Renée T. Coulombe
B.A. Botany 1986, Connecticut College
M.A. Music Composition 1991, Columbia University
Ph.D. Music Composition 1998, University of California, San Diego
Phone: (951) 827-2176
Office: ARTS 140
Renée T. Coulombe is a musician of considerable breadth, working as composer, performer, improviser and scholar in varying combinations. Her works bring together diverse influences and genres, challenging the borders of traditional composition. They range from instrumental and vocal writing to large-scale structured improvisations, multimedia performance art, and interactive/improvisative works utilizing digital technologies. Her solo violin tour-de-force, Satori, composed for violinist Mark Menzies, has been performed in venues from New Zealand to Japan to Boise, Idaho; and was featured in Southwest Chamber Music's Composer Portraits in the 21st Century series on January 19, 2003 at the Armory Art Center, Pasadena, CA. In 2003 she received a commission to compose a work for Ensemble Sospeso's "American Voices" concert in New York. Over the past decade, her works have been performed across the United States, Europe, Asia and Oceania, and have been broadcast internationally on Concert FM 92.5. She has also been a featured composer at Festivals in the United States and Europe, and a Guest Composer at Spectrum Press. She has been a guest on several news and cultural radio programs, including "These Days" and "The Lounge" on KPBS (89.5 NPR) in San Diego.In 2001, she co-founded the Los Angeles-based free improvisation collective Erroneous Funk which crosses traditional genre boundaries between free jazz, funk, “avant” tonality and noise. Appearing at venues from the California Institute for the Arts to the Viper Room on the Sunset Strip in Los Angeles, their music has been heard on KPFK Radio in Los Angeles, and featured in an hour-long interview/performance on KPBS's "The Lounge" in San Diego, CA. Efunk regularly collaborates with a number of diverse artists from Jazz Tabla Legend Badal Roy, DJ/composer Sean Griffin and dancer/choreographer Susan Rose to poet Quincy Troupe. Her work both as solo artist and founder of Erroneous Funk has received support from the Ford Foundation, the New York State Council on the Arts, UC Intercampus Research in the Arts, and the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. In 2004 she brought together the intermedia digital collective Adaptable Girl, a cross-disciplinary, installation-based art collective presenting experimental rave/performances blending dance, video installation, performance and visual art, all with a digital DJ and live electronic music.Her work seeks to re-envision the relationship between instrument and performer, performer and audience, audience and composer. This preoccupation with the act of performance, and the "physicality" of making sound stretches back to her first days of composition study, when she began instrumental and electronic music composition concurrently at the Conservatoire Nationale de la Region in Nantes. She returned to the states and continued to study both traditional and electronic music composition at Connecticut College (BA 1986), and in the Masters Program at Columbia University in New York (MA 1991). At the University of California, San Diego (Ph.D. 1998), she expanded her studies to include critical theory and improvisation, often applying the insights gained in those practices to her compositions.
Currently an Assistant Professor of Music Theory and Composition at the University of California, Riverside, she teaches courses in composition, 20th century music history, the history of theory, critical theory and free improvisation. She founded and directs the UCR Free Improvisation Ensemble. She also serves as the Faculty Coordinator for Music in the Gluck Fellowship Program, an outreach program through the Gluck Foundation that presents several hundred free performances each year at schools, civic groups, nursing homes, and other community organizations.
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