Pamela Z
Composer, Performer, and Vocalist
San Francisco, CA
2020 USA Fellow

This award was generously supported by The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

Pamela Z is a composer/performer and media artist who works primarily with voice, live electronic processing, sampled sound, and video. A pioneer of live digital looping techniques, she processes her voice in real time to create dense, complex sonic layers. Her solo works combine experimental extended vocal techniques, operatic bel canto, found objects, text, digital processing, and wireless MIDI controllers that allow her to manipulate sound with physical gestures. Her performances range in scale from small concerts in galleries to large-scale multimedia works in theaters and concert halls.

In addition to her solo work, she has been commissioned to compose scores for dance, theatre, film, and chamber ensembles including Kronos Quartet, the Bang on a Can All Stars, Eighth Blackbird, and the string quartet Ethel. Ms. Z has toured extensively throughout the US, Europe, and Japan, and is the recipient of numerous awards including a Robert Rauschenberg Foundation residency, a Guggenheim Fellowship, the Doris Duke Artist Impact Award, and the Herb Alpert Award in the Arts. She holds a music degree from the University of Colorado, Boulder.

As a 2019/20 Rome Prize Fellow, Ms. Z is currently in Rome developing a new solo performance work called Simultaneous.

Portrait photo by Rubra; courtesy of Ars Electronica.