B i o g r a p h y
Sang Mi Ahn (b.1979) is a composer of both acoustic and electro-acoustic mediums. Her acoustic music encompasses a wide range of styles including tonal, contemplative, jazz-influenced, atmospheric, spectral, and miniaturist styles. Ahn believes that music is capable of affecting the listener directly, regardless of whether it is written in a simple or complex musical language. In her experiments with electronic music, she has become more interested in the interaction between the intrinsic qualities of electronic and acoustic music and using their unique aspects to express the intricacies of mixed emotions.
Ahn enjoys collaborating with performers because she believes that a synergetic approach often results in works that are deeply informed by the performers’ experiences. Ahn is also interested in extending the sound world of her acoustic works by using techniques inspired by the acoustic possibilities of electronic music. In her orchestral work, Valley of Dry Bones, she explores the use of peripheral noise as a way to express both the physical and spiritual environment describing the resurrection of dry bones in the biblical passage from Ezekiel 37.
Her awards include winner of the Indiana University Dean's Prize in Composition, the 31st Republic of Korea Composition Prize, the Heckscher International Composition Prize, the Judith Lang Zaimont Prize at the Competition of The International Alliance for Women in Music (IAWM), winner of the Women Composers Festival of Hartford International Composition Competition, and second prize at the Sixth International Musical Composition Contest held by the Long Island Arts Council at Freeport.
Ahn's works have been featured in festivals and conferences across the United States as well as in Europe and Asia, including the World Saxophone Congress, the SEAMUS National Conference, the International Trumpet Guild Conference (ITG), the Australasian Computer Music Conference (ACMC), the International Computer Music Conference (ICMC), Symposium on Acoustic Ecology, International Experimental Film and Video Festival in Seoul (EXiS), The 3rd International Summer Music Academy (Kavala, Greece), OLE.01 Festival, MUSLAB, eviMus, N_SEME, CSUF New Music Festival, Sweet Thunder Festival of Electro-Acoustic Music, Midwest Composers Symposium, the Americas Society, and at the North American Saxophone Alliance Biennial Conference (NASA).
Ahn completed a Doctor of Music degree in Composition from Indiana University, where she also earned her Master of Music in Composition and served as an Associate Instructor in Music Theory. Her teachers at Indiana include Claude Baker, Don Freund, David Dzubay, P. Q. Phan, Aaron Travers, John Gibson (electro-acoustic), Jeffrey Hass (electro-acoustic), and Alicyn Warren (electro-acoustic). Ahn serves as a member of the Advisory Committee for the School of Humanities and Language Studies of Caritas Institute of Higher Education, Hong Kong. She teaches as a Lecturer at Yonsei University and at Korea National University of Arts, South Korea.