Michelle Yom

Programs & Initiatives

Michelle Yom is a scholar, composer, performer, and organizer interested in creating experiences and fostering dialogue between poetry, music, and theater in relation to social movements and artistic innovation. As a musicologist, she is developing the idea of the 'Monkian Sign' through archival sources documenting the music of Cecil Taylor in the 1960s and 70s to connect memory and imagination with sound and musical articulation. Her research has been presented at the annual meetings of the American Musicological Society, Society for American Music, and Society of Music Theory as well as Black Portraiture[s], Documenting Jazz, Performing Indeterminacy, Performing Knowledge, and Disciplines Clash! Conferences. Yom's scholarly pursuits intertwine with her artistic and curatorial practice.

Before New York, Yom was active in Berlin as a sound artist, improvising flutist, and composer with The Awful Plastics (with Eddy Levin, Coral Short & Jean P'ark), Trucmuche (ensemble of circuit-bent toys & Max patches), the LEMM Quartet (with Loïc Bertrand, Emilio Gordoa, & Markus Pesonen), & Z'Oxyd (with Loïc Bertrand & the late Danny O'Really), as well as in a duo with surrealist and objects amplifier Johannes Bergmark and her solo setup referred to as 'inside flute,' a preparation of amplified flute, piccolo, and bass flute developed to hear the tiny soundworlds of the inner walls of flutes animated by the breath. While in Berlin, Yom also created music for plays produced by Hot Air Productions, composed chamber music, organized concerts, and embarked on archival research upon discovering the immensity of unpublished concert recordings of Cecil Taylor.

Yom has also worked as a choir director in the public education system in Texas, where she performed as Doggebi (with SPIKE the Percussionist), lent her flute playing for the funk/reggae/jazz band the Free Radicals, and participated in workshops by Nameless Sound, an arts organization where she was exposed to the breadth of music at the 'border' of composition and improvisation and learned the value of the work of nonprofit arts organizations for marginalized forms of musicking and being.