Audrey Chen is a Chinese American musician who was born into a family of material scientists, doctors and engineers, outside of Chicago, in 1976. Parting ways with the family convention, she turned to the cello at age 8 and voice at 11. After years of classical and conservatory training in both instruments, with a resulting specialization in early and new music, she parted ways again in 2003 to begin new negotiations with sound in order to discover a more individually honest aesthetic.
Now, using the cello, voice, and analog electronics, Chen’s work delves deeply into her own version of narrative and non-linear storytelling. A large component of her music is improvised and her approach to this is extremely personal and visceral. Her playing explores the combination and layering of a homemade analog synthesizer, preparations and traditional and extended techniques in both the voice and cello. She works to join these elements into a singular ecstatic personal language.
Over the past decade, her predominant focus has been her solo work with the cello, voice and electronics, but she has more recently begun to shift back towards the exploration of the voice as a primary instrument.
Among musicians she has worked with are Phil Minton, Tetuzi Akiyama, Toshimaru Nakamura, Ko Ishikawa, Tomomi Adachi, Matana Roberts, Elliott Sharp, Aki Onda, Phill Niblock, Frederic Blondy, Jerome Noetinger, C. Spencer Yeh, Nate Wooley, Mats Gustafsson, Mazen Kerbaj, Michael Zerang, Tatsuya Nakatani, Le Quan Ninh, Joe Mcphee, Susan Alcorn, Michele Doneda, Paolo Angeli, Dylan Nyoukis, Id M Theft Able, plus many more.
Recent projects, aside from performing solo, include her voice-only duo with London-based artist, Phil Minton, and a collaborative project with German conceptual artist, John Bock. Two new album releases in 2013 include, a quartet LP with Nate Wooley, C. Spencer Yeh and Todd Carter on Monotype (Warsaw), and a duo record with Phil Minton on Subrosa (Brussels).
Chen has performed across Europe, Russia, Ukraine, Turkey, Australia, New Zealand, China, Japan, Taiwan, Brazil, Canada and the United States. In 2011, in addition to her performances, she was awarded the prestigious Mary Sawyers Baker Prize, an award that was established to support individual artists living, and working in Maryland. In 2011, she relocated to Berlin, Germany from Baltimore, MD, and continues to maintain an active international touring schedule.
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