Monday, March 29
Sarah Belle Reid
3 - 4 P.M. | Register for this event
Sarah Belle Reid is a performer-composer who plays trumpet, modular synthesizer, and an ever-growing collection of handcrafted electronic instruments. Her unique musical voice explores the intersections between contemporary classical music, experimental and interactive electronics, visual arts, noise music, and improvisation. Often praised for her ability to transport audience members through vivid sonic adventures, Reid's sonic palette has been described as ranging from "graceful" and "danceable" all the way to "silk-falling-through-space," and "pit-full-of-centipedes" (San Francisco Classical Voice). Her debut album for trumpet and interactive electronics, "Underneath and Sonder," was released on pfMENTUM in October, 2019.
When watching Sarah Belle Reid perform live, one quickly notices that her trumpet is also unusual—the blinking lights and colorful wires attached to her horn are part of an electronic sensor-based interface she co-designed, called MIGSI. Reid was inspired to build MIGSI as a way of integrating her passion for technology, trumpet, and improvisation. She has been gaining international recognition for the work since it's initial development in 2015: “Reid has greatly extended the possibilities of the humble trumpet into new territory by the application of innovative sensing technology and sound processing.” (Sequenza 21). She frequently performs, leads workshops, and lectures at notable festivals, institutions, and conferences around the world, such as Moogfest, Stanford University, and the International Conference of New Interfaces for Musical Expression (NIME).
Reid's compositional practice draws influence from trumpeter-improviser Wadada Leo Smith (with whom she worked closely with while attending Calarts) and sound artist/electronic pioneer Pauline Oliveros, for their use of nontraditional notational practices and performance philosophies. In 2013–14, Sarah Belle Reid played trumpet in legendary jazz bassist Charlie Haden's band while pursuing graduate studies at Calarts. Haden asked her to improvise on one of the songs, expressing that he didn't want to hear the "right" notes or chord changes. Instead, he said, "I want to hear your voice." Although simple on the surface, this moment deeply impacted Reid, inspiring her pursue her creative interests and curiosities without concern for whether they were the "right" choices, or how they would all fit together.
In Reid's improvisations and compositions, musical notation is often experimental and graphical—an invitation to explore a new sonic universe. This spirit for exploration has led her to collaborate with musicians and artists of all genres, including experimental electronic musician David Rosenboom, thereminist Carolina Eyck, and baroque-pop artist Julia Holter. Reid recorded trumpet and electronics on Holter's 2019 record Aviary, and recently wrapped up an extensive tour throughout North America, Europe, and Australia as a member of her band. Reid's own compositions have been premiered and performed by a number of renowned musicians, most recently pianist Vicki Ray and trumpeter Nate Wooley, and have received support and recognition from the Association of Canadian Women Composers and SOCAN. In 2017 her composition “Flux” for amplified percussion quartet won the Grammy-nominated Los Angeles Percussion Quartet’s Next Wave Composer Initiative.
Reid holds a Doctorate of Musical Arts from California Institute of the Arts, with a research focus on the development of new electronic instruments and musical notation systems as interfaces for exploring temporal perception and co-creation. She also has a Master of Fine Arts from California Institute of the Arts, as well as a Bachelor of Music in trumpet performance from McGill University’s Schulich School of Music. Reid is on faculty at Chapman University (Orange, CA) teaching music technology, as well as Temple University (Philadelphia, PA), where she teaches Physical Computing and Electronic Instrument Design.
Events in the Music Tech Guest Lecturer Series
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