rama gottfried in ircam's espace de projection composing for the WFS/HOA system




Rama Gottfried’s recent works aim to increase our sensitivity to the web of relations that connect humans and the other animate and inanimate entities that surround us. His pieces are conceived as scenographic worlds — bodies with voices that move and interact in physical and immaterial environments, constructed from the medias of acoustic and electronic instrumental performance, puppet-, object-, material-theater, live-cinema, and the site-specific performance context. Brought to life through the collaborative actions of human and nonhuman performers, the works attempt to absorb the audience and physical space, subtly expanding our awareness of detail.

Born in New York in 1977, Rama grew up in Burlington, Vermont, where he began instrumental and electronic music training at an early age, and pursued visual art studies before shifting focus to music composition. After moving to New York City in 2001, he joined Ensemble Pamplemousse, collaborating with the group from 2003-2013 on developing approaches to the merging of sound, installation, and performance arts.

Rama’s works have been featured at Lincoln Center's Mostly Mozart Festival, MaerzMusik, SPOR, Bludenzer Tage zeitgemäßer Musik, MATA, Klangwerkstatt, rainy days, and Ultima festivals, among others, and he has created sound installations for the Berliner Congress Center, Complice, Mino Washi Paper Museum, Stadtbad-Wedding, and the Pacific Basin Building.

His first composition teachers were Ernest Stires, Justin Dello Joio, and Nils Vigeland, while studying at the University of Vermont, New York University, and the Manhattan School of Music. In 2009 he completed a Meisterschüler at the Universität der Künste Berlin, where he studied composition with Walter Zimmermann, and in 2015 he received his PhD in Music Composition and New Media from the University of California, Berkeley, where he studied composition with Franck Bedrossian, and interactive computer music with David Wessel, Edmund Campion and Adrian Freed at the Center for New Music and Audio Technologies (CNMAT).

In 2012, Rama was awarded the UC Berkeley George Ladd Composition Prize, and was selected for the musical-research residency at the Institut de Recherche et Coordination Acoustique/Musique (IRCAM) studying instrumental approaches to spatial audio technologies. In 2017, he was in residence at IRCAM and Zentrum für Kunst und Medientechnologie (ZKM) working on notation and audio/visual performance systems for spatial movement.

Since 2018, Rama has been working at the Hochschule für Musik und Theater Hamburg as a Postdoctoral Researcher and Lecturer in the Department of Multimedia Composition, and in 2021 Rama joined the Hochschule für Musik Carl Maria von Weber Dresden’s Hybrid Musik Lab, where he is developing courses in audio/visual media performance practices.


(Photo of Rama working in IRCAM's Espace de Projection by Melanie Challe, 2012)