About

Miriama Young is a composer, sound artist, and writer, on the faculty of University of Melbourne Conservatorium of Music (VCA & MCM).

Miriama writes music for film, dance, radio, live electronics and fixed media, voices and instruments. She has a particular interest in composing for the voice, in work that ranges from opera to song cycle to spoken word.

Her scholarly work examines the human voice and recording technology, and a monograph on this subject, Singing the Body Electric (Ashgate) is listed in the Times Higher Education Best Books of 2015.

Miriama Young’s work explores the voice & the body in music, sound art & prose. This occurs through direct physical engagement in sound art installations (Solstice Lamp, an interactive sound and light experience for Vivid Sydney 2013); or through opera (Zen Story for Scottish Opera); or art song (Inner Voices of Blue); or though spoken word (The Prime Cut; 1, 000 Kisses; Speak Volumes); and sometimes using new technologies in conjunction with the voice, utilising bespoke hardware (Chatterbox, Titlipur); as well as representations of the synthesised voice and its mimicry (The Point of Contact); her work also explores the inverse: voiceless music (Speechless – The Polar Realm).

Miriama’s instrumental and vocal works are performed by ensembles stretching from Norway to New Zealand. Her music is commissioned and programmed in the USA, UK, New Zealand, Europe, Australia, including performances by Scottish Opera, HD Duo, So Percussion, New Millennium EnsembleQuey Percussion, the  Nash Ensemble New Jersey Symphony Orchestra, Stroma, the  Yesaroun’ DuoStrike Percussion, and Now Ensemble, and at the Bang on a Can Summer Institute at MassMoca. Her installations have featured in New York City’s Puffin Room and Gallery 138. Her music has featured on National Public Radio USA, National Radio NZ, Resonance FM London and ABC Australia. She has held artist residencies at Yaddo and MacDowell Colonies.

Originally from New Zealand, Miriama graduated with a B.A. in History and B.Mus. (1st Class Hons.) from Victoria University of Wellington (NZSM). In 2000 she pursued [post]graduate work in the United States on a Fulbright Award, and gained her PhD in Music Composition at Princeton University (2007). Previous posts include University of Aberdeen (2007-2012); University of Sydney Conservatorium of Music (2012-2013); and UNSW (2013-2015).

Her teachers have included Jack Body, John Young, John Psathas, Ross Harris, Elaine Barkin, Barbara White, Paul Lansky, Dan Trueman, Steve Mackey, Dmitri Tymoczko.