Carolyn Chen: Assembling Bodies

Assembling Bodies is a portrait concert featuring seven works by the Academy’s spring 2020 Inga Maren Otto Fellow in Music Composition, Carolyn Chen. The pieces, composed between 2009 and 2021, include instrumental music, reading, moving images, and movement for listening bodies.


Stomachs of Ravens
flute: Berglind Tómasdottir

bodies: Jessica Aszodi, Richard Valitutto

Hand catching flour
clarinet, sho, percussions: Michiko Ogawa
film by Lyndsay Bloom, featuring Jo Stewart

This is a scream
Carolyn Chen


Private Ocean
percussion: Jennifer Torrence
Video by Carolyn Chen, with Edith Allweil and images by Anne Cecilie Lie

How to Assemble a
with Jennifer Torrence, Sam Dunscombe, Berglind Tómasdottir, Neo Hülcker, Tal Allweil, Carolyn Chen

Southern v. Northern lion
piano: Richard Valitutto

Signs of Struggle
bodies: Jennifer Torrence, Neo Hülcker, Carolyn Chen, Tal Allweil

Carolyn Chen is a composer, sound artist, and performance artist based in Los Angeles, California. She was the Spring 2020 Inga Maren Otto Fellow in Music Composition at the American Academy in Berlin. Chen’s work reconfigures everyday sounds in order to reorient listeners’ aural habits, using a blend of sound, text, light, image, and movement. For over a decade, her studies of the guqin, the Chinese seven-string zither traditionally played for private meditation in nature, have informed her thinking on listening in social spaces. Chen places traditional instruments in conversation with everyday objects and recorded sounds, and invites participation in musical games and live installations.

performer: Berglind TómasdottirCarolyn ChenJennifer TorrenceJessica AszodiMichiko OgawaNeo HülckerRichard ValituttoSam Dunscombe, Tal Allweil

Tuesday, May 17
Doors: 7 pm / 7.30 pm
Free admission / Registration for the event here