I am an ethnomusicologist, sound artist, and filmmaker. I study voices.
My research examines listening, instrumentality, and sonic-musical expression in the Tyva Republic (Russia) and Sayan-Altai Mountain region of Inner Asia. I am a student of vocal-instrumental music practices referred to by my teachers as xöömei, kargyraa, and sygyt in the Tyva Republic and surrounding regions. I also research the social life of music, sound, and mobility in the Altai Mountain transboundary region (Russia-Mongolia-China) and am working on a sensory study of sound and atmosphere with American astronauts and Russian cosmonauts in space flight vehicles.
Throughout my work, I engage with sound and music as experience and practice. I sing and compose music, listen critically with archives, do self-reflexive ethnography, make sound art, and collaborate on films and writing projects. I have presented my research at conferences of the Society for Ethnomusicology, the Central Eurasian Studies Society, the International Council for Traditional Music, the American Anthropological Association, and the International Convention of Asian Scholars. My research collaborator Victoria Soyan Peemot and I produced an ethnographic film entitled Taming the Foals: Animals and Rituals among Tyvans in Western Mongolia that was screened at both the University of Helsinki and the Tuvan Center for the Humanities and Applied Social-Economic Sciences in Kyzyl, Tyva Republic (Russia). I have also worked as a sound artist with performance-makers at FlyTrap Studios (Oakland), Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, CounterPulse, Z-Space (San Francisco), Los Angeles Live Arts, and Dock 11 (Berlin).
I am currently a visiting postdoctoral scholar in the Department of Music at Stanford University supported by a Social Sciences Research Council (SSRC) Transregional Research fellowship called InterAsian Contexts and Connections. I received my Bachelor of Arts in Music at Pomona College and my MA/PhD in Ethnomusicology from the University of California at Berkeley, where I studied music with a number of mentors and from a variety of perspectives. After graduating from Berkeley, I worked for three years as a postdoctoral fellow in the Department of Music and Center for Russian and East European Studies at the University of Pittsburgh, where I taught courses in global music studies, music and sound in Central Eurasia, and led a graduate seminar on theorizing voice. My work has been supported by a Thomas J. Watson Fellowship, a CLS Critical Languages Scholarship (for Russian), an American Councils Combined Research and Language Training Fellowship (for Tyvan), and a Mellon/ACLS Dissertation Completion Fellowship.
Thank you for visiting my website! I look forward to connecting with you.