Third-generation Idahoan and former expatriate, Gretchen is a performing artist concerned with electrovocal improvisation, linguistic and cultural difference in experimental performance, and presence and embodiment in computer music.
What can digital creative tools teach us about the significance of living human bodies in live performance? How might prescriptive and limiting individual identities be shifted and expanded through experimental performance practices?
In both her scholarly research and her musical work, Gretchen aims to synthesize embodied experience with the rapid changes in culture and machinery that both empower and impinge upon us.
Gretchen’s scholarly work has been published in The Journal of Engaged Pedagogy, Public Books and Sounding Out! and presented at the EMP Pop Conference, the Colloquium for Artistic Research in Performing Arts, and New Interfaces for Musical Expression. Her academic research has been supported by grants and fellowships from: the UC Davis Provost’s Office, East Asian Studies, the Consortium for Women and Research, the Mellon Research Initiative in Digital Humanities, the Dean of Humanities, Arts and Cultural Studies at UC Davis, and most recently, the University of California Pacific Rim Research Program.
As an artist, Gretchen has studied a wide range of performance practices, from free improvisation to extended vocal technique. She holds an MFA in Electronic Music & Recording Media (with the Donna Peterson Vocal Prize) from Mills College, as well as intermediate koto certification from the Sawai Koto Institute in Tokyo. Improvisatory interaction with the immediate environment forms the core of Gretchen’s musical practice.
Ongoing musical collaborations include glou glou (with Arjun Mendiratta), Eat The Sun (with Jason Hoopes and Noah Phillips) and Candy Acid (with Lona Kozik). Gretchen also works extensively with choreographers such as Anne Bluethenthal, Christine Germain, Erica Pingis, Becky Chaleff and Nina Haft. Her music has been released on cassette and CD by Full Spectrum Records and Edgetone Records.
Gretchen has taught music technology at UC Davis and University of the Pacific, and English composition at Tokyo Metropolitan University and International University of Japan.
Featured artist (with Gestaltish Quartet) at San Francisco Community Music Center sponsored by a Shenson Grant to teach a music improvisation workshop followed by an evening-length performance, June 2015.
Month-long residency at Djerassi Resident Artists Program (as Pearlman Fellow and Composer-in-Residence), in support of a project integrating the (vocalizing) body, the (sonic) environment and (digital) technology, which premiered at UC Davis, January 2014.
Presentation of experimental electrovocal work (CARPA, Theatre Academy Helsinki, February 2013) and electroacoustic work for koto (NIME13, Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology, May 2013).