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Karen Power is a contemporary Irish composer, educator, and improviser whose work creates feedback loops between everyday, environmental sounds and acoustic and electroacoustic composition.
As a doctoral candidate at Belfast's Sonic Arts Research Centre, Power sought to develop an integrated acoustic and electroacoustic compositional language that maximized the respective strengths of both genres. This commitment to an intersectional approach is made apparent in her body of work, which ranges from installation to orchestral composition, sculpture, dance, and video. As the recipient of a prestigious DAAD artist fellowship for 2015 – 2016, Power's current project involves mining empty industrial buildings and modern complexes along the Spree for urban sounds that fly under the radar. In 2014, she traveled to the Arctic on a sound-gathering mission, grooming ice blocks with microphones and using hydrophones to pick up noises and movement under planes of ice. Power has also held residencies at the Banff Centre in Canada, the Guesthouse in Ireland, and the University of California Davis, and is the recipient of numerous awards and honourary mentions both within and outside Ireland.
As an educator, Power encourages children to create their own compositions using self-made instruments and improvisational techniques. "Children are intuitively open," she explains, "and my aim is to introduce new sounds and musical experiences, and draw out creative impulses." Her first CD release, It Is Raining While You Listen, arrived via Farpoint Recordings in 2014 with sleeve notes by choreographer and collaborator Mary Nunan, Chris Watson, and David Toop.