Developing the Next Generation of Music

Faculty Members Sivan Cohen Elias and Matthew Rahaim Awarded Prestigious UMN Imagine Grants
Sivan Cohen Elias (left) and Matthew Rahaim (right)

Innovative projects created by School of Music faculty members are an important pillar of academic success. We’re proud to announce that faculty members Sivan Cohen Elias and Matthew Rahaim were recently awarded the prestigious Imagine Grant from the University of Minnesota, given to a select handful of faculty members across the University. These projects will bring increased awareness and visibility to the groundbreaking work that School of Music faculty members are committed to producing.  

Elias will collaborate with two other performers, Lauren Siess and Cole Bluoin on the recording of an experimental electroacoustic album. The project will combine African instruments, such as the kazoo and kalimba, with Western instruments like the viola, electric guitar, piccolo, sound objects, and DIY vibration devices. This will all be manipulated and infused with real-time audio processing, sampling, and no-input mixer techniques. 

“The 70-minute album is designed to sonically illustrate an image of a world that is melting.” Elias explained. “By zooming in and out of imaginary scenes within that apocalyptic world, we discover its sounds and actions.” 

This spring, Matthew Rahim’s project will focus on a set of event scores for improvisational performance that tinker with protocols for relationality. These exercises are both interventions and experiments; they offer an occasion for grounded critical reflection on the relational conditions of everyday interaction (contestation, rapport, listening, vulnerability, ritual, consensus, dissensus, etc). As part of this project, Rahaim will be teaching a seminar called Improvising Relationality (MUS8640) in which students will develop their own improvisational performance exercises in an experimental spirit.

The Imagine Fund, created by the Executive Vice President and Provost, was established in 2007 through a generous gift from the McKnight Foundation to provide competitive financial support for research and scholarship in the arts, humanities, and design at the University of Minnesota. The creation of the Imagine Fund was driven by a strategic commitment to increase the impact and visibility of faculty work centered in arts, humanities, and design. To read more, visit this page

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