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Sabrina Schroeder

Vancouver, CA   

“Over recent years, I’ve been developing performance systems using modified transducers and self-built devices to extend and amplify resonances of acoustic instruments. Starting from pieces for solo performer with live mechanics and developing into expanding groups of players, the resulting series builds around malleable qualities of pulsation, using these as a kind of live connective tissue within the body of a group of instruments. They are a means of digging into these visceral aspects of sound that have a permeating intensity in live performance.”

Sabrina Schroeder (b. 1979 in BC, Canada) writes music for acoustic ensembles, homemade instruments, electronic sound, and extended performance or installation settings. Playing through tactile sound, her work finds much of its underlying impulse in the grain of everyday events, taking pleasure in frictions and synergies, both intimate and oppositional.

Co-founder of the composer-performer collective SET Group and the duo Underbush, Schroeder spent formative years on the west coast of Canada actively mixing scored and improvised music. As an extension of these activities, she founded 578 John Street, an experimental studio and performance space presenting work by emerging musicians and visual artists. A show at Chicago’s Heaven Gallery premiered a self-performed solo set titled Stircrazer, currently being developed as a modular series for solo performer and live mechanics.

From 2007-2009, Schroeder taught as Adjunct Instructor at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, designing courses in Sound Art and 20th Century Art History with a focus on cross-disciplinary threads.

Drawing on a parallel career in social work, other activities have included coordinating / playing in back-up bands for recording projects with incarcerated teens, and for youth in mental health and hospice care.

A self-performed set at Parkhaus im Malkastenpark (Dusseldorf) premiered the recent Stircrazer series, developed for mixed performers with homemade electronics. Other projects for the coming year include a concert-length mixed media work for ICE Ensemble, a new touring piece for Ensemble Contemporain de Montréal as part of their Générations Project, a new commission for Distractfold Ensemble to premiere in Darmstadt (summer 2016), and a duo for Matt Barbier and Weston Olencki.

Projects as a performer include the duo Inner Helmet with Mauricio Pauly, and an upcoming solo show featured at the Vancouver New Music Festival (October 2016). 

Upcoming residencies include the Cité Internationale des Arts in Paris and the Experimentalstudio in Freiburg. 

Recent collaborators include ICE Ensemble, Arraymusic, musikFabrik, Argento, SEM Ensemble, Quatuor Bozzini, Flux Quartet, Quatuor Diotima, Till by Turning, Continuum Ensemble, Ensemble Surplus, Ensemble Argento, Nadia Francavilla, Stephane Ginsburgh, Séverine Ballon, and others including a duo portrait show with composer Aaron Siegel at the Chocolate Factory Theater in Queens, New York.

Schroeder completed her PhD at Harvard University with Chaya Czernowin and Hans Tutschku, where she was also the Director of the Harvard Group for New Music (HGNM). Her earlier Masters was with Anthony Braxton and Alvin Lucier at Wesleyan University.

She currently lives in Manchester, UK, where she will begin teaching this fall at the Royal Northern College of Music.

Bone Games for amplified mixed ensemble

Written in close collaboration with Distractfold Ensemble, featuring:

Rocío Bolaños – bass clarinet (w transposition pedals)
Daniel Brew – electric guitar
Linda Jankowska – bowed kick + snare drums (drums outfitted with bridges + strings)
Christian Smith – bowed kick drum (as above)+ other percussion
Alice Purton – cello (w transposition pedals)
Sabrina Schroeder – transducers (playing bass drum, floor tom, and plywood cubes via live-manipulated sound waves through transducers).

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Stircrazer II for solo cello + live mechanics

Stircrazer II is the second in a series for solo performer with live-operated mechanisms. Each embodying distinct terrain, they share a common preoccupation with frictions and surface tensions, fragility and blunt mechanisms. The piece stemmed originally out of a modular set for solo performer developed for a show at Chicago’s Heaven Gallery.

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He Cuts Snow

Written in 2012 for bass flute/piccolo, bass clarinet, piano, percussion, and cello.
“This is a story he gathers in a car during the early hours of the morning. He listens and asks questions as the vehicle travels through darkness. The woman who is driving could say, “In that field is a castle,” and it would be possible for him to believe her. He picks up and pulls together various corners of the story, attempting to carry it all in his arms.”

In the Skin of a Lion
– Michael Ondaatje

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