Michele Cheng is an interdisciplinary artist who uses music, experimental theatre, and other forms of media to be in dialogue with social issues and cultural identities. Her works have been performed in North America, Europe, and Asia. Examples include: a modern fairytale about criminal justice (Voir dire, 2018); an experimental music theatre project about Asian women's experiences(To Be Heard X Unheard, 2016); an ambisonic & three-screen video piece with puppetry reflecting on the online dating culture (Speed Dating, 2019); among others. She co-founded fff, an interdisciplinary improv collective led by feminist media artists and the experimental pop duet Meoark. Michele holds an M.F.A in Integrated Composition, Improvisation, and Technology from University of California, Irvine.
Michele Cheng is a composer, multimedia producer, improviser-performer, songwriter, educator, and activist-artist. She is an award-winning artist in both the academic field and the commercial industry. Her works have been featured in Canada, France, Netherlands, United Kingdom, Taiwan, and across the United States.
She often uses music, experimental theatre, and other forms of media to be in dialogue with social issues and cultural identities. Taking a journalistic approach through interviews and research, she develops creative projects that reflect on complex social issues in hopes of broadening public understanding as well as her own awareness. Examples of her works include: a modern fairytale about criminal justice (Voir dire, 2018); an experimental music theatre project about Asian women's experiences (To Be Heard X Unheard, 2016); a musical card game that triggers laughter and cultural-awareness (Conversation-ish, 2018); an ambisonic & three-screen video piece with puppetry reflecting on the online dating culture (Speed Dating, 2019); and more. In 2017, she released a documentary film featuring the narratives of 1.5 generation Taiwanese Americans (OMW, 2015-17), a grant-supported project she produced, directed, and composed. The film was recognized as a finalist by Formosa Festival of International Filmmaker Awards (FFIFA) and its soundtrack received award from American Tracks Music Awards.
At the age of sixteen, Michele was the winner in Digital Music for the u19 Award- a media arts competition for youth inspired by renowned u19- CREATE YOUR WORLD and was hold by Industrial Technology Research Institute (ITRI) in Taiwan in 2007. She was then selected as a representative to visit Prix Ars Electronica in Linz, Austria. In 2017, she was recognized a winner of The American Prize for her experimental music theatre project To Be Heard X Unheard.
Her works have been featured at places including Musée des Beaux-Arts de Dijon (Dijon, France), Sonic Arts Research Centre (Northern Ireland), Podium Gigant (Netherlands), Conservatoire de musique du Québec à Montréal (Montreal, Canada), National Theatre & Concert Hall (Taiepi, Taiwan), National Taichung Theater (Taichung, Taiwan), as well as Bing Concert Hall (Stanford, CA), Center for Computer Research in Music and Acoustics (Stanford, CA), Orange County Museum of Arts (Santa Ana, CA), Experimental Media Performance Lab (Irvine, CA), Emerson Paramount Theatre (Boston, MA), among others. She has been featured by Sonorities Festival Belfast (Belfast, Northern Ireland), Young Composers Meeting (Apeldoorn, Netherlands), New Music Gathering (Portland, OR), White Snake Project (Boston, MA), UCI Illuminations (Irvine, CA), New Music On The Point (Leicester, VT), and Laboratoire de musique contemporaine de Montreal (Quebec, Canada).
She has collaborated with ensembles including orkest de ereprijs (Netherlands), Ensemble Instrumental de l'ESM Bourgogne-Franche-Comté (France), Amaranth Quartet (USA), Stanford New Ensemble (USA), Taipei Symphony Orchestra (Taiwan), Baroque Camerata (Taiwan), Tone Melody Flute Ensemble (Taiwan), Muse Trio (Taiwan), and Yunlin Sharing Chamber Orchestra (Taiwan) where she has been a composer in residence since 2007.
Michele also performs with diverse groups that feature experimental, classical, world, and pop music. She has shared the stage with Sō Percussion, St. Lawrence String Quartet, Taiko Center of Los Angeles, Antenna Fuzz, Yunlin Sharing Chamber Orchestra, and many artists from various disciplines. She is a co-founder of the interdisciplinary artist collective fff, an interdisciplinary improv collective led by feminist media artists. She also co-founded the experimental pop duet Meoark and is a member at Stanford New Ensemble.
As an active educator, Michele has guest lectured at several universities included University of California, Berkeley, National Sun Yat-sen University, National Taiwan Normal University, National Chung Cheng University, and National Yunlin University of Science and Technology. She was a graduate teaching assistant (2014-16) at University of California, Irvine and a teaching intern (2015-16) at Orange Coast College, leading weekly music theory labs and assisting courses at School of the Arts and School of Education. Engaged in early childhood education, she taught music education (TK-3) at several public elementary schools throughout the San Francisco Bay Area and worked at a children museum.
Michele holds an M.F.A in Integrated Composition, Improvisation, and Technology (ICIT) from University of California, Irvine, studying with Nicole Mitchell, Michael Dessen, Chris Dobrian, Kojiro Umezaki, and Lukas Ligeti. She received her B.F.A in Theory and Composition and a minor in Piano Performance from National Sun Yat-sen University where she studied with Szu-Hsien Lee and Kwang-I Ying.