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Marta Tiesenga

Baritone Sax/Composer

M.A. Tiesenga is an interdisciplinary artist whose practice delves into the intricate interplay of procedure and enaction within collaborative performance contexts, deftly shaping these dynamics through various idioms. Inspired by an affinity for the outdoors, Tiesenga draws analogies between these concepts and the art of cartography, illuminating the parallels between a map and a musical score. This exploration opens doors to musically navigate, inhabit, and realize theoretical terrains.

As a composer, visual artist, sound artist, multi-instrumentalist, and improviser, Tiesenga merges these creative identities by embracing the potential of expanded notation systems as an inquisition into new sonic possibilities. Their lifelong passion for collage, maps, puzzles, and asemic languages fuels an enchantment with encoding and decoding musical territories, allowing lexical approaches to transform into palpable expressions. Within their artistic vision, Tiesenga seeks to convey inner worlds where protocols and rules converge with intuition and mystique.

Tiesenga approaches sound-making as a collaborative exchange - central to Tiesenga's artistic inspiration is the creation of works that cultivate connection and reciprocity in contemporary music. Their understanding of the musical score as both an art object and a notated intention for performance/action facilitates the construction of modular, living landscapes that reflect the people and spaces present. Graphic scores, for Tiesenga, serve as intermediaries bridging ideas and actions, visual and aural experiences, and the externalization of internal processes. As an ardent experimentalist, they find inspiration and excitement in exploring improvisation and indeterminacy, elevating and weaving performers' agency by inviting personal interpretation into the fabric of a composition. Informed by their own extensive performance practice, Tiesenga is committed to crafting works that engage both performers and audiences alike to see their environment a little differently.

Tiesenga’s compositional collaborations include work with the Civic Orchestra of Chicago, Wild Up, Théâtre Musical Tokyo, Long Beach Opera, Kunsthalle for Music, SPEAK Percussion, Dog Star Orchestra, Ensemble Supermusique, and ensembles at the Eastman School of Music, New England Conservatory, California Institute for the Arts, Yale University, and Darmstädter Ferienkurse.

M.A. Tiesenga holds an MFA in Composition - Experimental Sound Practices and an MFA in Experimental Animation with a Concentration in Integrated Media from California Institute of the Arts, where they studied with Michael Pisaro, Sara Roberts, Eyvind Kang, Alexander Stewart, Pia Borg, and Tom Leeser. Previously, Tiesenga earned a Bachelor of Music from the Eastman School of Music in saxophone performance under the guidance of Dr. Chien-Kwan Lin.

"She draws and etches lines on paper and builds constructs of her imagination, at once magnificent and simple, whether it represents a natural scenery, a portrait or an abstract drawing. The artist writes in her statement that she explores themes of interconnectivity through the repetition of line. Her lines certainly connected with my heart and soul." - Michaela Mende Janco

Marta Tiesenga
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