing social frameworks and personal boundaries, while addressing the issues of identity from multiple perspectives.

Commissions and invitations include the 21st Century Museum of Contemporary Art, Kanazawa (Japan), Yokohama Minato-mirai Hall (Japan), Yogyakarta Contemporary Music Festival (Indonesia), Bowdoin Summer Music Festival (U.S.A.), Aix-en-Provence Festival (France), Camera Japan Festival (The Netherlands), INA-GRM (French National Institute of Audio Visual – Music Research Group), Winner of the Japanese Government Overseas Study Programme for Artists, Meiji Yasuda Life Insurance Company “Able Art on Stage” grant program, and the Nippon Foundation Fellowships for Asian Public Intellectuals.

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