Music • Sound • Unsound
Composer and performer CHRISTINA CAMPANELLA works with music, sound, and performance across artistic disciplines.
Her original pieces for theater, ﬁlm, and installation blend songwriting and composition with aural design, weaving found sounds, ambient textures, and a dreamy pop-rock sensibility into cinematic soundscapes and deconstructed art songs. She is a 2015 recipient of NYSCA's Individual Artist Commission in Film, Media, and New Technologies.
Her current work is 3D-sound installation/performance LIGHTHOUSE 40° N, 73° W, created as an Artist-in-Residence at Harvestworks and developed with sound designer Jim Dawson (The Wooster Group, Trisha Brown) and chief audio engineer Paul Geluso (Charlemagne Palestine, Stephen Vitiello). Designed for one live performer and a 10.4.1 multi-tiered system of speakers that distributes sound from all sides and above, the work was presented by Hyphen Hub at The Red Door (November 2014). Subsequent showings include an abridged version mixed for wireless headphones with light projections by Christine Sciulli at HERE Arts Center (Culturemart, March 2015), and the full sonic architecture with durational performance - a collaboration with theatre artist Phil Soltanoff - in the NY Electronic Art Festival on Governor's Island (August 2015).
Her live-sound installation BREATHE (a collaboration with Arthur Ganson’s sculpture MACHINE WITH BREATH) is currently on view as part of the exhibit of kinetic art 5000 MOVING PARTS in The Museum at MIT (Cambridge).
As an actress, singer, and instrumentalist, Christina has worked with a constellation of innovators, including composer-visual artist Joe Diebes, multidisciplinary theater-artist Jim Findlay, directors Richard Foreman, Toni Dove, Phil Soltanoff, David Levine, Mallory Catlett and others. In 2013-14, she performed in three major premieres: two of Diebes’ experimental operas - BOTCH (HERE Arts Center), and WOW (BRIC Media Arts), and Findlay's ambient theater-work DREAM OF THE RED CHAMBER (Times Square Alliance/3LD).
Christina received commissioning to compose music and audio content for PARTS ARE EXTRA, a sound and cinema project co-created with filmmaker and visual artist Peter Norrman (NYSCA Film, Media, New Technologies award). In 2012, the duo presented live excerpts in Culturemart at HERE Arts Center, and two 5-minute shorts from the series were featured in a group show, “The Balance,” sponsored by the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council. Nine films have been completed to date.
Her collaboration with Mr. Norrman began in 2006 as the sound-video team behind the collective Latitude 14. With Latitude 14, she spent 3 years with writer Stephanie Fleischmann as resident artists at HERE co-creating multimedia music-theater works RED FLY/BLUE BOTTLE - NY premiere April 2009, subsequent showings at Noorderzon (Groningen, NL) and EMPAC (Troy, NY 2010) - and its spin-off, TINDER (EXIT Festival, Creteil, FR, and HERE 2010). Christina is the central performer in both works.
During her residency at HERE, Christina's tape-loop installation and audio blog THE THING ITSELF (2008) ran continuously with changing audio content in the building's public restrooms for one year.
Known as a performer for her “elegant, sardonic” presence (NY Times), and “ethereal voice and instrumental prowess” (BUST Magazine), she has appeared in many new and experimental music, theater, and film works. Among them: Joe Diebes’ I/O (with director Phil Soltanoff, Theatre Garonne, FR); Jim Findlay’s video for LOVE FAIL (by composer David Lang, BAM, Kennedy Center, UCLA); Toni Dove’s LUCID POSSESSION; Richard Foreman’s BENITA CANOVA; Theodora Skipitares’ A HARLOT'S PROGRESS; and Erin Cressida Wilson’s WILDER. She has appeared on television in LAW & ORDER: SVU, in independent horror films SATAN HATES YOU, THE OFF SEASON, and THE ADDICTION (Abel Ferrara), voiced the character Lizzie on MTV's animated series DOWNTOWN, and played with numerous NY avant-rock bands. She has participated in developing works at Robert Wilson’s Watermill Center, Lincoln Center’s Director’s Lab, Issue Project Room, STEIM (Amsterdam), and Fusebox (Austin), and toured extensively throughout the U.S. and Europe.
Her work has received support from: Harvestworks, The Museum at MIT, Mass MOCA’s Assets for Artists, HERE Arts Center, NYSCA, Ramapo College, the American Music Center, Mid-Atlantic Arts Foundation, Meet the Composer, Tobin Foundation for Theatre, Lower Manhattan Cultural Council, New York State Music Fund, Chocolate Factory, HARP, Digital Performance Institute, and Chashama. Scores for theater have been presented at Whitman College (WA), Playlabs (MN), and in New York at the Public Theater’s summer play festival, The Ontological and Mabou Mines/Suite.