Ann Warde is an independent composer, sound artist, and researcher. Her experimental projects are frequently informed by her previous scientific work with whale sounds as an analyst, team leader, and programmer at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology. Her work has been recognized by a 2015-16 Fulbright Scholar award at the University of York’s Contemporary Music Research Centre, a Mellon Postdoctoral Fellowship at Cornell, through multiple artist residencies and performance grants, and by the West German Radio’s Forum for Young Composers. Ann’s compositions are published by Material Press; Dawn’s Chorus appears on the Leonardo Music Journal #22 CD.
In addition to a performance of Imagined Environments with The Assembled at York, she has recently presented work at the Sounds in Space and MuSA conferences and at the Orpheus Institute in Ghent, Belgium. Her work was heard in NYC at an early Bang on a Can Marathon and as part of a Gamelan Son of Lion concert. Her compositions have also been performed at ICMC, SEAMUS, and other European and North American venues. As a pianist Ann can be heard on the EMF CD of Herbert Brün’s Non Sequitur VI. She has contributed to multiple articles in the Journal of the Acoustical Society of America; other publications appear in Aquatic Conservation, Oceans 2011, Scientific Reports (Nature), Leonardo Music Journal, Asian Music, and the Computer Music Journal.
Working with sound from both musical and scientific perspectives, she has contributed to the use and development of sound analysis software tools as a means for identifying and understanding the characteristic vocalization behavior of marine and terrestrial animals. Understanding these sounds provides information about their variability and evolution over time and space, and, in turn, facilitates conservation of animals through the use of their sounds as indicators of their whereabouts. In conjunction with this work, she has contributed to scientific publications focused on vocalizations of large whales and their intersection with anthropogenic noise.
Her compositions explore algorithmic and interactive acoustic and electroacoustic environments, the inclusion of scientific and mathematical materials as sources for musical structures, and innovative approaches to the configuration of specific roles for performers. Her compositional involvement with the social dynamics of performance overlaps her study of Javanese and Balinese gamelan, and has led to writings about invention in contemporary music by Indonesian composers, and about particular ways in which electronics might be involved in the configuring of relationships among performers and among performers and listeners. Her work has been supported by grants from the New York State Council on the Arts, Meet the Composer, Inc., and the Burchfield Art Center, SUNY College at Buffalo. With flutist Cheryl Gobbetti Hoffmann, she started the contemporary performance group New and Used Music, which was heard regularly in concert series and on radio broadcasts in Buffalo, NY. She studied piano at the “Mozarteum” (Salzburg, Austria), and she began her work in experimental composition with George Cacioppo—a co-founder of the avant-garde ONCE Group—at the University of Michigan. Her work as a student of electroacoustic music composition and ethnomusicology led to subsequent degrees from Wesleyan University (as a student of Alvin Lucier), and the University of Illinois.