Ann Warde


Ann Warde is a composer and independent researcher. As a 2015-16 Fulbright Scholar at the University of York (UK), affiliated with the Contemporary Music Research Centre, her continuing research focused on surround sound realizations of chimp, elephant, and whale vocalizations. In addition to a performance of Imagined Environments with The Assembled at York, she presented work at the Sounds in Space and MuSA conferences and at the Orpheus Institute in Ghent, Belgium. Previously she worked as an analyst and programmer at Cornell University’s Bioacoustics Research Program (at the Lab of Ornithology), contributing to multiple articles in the Journal of the Acoustical Society of America. Other publications appear in Oceans 2011, the Leonardo Music Journal, Asian Music, and the Computer Music Journal. Her compositions are published by Material Press and include performances at Bang on a Can, and by Gamelan Son of Lion, in NYC, the West German Forum for Young Composers, ICMC, SEAMUS, and other European and North American venues. Residencies include the Mills College Center for Contemporary Music and a Mellon postdoc fellowship at Cornell. As a pianist she can be heard on the EMF CD of Herbert Brün’s “Non Sequitur VI”.

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 composition Dawn’s Chorus is included in the Leonardo Music Journal 2012 Acoustics issue, and 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 _Ann_10Dec2015performance 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.