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Lisa Renée Coons

Kalamazoo, MI   

I am a sound artist working at the intersection of music, sculpture, and choreography.


Aesthetically, my work is part of the experimental music tradition of found sounds and extended techniques. Noise and studies of timbre are at the heart of my composition, and these vocabularies require nontraditional notation and active listening by the performers. My welded percussion sculptures are built of objects salvaged from my childhood home—a small family farm.  They develop the often-overlooked timbral beauty of these materials into rich musical textures.  My concert works emphasize the physical gestures of the performers as well as the resultant sounds—movement is carefully choreographed and often paired with video to emphasize the body and agency of the musician.  This work does not reside in the score—it resides in the exchange with the performers who bring it to life. Through collaboration, both in composition and in developing structured improvisations, I aspire to create sincere and innovative artistic works that will resonate emotionally and aesthetically with the listener.

Percussion Sculpture No. 1

This is a collaborative project with Owen Weaver–a structured improvisation on my Percussion Sculpture No. 1. I welded the sculpture from salvaged metal and amplified it using a homemade contact microphone running through a volume pedal. This is the only electronic ‘manipulation’ of the sound. Owen is playing with fingers, sticks, guitar string, and my ‘bell mallets’ (which are made from bells out of telephones).

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Music Painted from Memory – Movement I

This is the first of a three movement piece for violin, ‘cello, and video. “Music Painted from Memory” was an attempt to visually and aurally depict the northern Missouri farmland, where I was raised. The music portrays the physical and sonic landscapes of that space, as well as the artist’s frustration with trying to capture the essence of a home so familiar and yet so obscured by time. The piece was a collaboration with the Navitas Ensemble (Elizabeth Choi on violin and Hannah Addario-Berry on ‘cello). Video and music by Lisa R. Coons.

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Music Painted from Memory Movements II and III

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NewMusicBox Articles

Headlines May 10 2012 | By Lisa Coons
Broad Ambition: Hartford New Music Festival 2012

By including everything from electronic works and acoustic ensemble performances, to a sound art installation for amplified table, and even an eight-foot long embroidered score, this festival was a testament...