top of page

Bio.

DSC_6148.JPG

Photo by Roger Chenying Hsieh

Download photo here

Short Bio

Michele Cheng is an interdisciplinary composer and improviser-performer intertwining diverse media such as music, theatre, visuals, and puppetry to engage with social issues and cultural identities. Through a journalistic approach to interview and research, she develops creative work that shines light on underrepresented narratives. Her works have been featured internationally at National Sawdust (US), Roulette (US), MATA Festival (US), CCRMA (US), SEAMUS (US), NYCEMF (US), LMCML (Canada), ICMC (Chile), ESPACIOS(Argentina), ISSTA (Ireland), Sonorities (UK), MANTIS (UK), eavesdropping(UK), Musée des Beaux-Arts de Dijon (France), AMKL (Poland), NTCH (Taiwan), SICMF (South Korea), TMAO (Thailand), among others. She has received commissions from the JACK Quartet, National Sawdust, I Care If You Listen; grant from New Music USA; and scholarship from Atlantic Center for the Arts. Michele plays multiple instruments, builds custom instruments and puppets, and has shared the stage with artists from various backgrounds. She is a co-founder of the experimental pop duo Meoark and fff, an interdisciplinary improv collective led by feminist media artists.

Anchor 1

Full Bio

Michele Cheng is an interdisciplinary composer and improviser-performer intertwining diverse media such as music, theatre, visuals, and puppetry to engage with social issues and cultural identities. Through a journalistic approach to interview and research, she develops creative work that shines light on underrepresented narratives. 

 

Examples of her work include: Voir dire, a modern fairytale about criminal justice; Speed Dating, a three-screen video piece in ambisonics with puppetry on Asian American's dating culture; Doyennes' Diaries, an electroacoustic work with self-built instruments and narrated diaries from women-identified artists; A Different Reality, an intermedia project examining today’s world through lens of the next generation by incorporating interviews with kids; Jaack, a musical puppet theatre work for the JACK Quartet with hand-made puppets, interactive visuals, AI images, and a custom smart mirror; and OMW, a feature-length documentary film interviewing Taiwanese-American artists in Southern California.

She was a JACK Studio artist commissioned by the JACK Quartet (2020-2022), a commissioned composer for National Sawdust’s Digital Discovery Festival, a commissioned author by American Composers Forum for I Care If You Listen’s Casting Light series; a recipient of New Music USA Creator Development Fund Grants; and an associate artist at the Atlantic Center for the Arts residency.

 

As an improviser-performer, Michele plays multiple instruments (piano/electric bass/electronics/percussion/drum set) and self-built instruments. She has shared the stage with artists including International Contemporary Ensemble, Sō Percussion, Taiko Center of Los Angeles, Antenna Fuzz, Stanford New Ensemble, Harvard New Music Ensemble, Ensemble Evolution, Pamela Z, Craig Taborn, Claire Chase, Susie Ibarra, Joshua Rubin, and Levy Lorenzo, among others. She is a co-founder of the experimental pop duo Meoark and fff, an interdisciplinary improv collective led by feminist media artists.

 

She has been featured internationally by MATA Festival (NYC, US), CCRMA Center for Computer Research in Music and Acoustics (Stanford, US), ICMC International Computer Music Conference (Santiago, CL), ISSTA Irish Sound, Science & Technology Association (IE)Sonorities Festival Belfast (Belfast, UK), MANTIS Festival (Manchester, UK), SICMF Seoul International Computer Music Festival (Seoul, KR), SEAMUS The Society for Electro-Acoustic Music in the United States (US), NYCEMF The New York City Electroacoustic Music Festival (NYC, US), ESPACIOS SONOROS (Salta, AR), New Music Gathering (Portland, US), eavesdropping symposium (London, UK), TMAO Thailand Music and Art Organization (Bangkok, TH), Vu Symposium (Park City, US), Hot Air Festival (San Francisco, US), White Snake Project (Boston, US), Resonance Works (Pittsburgh, US), UCI Illuminations (Irvine, US), 26th Young Composers Meeting (NL), New Music On The Point (US), and LMCML Laboratoire de musique contemporaine de Montréal (CA).

Her works have been presented at Musée des Beaux-Arts de Dijon (France), Sonic Arts Research Centre (UK), Podium Gigant (Netherlands), Karol Lipiński Academy of Music (Poland), Conservatoire de musique du Québec à Montréal (Canada), Seoul Arts Center (South Korea), National Theatre & Concert Hall (Taiwan), National Taichung Theater (Taiwan), and throughout the United States at National Sawdust (Brooklyn, NY), Roulette (Brooklyn, NY), Bing Concert Hall (Stanford, CA), Orange County Museum of Arts (Santa Ana, CA), Experimental Media Performance Lab (Irvine, CA), Emerson Paramount Theatre (Boston, MA), The Academy of Vocal Arts (Philadelphia, PA), among others.

She has worked with ensembles including International Contemporary Ensemble (US), orkest de ereprijs (Netherlands), Ensemble Instrumental de l'ESM Bourgogne-Franche-Comté (France), NOMON (US), TAK Ensemble (US), Amaranth Quartet (US), Stanford New Ensemble (US), alokori (Canada), Taipei Symphony Orchestra (Taiwan), Baroque Camerata (Taiwan), and Yunlin Sharing Chamber Orchestra (Taiwan) where she is a composer-in-residence since 2007.

Michele was the winner in Digital Music for u19 Award, a media arts competition for youth originated from the renowned u19- CREATE YOUR WORLD. It was hosted Industrial Technology Research Institute (ITRI) in Taiwan in 2007, and she was invited as a representative to visit Prix Ars Electronica in Linz, Austria. In 2017, she was recognized as a winner of The American Prize for her experimental music theatre project To Be Heard X Unheard about Asian women's experiences and a finalist of the Formosa Festival of International Filmmaker Awards (FFIFA) for her documentary film OMW.

Dedicated to nurturing future innovators, she has worked with children to college students. She was a TK-3 music educator at public elementary schools in the San Francisco Bay Area, a graduate teaching assistant for School of the Arts and School of Education at the University of California, Irvine, and a teaching intern at Orange Coast College. She has also given guest talks at the University of California, Berkeley, the University of Western Ontario, National Taiwan Normal University, National Sun Yat-sen University, National Chung Cheng University, and National Yunlin University of Science and Technology.

Michele holds an M.F.A. in Integrated Composition, Improvisation, and Technology (ICIT) from the University of California, Irvine, studying with Nicole Mitchell, Michael Dessen, Chris Dobrian, Kojiro Umezaki, and Lukas Ligeti. She received her B.F.A. in Music Production/Theory and Composition from National Sun Yat-sen University in Taiwan where she studied with Szu-Hsien Lee and Kwang-I Ying. She joined Cornell University as a DMA Composition fellow in Fall, 2021.


bottom of page