Discipline: Music Composition

Pamela Madsen

Discipline: Music Composition
Region: Laguna Beach, CA
MacDowell Fellowships: 2019

Pamela Madsen is a composer and performer of new music. From her massive landscape-inspired projects and intimate chamber music creations to her multi-media opera collaborations, she has created a body of work focusing on sound, biomechanisms of vibroacoustics, healing, and the environment.

With a Ph.D. in music composition from UCSD, Mellon Foundation doctoral research in music theory at Yale University, music technology at IRCAM in Paris, and deep listening with Pauline Oliveros, her multi-media operas/music dramas and site-specific environmental works have been commissioned and premiered world-wide. Some commissioning organizations include: Moscow Contemporary Music Ensemble, Los Angeles Percussion Quartet, Eclipse Quartet, Ashley Bathgate, Bang on a Can, loadbang, Kathleen Supove, Eleonor Sandresky, Vertixe Sonora Ensemble, soundSCAPE, Zeitgeist, ICE, Claire Chase, California Ear Unit, JACK, Ethel, and the Arditti String Quartet.

She has composed for multi-media collaborations with video artist Quintan Ana Wikswo, Jimena Sarno, and visual artist Judy Chicago. Selected as an Alpert Award panelist, with awards from National Endowment for the Arts and New Music USA, she is a frequent guest lecturer, composer-performer-improviser, and invited scholar at festivals and universities worldwide. She is curator of the Annual New Music Festival, New Music Ensemble, and InterArts Collaborative Projects at Cal State Fullerton where she is professor of music composition. She is composing her concert-length Oratorio for the Earth-Kama-River of Stars, commissioned by Los Angeles Percussion Quartet, Nicholas Isherwood, Bass-Baritone, cellist Ashley Bathgate, Lisa Moore, pianist, Brightworks New music, CSUF Symphony Orchestra and Singers with ModernMedieval, and Roomful of Teeth, to be premiered in May 2020 at Cal State Fullerton School of Music.

At MacDowell, she composed and recorded sounds of the Monadnock region for Oratorio for the Earth. In 2019 she was awarded fellowships for artist residencies at Ucross, Santa Fe Women’s International Studies Center, and The American Scandinavian Foundation to complete the work.


Delta Omicron

Pamela Madsen worked in the Delta Omicron studio.

Delta Omicron Studio was funded by members of the international musical fraternity in 1927. The building design is somewhat medieval in character, with an unusual cedar shingle pattern, a steeply pitched slate roof, intersecting gables, and small windows. After a 2016 deep-energy renovation, Delta Omicron is now one of the most energy efficient studio on the property…

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