Sonami’s sound installations combine audio and kinetic elements embedded in ubiquitous objects such as light bulbs, rubber gloves, bags and more recently toilet plungers. She collects electrical wire and embroids them in walls.
Sonami’s work combines text, music and “found sound” from the world, in compositions which have been described as “performance novels. Her signature instrument, the Lady’s Glove, is fitted with a vast array of sensors which track the slightest motion of her enigmatic dance: with it Sonami can create performances where her movements can shape the music and in some instances visual environments. The lady’s glove has become a fine instrument which challenges notions of technology and virtuosity.Composer, performer, and sound installation artist Laetitia Sonami was born in France and settled in the United States in 1975 to pursue her interest in the emerging field of electronic music. She studied with Eliane Radigue, Joel Chadabe, Robert Ashley and David Behrman.
Sonami gives extensive workshops and classes. She tries to familiarize and enthuse students to adapting old technologies and new media to the creative process and thus expand their field of imagination and play.
Sonami has been performing in numerous festivals across the United States, Canada, Europe, Japan and China, among which the Ars Electronica Festival in Linz, the Bourges Music Festival in France, the Sonambiente Festival in Berlin, the Interlink festival in Japan, Bang-on-a Can, The Kitchen and Other Minds, S.F.
Awards include the Alpert Award in the Arts (2002), Foundation for Contemporary Performance Arts Award (2000), the Civitella Ranieri Fellowship (2000), Studio Pass-Harvestworks residency (2001) and a Creative Work Fund award (2000) for a collaboration with Nick Bertoni and the Tinkers Workshop.
Sonami lives in Oakland, California and is guest lecturer at the San Francisco Art Institute and the Milton Avery MFA program at Bard College.
“.. Sonami sometimes looked like a human antenna searching the air for sounds, or like a deity summoning earth-shaking rumbles with a brusque gesture.” – New York Times
“…sultry and magical” -Village Voice