Personal tools

The Science and Technology of Music

Home Activities Distinguished Lectures Laetitia Sonami, sound artist and performer: Your presence is required - performance, control, and magnetism

Skip to content. | Skip to navigation

Laetitia Sonami, sound artist and performer: Your presence is required - performance, control, and magnetism

— filed under:

  • Distinguished Lecture
When Mar 08, 2017
from 04:30 PM to 06:00 PM
Where Tanna Schulich Hall, Elizabeth Wirth Music Building, 527 Sherbrooke Street West.
Add event to calendar vCal

The lecture will take place in TANNA SCHULICH HALL, followed by a wine and cheese reception in room A832-833 (8th floor of the Elizabeth Wirth New Music Building).

Facebook event:


Composer, performer, and sound artist Laetitia Sonami will present an overview of work carried out over four decades. Her trajectory starts with meeting influential composers Eliane Radigue and Robert Ashley among others, building DIY synths at the Centre for Contemporary Music, creating her legendary lady's glove, and her current interests in inefficient systems and mis-use of neural networks. She will discuss issues which guided the creation of her newest instrument, the Spring Spyre, as well as the upcoming immersive sound installation for the Rubin Museum, NYC.

Sonar's attractions oscillate between staged performative works and its concomitant embodiment in sound installations, always stressing notions of presence and participation.



Composer, performer, sonami2and sound installation artist Laetitia Sonami was born in France and settled in the United States in 1975 to pursue her interest in the emerging field of electronic music. She studied with Eliane Radigue, Joel Chadabe, Robert Ashley, and David Behrman.

Her sound performances, live-film collaborations, and sound installations focus on issues of presence and participation. She has devised gestural controllers for performance and applies new technologies and appropriated media to achieve an expression of immediacy through sound, place, and objects. She has performed for 20 years with her lady’s glove, and is now developing a new series of work entitled “Magnetic Memories in the Age of the Oracle” which explores magnetic forces, memory, and archeological deposits of sound layers. Her latest instrument, the Spring Spyre, uses neural networks developed by Rebecca Fiebrink (Goldsmith University).

The trajectory of Sonami’s research is guided by careful attention to the notion of presence in both the staged performative works and its concomitant gesture of embodiment in installations. Exploring invisible media on the electromagnetic plane, Sonami’s unique approach questions the validity of “efficiency” long associated with the medium. She poses a series of questions which invite viewers to discover new behaviors through erratic performance and to project imagined connections onto networks of silent copper.

Sonami’s recent projects include OCCAM IX, a composition created with Eliane Radigue, an improvisation duo, Sparrows and Ortolans with James Fei, and an upcoming installation, le Corps Sonore, at the Rubin Museum in NYC in collaboration with Eliane Radigue and Bob Bielecki. Sonami has performed in numerous festivals across the United States, Canada, Europe, Japan and China. She lives in Oakland, California and is a guest lecturer at the San Francisco Art Institute, Mills College, and the Milton Avery MFA program at Bard College.








Document Actions