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CompFest 2024: Ecologies of Sound

Each year, Emory CompFest brings innovative national and international musicians to Emory, where they work with students and faculty and present their music in concert to the greater-Atlanta community. We seek artists who work in ways that expand traditional compositional frameworks and who can offer exciting and meaningful creative exchanges with the community. This year’s CompFest is a special collaboration organized jointly with Georgia Tech’s School of Music. 

CompFest 2024: Ecologies of Sound presents a series of performances and other events that examine our sonic relationships to the more-than-human world and our planet’s dramatically shifting soundscape. The festival will feature the music of Annea Lockwood, a legendary composer, sound artist, and acoustic ecologist and member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters, who is renowned for her focus on the effects of sound in our environments (as chronicled in this recent Science Friday feature). Headlining this year’s CompFest is the internationally acclaimed New York-based piano and percussion quartet Yarn/Wire that New York Classical Review said "may well be the most important new music ensemble on the classical scene today."  Along with Lockwood’s music, the ensemble will perform the Fromm Foundation-supported premiere by Emory faculty composer Katherine Young of BIOMES 6.0, as well as a new work by Tech graduate composer Lauren McCall. During their residency, Yarn/Wire will also work with student composers, performers, and technologists at both institutions, and these collaborations will be featured on the concerts.

Beyond the concert hall, the festival will engage the public in soundwalks, listening stations, and panel discussions with musicians, scholars, and scientists - including David Haskell and Andrea Bohlman - investigating the ways in which music and sound can amplify our attention to and stewardship of the world around us.



Thursday, February 8, 2024 - Listening Event #1: Creativity Conversation

Festival artists in conversation with scientists and scholars from Emory (participants still being confirmed) 

Time and location TBD, Emory University 


Friday, February 9, 2024 - Listening Event #2: Public Discussion & Workshop

Conversation between musicians, scientists and scholars from Georgia Tech (participants still being confirmed) 

Time and location TBD, Georgia Tech


Friday, February 9, 2024 - Listening Event #3: Concert

Yarn/Wire performs Annea Lockwood’s Into the Vanishing Point, a new work by Tech graduate composer Lauren McCall, and in collaboration with the Tech Laptop Orchestra

7:30 PM - West Village, GA Tech


Saturday, February 10, 2024 - Listening Event #4: Concert

Yarn/Wire performs the world premiere of Katherine Young’s BIOMES’s 6.0 and Annea Lockwood’s Bayou Borne; Emory student performers play Emory student composers’ works coached by Yarn/Wire; listening stations with microphones installed on trees near the venue

7:30 PM - around Emory University campus and the Performing Arts Studio (PAS), Emory University


Sunday, February 11, 2024 - Listening Event #4: Sonic Explorations

Soundwalks and site-specific listening events throughout Emory’s campus and community (details forthcoming)

Time and locations around Emory University campus TBD 



Thursday, February 8, 2024

2:30-3:45 - Annea Lockwood - open rehearsal / masterclass on her piece “Bayou Borne,” performed by members of Yarn/Wire, Katherine Young, and selected students.

During the day on Thursday, Y/W will also conduct masterclass coachings with Emory student composers and performers on their collaboratively devised pieces. These coachings will prepare the students for the premiere performance on Saturday. These masterclasses will be open to all Emory students.


Friday, February 9, 2024 

The workshop/discussion and concert at GA Tech will connect Emory students with students and faculty on that campus, and will be open to all Emory students. Carpooling and shuttle options will be organized to facilitate transit between campuses.


Saturday, February 10, 2024 

Three Emory student composers and three student performers will perform collaboratively devised pieces on the concert, sharing the bill with Yarn/Wire’s presentation of music by Lockwood and Young.


Sunday, February 11, 2024

Emory Ecology and Dr. Katherine Young will work together to lead a listening and nature walk through parts of campus or nearby public spaces. Outdoor installation and performance pieces created by students from the music and art departments will be installed throughout campus.


These events are co-sponsored by the Emory University Music Department, Integrated Visual Arts program, and Department of Environmental Sciences in collaboration with GA Tech School of Music, School of Design, and Environmental Sciences program. This project is sponsored in part by Emory Arts, Emory's CFDE Public Scholarship Fund, and the Hightower Fund, as well as the Fromm Foundation at Harvard University.