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Natacha Diels

San Diego, CA            

Natacha Diels’ work combines choreographed movement, improvisation, video, instrumental practice, and cynical play to create worlds of curiosity and unease. Recent work includes Papillon and the Dancing Cranes, for construction cranes and giant butterfly (Borealis Festival 2018); and forthcoming is an in-progress TV miniseries with the JACK quartet (2020-21) and a project with Pamplemousse at Darmstadt (2020). With a focus on collage, collaboration, and the ritual of life as art, Natacha’s compositions have been described as “a fairy tale for a fractured world” (Music We Care About) and “the liveliest music of the evening” (LA Review of Books). 

Natacha is a founding member of the composer/performer collective Ensemble Pamplemousse (est. 2003). Pamplemousse specializes in unique aspects of new music composition, from complex virtuosic instrumental performance to experimental theatre to electronic and robotic performance. 

Notable commissions over the past two years include those from Borealis Festival for the aforementioned crane opera; Nadar Ensemble for Darmstadt International Summer Institute [performed installation: I Love Myself Fully and Unconditionally] (2018); the Los Angeles Philharmonic for the green Umbrella Series [Laughing to Forget] (2018); and Deustchland Radio Kultur in Berlin for Ensemble Adapter [Sad Music for Lonely People] (2019). Other major activities include being chosen as artist-in-residence for Harvestworks in partnership with MATA festival (summer 2019), a release by Ensemble Pamplemousse on which Natacha is featured as composer, performer, and video producer (Lost at Sea, TAK Editions 2019), and the release of TAK Ensemble’s album Oor, which includes Natacha’s The Colors Don’t Match. 

Natacha’s work has been performed globally by Ensemble Adapter, Ensemble Intercontemporain, Nadar Ensemble, hand werk, Ensemble Decoder, Quatour Impact, Sonar Ensemble; and soloists Samuel Favre, Ross Karre, Rane Moore, Laura Cocks, and Charlotte Mundy, among others. She has created several short films and music videos which have been screened in Denmark, NYC, Chicago, Budapest, and Hungary.

Natacha holds degrees in performance, digital media, and composition from New York University and Columbia University. She currently teaches composition and computer music at the University of California, San Diego.


This is a reel containing excerpts from 10 works made by Natacha between 2015-2018. The works are :
1. Self-Portrait (video piece)
2. Papillon and the Dancing Cranes (Ensemble Pamplemousse and Pinquins)
3. Minute 1: Bodyhole (video piece)
4. Words to Sleep By (ICE Ensemble)
5. Just a Dream I Had (video piece)
6. The Portal (On Structure)
7. An Economy of Means (Ross Karre)
8. A Square is Not a Bee (Mocrep)
9. Child of Chimera (Ensemble Pamplemousse)
10. I Love Myself Fully and Unconditionally (with Sam Scranton)

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Excellent Good Beautiful

This is a performance work for Ensemble Pamplemousse, written in 2017. It is a rabbit hole of absurdities through video mashup, search engine text tunnels, pop covers, and awkward dance choreography.

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Sad Music for Lonely People

This piece was written for Ensemble Adapter and premiered at Ultraschall Festival in January 2019. It is intended as the title states, Sad Music for Lonely People, who also like to laugh sometimes.

The piece is scored for harp, percussion, and three keyboards.

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