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Shih-Wei Lo

New York, NY   

Taiwanese composer Shih-Wei Lo creates music that involves acoustic instruments, voice, digital media, mechatronic art, and interdisciplinary collaboration, among others. His work is often informed by the diverse articulations of time and space in various domains such as art, literature, culture, and politics, and may be viewed as a process of transfiguring these into music, providing audience with a contemplative medium. He is currently a Dean’s Fellow at Columbia University, pursuing a DMA in Composition under the tutelage of George Lewis. He earned his Master’s degree in Composition from the University of Washington, where he worked with Huck Hodge and Juan Pampin; he also taught at the Center for Digital Arts and Experimental Media (DXARTS). Prior to the graduate studies in the United States, he received his BFA in Music Theory and Composition from National Taiwan Normal University, studying with Ching-Wen Chao and Kris Falk.

Lo has worked with renowned musicians and ensembles such as violists Frank Brakkee and Melia Watras, harpists Miriam Overlach and Shannon Chieh, the Atlas Ensemble, Taipei Chamber Singers, etc. Recently he was awarded First Prize in the ASCAP/SEAMUS Student Commission Competition and Honorable Mention in the 2015 American Composers Forum’s National Composition Contest; he also received First Prize and Audience Award in the Dutch Harp Festival and Composition Contest 2014. Being the only young composer who receiving the Studying Abroad Fellowship twice from the Ministry of Education in Taiwan, he was awarded prizes in competitions such as The Voices of Taiwan held by the National Theater Concert Hall and the Literature and Art Creation Awards held by the Ministry of Education. Recent conferences and workshops include the Atlas Festival 2014 in Amsterdam, the 40th International Computer Music Conference (ICMC) joint with the 11th Sound & Music Computing conference (SMC), John Adams Composers Workshop directed by the Seattle Symphony Orchestra, the 28th Asian Composer League Conference and Festival in South Korea, etc.

Things Hoped For, Things Unseen (2012)

Things Hoped For, Thing Unseen is dedicated to the Principal harpist of the National Symphony Orchestra in Taiwan, Shannon Chieh, for her concert “La Vie sans Frontières,” which was held to evoke attention toward the issue of the death penalty. Throughout the piece the harp and the electronics encounter, interact, confront, settle, and move together toward the same direction sonically, capturing the social dynamics caused by such a complicated issue.

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Madhye (2013)

Madhye, a Sanskrit word that means “between” or “within.” In Madhye, the seeming dichotomy is deliberately presented by the exterior elements such as formation, structure, and archetype of the materials. The inner variables, however, allow the transformation to proceed within such a dichotomous environment: the sonic characters and adaptability of the archetype of the materials make it possible to emphasize, obscure, simplify, or complicate their similarity/difference via development and texture over time.

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