Miya Masaoka

Acting Director of the Sound Arts MFA Program
Miya Masaoka with koto and laser sound interface

Miya Masaoka resides in New York City and is a classically trained musician, composer and sound/installation artist. She has created works for solo koto, laser interfaces, laptop and video, sculpture installations and written scores for ensembles, chamber orchestra and mixed choirs. She has a large body of work for solo koto, live electronics and video. She often works with the sonification of data, and maps the behavior of brain activity, plants and insect movement to sound.

Her work has been performed throughout the world including the Venice Biennale 2004, the Miller Theater, NYC, V2 (Rotterdam), Ircam, (Paris), KunstRadio (Vienna ), Radio Breman (Germany), Yerba Buena Center for the Arts (San Francisco), Le Centrale (Canada), and festivals including Moers (Germany), Victoriaville (British Columbia), London Musicians’ Collective’s Festival of Experimental Music (England), Other Minds Festival, Bang on a Can at Henry Street Settlement and the Santa Fe Electro-Acoustic Music Festival.

Sound installation exhibitions include Lincoln Center Out of Doors (Homemade Instrument Day), The Kitchen (The Cube with participating artists), 2006 Winter Olympics (Torino, Italy), Center for Art and Visual Culture at the University of Maryland (Blur of the Other Worldly), Issue Project Room, Brooklyn.

She has also has performed with leading improvisers and artists working in jazz and world traditions. Toshiko Akiyoshi wrote a piece for her entitled “Suite for Koto and Jazz Orchestra.” She has performed with Pharoah Sanders, Cecil Taylor’s large ensemble, toured and/or recorded with Steve Coleman, Pauline Oliveros, Andrew Cyrille, Reggie Workman, William Parker, Fred Frith, Larry Ochs, George Lewis, John Butcher, Peter Kowald, Gerry Hemingway, Samir Chatterjee, Zakir Hussein, Christian Wolff and Joan Jeanrenaud, formerly of Kronos Quartet. She has toured throughout India six times with Dr. L. Subramaniam.

A Major influence on her musical and philosophical approach has evolved from studying with Gagaku master Suenobu Togi, for whom she formed and directed the San Francisco Gagaku society for eight years. She studied with Wayne Peterson and Eric Moe at San Francisco State University (Bachelor of Arts in Music), Alvin Curran and David Tudor at Mills College (Master of Arts in Composition, 1994)

Commissions include Bang On a Can, Engine 27/Harvestworks, Gerbode Foundation, Wattis Fellowship, British Broadcasting Co. (BBC), Asian Art Foundation, Alonzo King and Lines Ballet. Other ensembles performing her work include Volti, Ensemble of the Piedmont Choirs, ROVA, San Francisco Choral Society; Awards include the Alpert Arts Award, the Mills Faculty Award in Composition (1994), ASCAP and The New Langton Arts Award. Residencies include Other Minds, Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, Headlands Center for the Arts, Western Front (Vancouver), Jacob’s Pillow and STEIM (the Netherlands).

L@TE: Miya Masaoka

Degrees from Other Institutions: 
MA
Music Composition
Mills College, Oakland, CA
1994
BA
magna cum laude
Music
San Francisco State University
1991