5.5 Questions for Stephanie Cheng Smith

1. What led you to the kind of work you make now?   Musically, I grew up a violinist, but I was always interested in technology and programming. I studied experimental sound practices at CalArts, and that gave me the time and space to experiment with combining my musical and technical interests. It’s taken shape in two branches: making installations and instruments (i.e. the bell controller) and improvising with a combination of violin, laptop, and synthesizer. The instrument-making arose…


1. What led you to the kind of work you make now?

Like most singers I got my start as a young musician in chorus and musical theater, which was very much in line with my own interests in literature and story-telling. Most of my work for the last few years has been focused on creating narrative pieces for vocal ensembles, but recently I’ve turned my attention to voice and electronics. Mostly it started as a practical choice. I…

5.5 Questions for Laura Steenberge

1. What led you to the work you’re making now?

My current output is usually some reinvention of whatever my input was from a few years back. At that time, I was learning about medieval Byzantine chant and Japanese papermaking.

2. Who are some other musicians and/or artists you admire and why?

The Roches for their harmonies. Laurence Crane and Powerdove (Annie Lewandowski) for their austerity. Jerry Hunt for his commitment.

3. What are you listening to these days?


1. A relationship between the body and voice is very present in your performances, but you also produce audio recordings. When conceiving new work, is there a point where you decide “this is going to be a performance” or “this is going exist solely as audio”, and how do you make that decision?

My earlier audio recordings were field recording collages, mainly. For a while I spent a lot of time fascinated by the sounds around me and tried…