Amanda Schoofs creates music that embraces presence and spontaneity while exposing the raw and intimate qualities of sound and the performing self. Infused with melody and full spectrum timbre, her acoustic and electroacoustic compositions are stunning in their visceral coherence. Her artistic practice extends through the American experimental music tradition and exists in the space between academic new music, hybrid arts, and DIY punk and noise practices. As an artistic activist her work challenges social justice disparities: sexism post #metoo, motherhood inequity, self-identity challenges, and gun violence.
Her music has been presented throughout North America, Europe, and Australia. In 2015 her composition Intimate Addictions was curated by Pulitzer Prize winner Du Yun on the world-renowned MATA Festival at The Kitchen in NYC. Amanda’s vocal performance of Intimate Addictions was hailed by the Wall Street Journal as, “fantastic theater,” and described by I Care If You Listen as, “courageously elevating the evening to an entirely different level of sophistication.”
In 2014 her music was presented throughout Germany during her Salem2Salem artist residency at Schloss Salem. While in residence, she created Esoterica, her EP for solo voice, inside a resonant underground water reservoir in the Swiss Alps. In 2015 she was awarded an artist residency at Salem Art Worksin upstate New York. There she developed Relics of this Black Earth,a partita for repurposed percussion and electronics, which has toured the United States with Pillars of Decay.
Known for her exquisitely brazen command of extended vocal techniques, and her ability to sing across stylistic genres, Amanda is frequently commissioned to create acoustic and electroacoustic works for voice. In 2019 she composed and premiered Black Snake Root, a partita for voice and electronics, in collaboration with Kevin Schlei. The evening-length body of work highlights melody and counterpoint while utilizing radical twenty-first century technology.
Amanda is founder and Artistic Director of Sensoria: Experiments in Sound and Performance, currently celebrating its fifth season. The series is designed to spark dialogue within the community, support new artistic collaborations, and commission the creation of innovative works while promoting an expansive understanding of new music. Amanda curates cutting-edge composers, performers, and ensembles, and directs Sensoria’s Performing Artist-in-Residence program. Sensoria residencies emphasize community engagement through open workshops, public discussions, and free concerts. The series highlights original research, creativity, and experimental practices through live performance. Music, sound art, and time-based media works are featured on Sensoria, which encourages the use of new technologies and the expansion of the boundaries of organized sound and performance.
An invested academic, Amanda was a Transdisciplinary Challenge Fellow at Center for 21st Century Studies, researching the cross-disciplinary intersections of language. As Senior Lecturer of Composition & Technology at University of Wisconsin–Milwaukee, she directs Contemporary Music Ensemble and teaches music composition, analog and digital technology, experimental improvisation, and materials of music theory. A proud Mills College alumna, she earned her MA from studying with luminaries: Pauline Oliveros, Roscoe Mitchell, Zeena Parkins, Joëlle Léandre, and Fred Frith.
photo credits: Paul Mitchell
All photos of Amanda Schoofs; Above is Schoofs performing with contemporary pianist Ann Yi