Composer and visual artist explores the nature of place

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Photo of someone using a mixing board.

Composer Betsey Biggs utilizes technology in her compositions

KALAMAZOO—Composer and visual artist Betsey Biggs will perform a concert of her works at 8 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 12, in the Dalton Center Recital Hall at Western Michigan University. The concert is free and open to the public.

The program will include laptop improvisations made from snippets of sound from both Laos and Carnegie Hall, music written for chamber ensemble and video projection, a three-screen video installation investigating the quiet places of Hong Kong and a video installation turning participant's shadows into music.

Betsey Biggs

Biggs' work connects the dots between music, sound, visual art, place, storytelling and technology, and has been described by The New Yorker as "psychologically complex, exposing how we orient ourselves with our ears." She often collects scraps of sound and narrative fragments she encounters, and evocatively deconstructs and arranges them. By slowing down, clarifying, and reworking these sonic (and sometimes visual) fragments, Biggs recreates her experience of place in highly abstract ways. Her projects create playful situations that facilitate creative participation, often adapting the technology of our contemporary world—mobile audio, digital video, interactive electronics—to engage meaningfully with the physical world around us.

Biggs studied at Mills College and Princeton University and is currently a Sawyer Fellow at Harvard University.

For more information about the concert, visit wmich.edu/music or call (269) 387-4667.