Season 2: Episode 4

Season 2: Episode 4

Musician Pamela Z talks about listening


In this episode I spoke with composer, performer, and media artist Pamela Z, about her process of collecting sounds to create compositions, using samples from the environment, interviews and her own voice. Her practice has shown her that observing is an active role. We spoke about how a work is not truly finished until an audience has heard it.

Usually, you think of an observation in a sense of a person who sits quietly in the corner and they are not participating. They’re just observing. But I think that observing itself can be an extremely active thing. And I think people can get a lot by being observant.

– Pamela Z

Listen Here


Pamela Z is a composer/performer and media artist who makes solo works combining a wide range of vocal techniques with electronic processing, samples, gesture activated MIDI controllers, and video. She has toured extensively throughout the US, Europe, and Japan. Her work has been presented at venues and exhibitions including Bang on a Can (NY), the Japan Interlink Festival, Other Minds (SF), the Venice Biennale, and the Dakar Biennale. She’s created installations and has composed scores for dance, film, and chamber ensembles (including Kronos Quartet). Her awards include the Rome Prize, a Guggenheim Fellowship, the Doris Duke Artist Impact Award, the Robert Rauschenberg Foundation residency, the Herb Alpert Award, and an Ars Electronica honorable mention, and the NEA/Japan-US Fellowship.


Recorded at 

Photo credits: main image courtesy of Ars Electronica; headshot Lori Eanes