Discipline: Music Composition

Dafna Naphtali

Discipline: Music Composition
Region: Brooklyn, NY
MacDowell Fellowships: 2023

Dafna Naphtali is a composer, performer, singer, electronic-computer-musician, and sound-artist. She draws on her eclectic musical background to inform experimental work for live sound-processing of acoustic instruments and voice, multi-channel audio, musical robots, and audio augmented-reality soundwalks. She is a recipient of a 2023 Guggenheim Fellowship in Music Composition.

She's collaborated, performed, and released recordings internationally with musicians, choreographers, dancers, and video-artists including Shelley Hirsch, Merche Blasco, Barbara Held, Katherine Liberovskaya, Benton C. Bainbridge, Kitty Brazelton, Thea Little, and Kathleen Supové.

For more than 15 years, she's focused on duo projects with live sound processing of acoustic instruments and her voice in performance. She has released six recordings since 2017. Her multichannel sound sculpture, Audio Chandelier: Polyélaios, was a collaboration with metalsmith Ayala Naphtali and was presented by Harvestworks NYC on Governor’s Island in the summer of 2021.

At MacDowell she worked on her Guggenheim project, DUOS++OCTET, a composition for large ensemble comprising of her duo partners. Portions of this new work had its first iteration in concert at Roulette Intermedium in April 2023, with plans for a recording and additional performances in late 2024. The work centers on live sound and multichannel manipulations of each musician's acoustic sound and interactive computer elements building on her multi-channel "Audio Chandelier" instrument, and using traditional and open scoring, themes, and electroacoustic improvisations.



Dafna Naphtali worked in the Chapman studio.

Chapman Studio was funded by Mrs. Alice Woodrough Chapman in memory of her husband, composer George Alexander Chapman. Symmetrically massed, the building is stuccoed on the exterior with a natural, unpainted cement. Its unusual half-timbered ornament consists of slender, knotty spruce poles painted a dark green color. A central, peak-roofed entrance porch appears on the north side…

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