Janis Mattox, composer and pianist, is a native of Minnesota and graduate of the University of Minnesota (BA) and Northwestern University (MA) in Evanston, Illinois. She began creating multi-media works merging live performance, dance, film, and interactive digital music technologies at Stanford University’s Center for Computer Research in Music and Acoustics in the early 80’s.
Her music-drama “Shaman” (1984) became the subject of a feature article in Smithsonian Magazine by Alan Rich. She was co-producer with Loren Rush and Elliot Mazer of “The Digital Domain” (1984-Elektra), a best selling classical CD which became an audio standard in the industry. Her video ballet “Book of Shadows” (1992) received over a dozen first-place awards and over fifty international screenings. Her most recent work is “Solombra” (SunShadow) – a song-cycle based on Brazilian poetry which premiered in 2005.
Awards include a Guggenheim Fellowship, four NEA fellowships and several grants from the Ross McKee Foundation for her “Music for Kids by Kids” music education project (see Links page). Mattox is co-developer with Loren Rush of The Enhanced Piano in Just Intonation and GoodSound Virtual Acoustics – music technologies featured on “Solombra”
What did the Fellowship or Laureate mean to you at the time you received it?
It was support for "Tempo Perdido," a fantasy woven from the poetry of Latin American women - for soprano and chamber ensemble.
What do you do now? Has your art evolved or changed?
I am composing "Sue?os de Medianoche," a chamber opera inspired by a Bolivian Legend. You can find samples of my compositions on my website: http://www.janismattox.com/music.html
What is one piece of advice you would give to an emerging artist?
Find good teachers and mentors and get the work out there.
Briefly, how would you describe the state of the arts locally, as well as national and beyond?
To say that artists need more support is an understatement.