Laetitia Sonami is a sound artist, performer and researcher. Born in France, she settled in the United States in 1975 to pursue her interest in the emerging field of electronic music and studied with Eliane Radigue, Joel Chadabe, Robert Ashley and David Behrman.
Sonami’s sound performances, live film collaborations and sound installations focus on issues of presence and participation. She has devised new gestural controllers for performance and applies new technologies and appropriated media to achieve an expression of immediacy through sound, place and objects.
Best known for her unique instrument, the elbow-‐length lady’s glove, which is fitted with an array of sensors tracking the slightest motion of her hand and body, she has performed worldwide and earned substantial international renown.
Recent projects include the design of a new instrument, the Spring Spyre, based on the application of neural networks to real-time audio synthesis; an improvisation duo, Sparrows and Ortolans, with James Fei; and Le Corps Sonore, a fully immersive sound installation on six floors of the Rubin Museum, NYC in collaboration with Eliane Radigue and Bob Bielecki.
Upcoming projects include Peripheral Vision, a text based performance piece and a new live film project with Sue-C based on Italo Calvino Cosmicomics.
Sonami has received numerous awards among which the Herb Alpert Awards in the Arts and the Foundation for Contemporary Performance Awards.
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 a guest professor in the Music department at Mills College, CA and the Milton Avery MFA program at Bard College, NY.
“.. 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
“Experimental music is rarely this visceral and engaging” – Los Angeles Times
“Working since the 1980s, Laetitia Sonami continues to serve as an important figure for female artists working with technology. Her lady’s glove made her a well-‐known name within the performance art scene, particularly because she was one of a few women experimenting with sound and technology.“ Complex Mag– One of 10 San Francisco personalities you should know in 2014
“…sultry and magical” -Village Voice