In addition to recent
electronic music compositions for CD and radio, Michelle's catalog of
works includes numerous compositions that feature live acoustic
performance, natural environments, costume objects, found objects,
dance, theater, sculpture and video. Her work has been supported
by the American Composers Forum, Harvestworks, The Jerome Foundation,
The McKnight Foundation, Meet the Composer and Rensselaer Polytechnic
A graduate of Bennington College, located in rural Vermont, Michelle has had the opportunity to study with composers John Luther Adams, Joel Chadabe, Bun Ching Lam, Allen Shawn and Yung Wha Son as well as video/installation artist Tony Carruthers and sculptor Sue Rees. Significant influences since that time include composers Pauline Oliveros, R. Murray Schaffer, Hildegard Westerkamp and La Monte Young and light artist Marian Zazeela.
Michelle Nagai has worked closely with artists from a range of creative disciplines, including DD Dorvillier, Jenifer Monson and Daria Fain (dance), Peter Jacobs (theater), Thomas Dunn (light) and Anthony Cafritz (sculpture). Her sound, movement and costume design collaborations have been featured in NYC at Chashama, The Kitchen, PS 122, Judson Church and Dancespace, in Boston at Mobius and at other venues throughout the US and Canada.
As an improviser on the double bass, Michelle has played in ensembles led by Aurthur Brooks, Daniel Carter, Charles Gayle, Raphe Malik and Sabir Mateen and has performed in numerous NYC venues including the Cooler, CBGBs Gallery, ABC No Rio, Collective Unconscious, Galapagos and The Matzoh Factory. After a brief tenure in the anarchy/noise group the Rats she joined with Craig Flanagin and other members from God is My Co-Pilot to form the short-lived trip-hop ensemble Bait & Switch and later Accao Total, with Flanigan, Manuel Mota on guitar and Margarida Garcia, also on double bass.
Active as an educator and sound ecologist, Michelle has facilitated workshops, talks and events for adults, high school and college age students in soundwalking and listening practices, multimedia performance, improvisation and costume design. Nagai is a founding member of the American Society for Acoustic Ecology (ASAE) and co-chair of the NY Chapter of the ASAE (NYSAE). She is also one of a small group of artists selected by the Brooklyn-based transmission arts collective free103point9 to represent that organization in festivals, performances and conferences throughout the world.
Born in San Juan, Puerto Rico in 1974 and transplanted to New England in the blizzard of 1978, Michelle Nagai currently makes her home in Brooklyn, New York.
List of Contributors