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Semay Wu (sē mā wo͞o) is a composer, cellist, media/sound artist and improviser. Her compositions are drawn from electro-acoustic experiments and improvisations in sound-worlds that reflect human traits, energies, somatics and provocations. Semay’s work sits in between disciplines and focuses on the curious contrasts and sensory disturbances that materialise. Her pieces have been affiliated with devised theatre, dance, moving image, installations and performance; her own playing is as diverse, touching upon elements from the classical avante-garde, to song-structured melodies, to noise improvisations. Semay also makes and performs with visuals, presenting solo material that builds and weaves threads of sound with imagined contrasts of time, memory and space.
Semay developed her sound at the heart of Manchester’s musical communities (1996+) whilst training at the Royal Northern College of Music (with Jenny Curtis and Clive Greensmith). She further trained at the Institute of Sonology and STEIM in The Netherlands (2013-16) to focus more on electronics, placing attention on sonic and gestural languages. Her current solo projects combines DIY electronics, sensor technology, live-capture/fixed visuals, and programming through MaxMSP software.
The sabbatical year (2013-14) in The Netherlands was generously enabled by Katherine McGillivray’s Get a Life Fund. Semay sincerely acknowledges their support in catalysing and furthering her last five years of creative development that has been fundamental to her work today.
Semay also initiated a discussion series based in The Hague in 2016, re-balancing conversations around gender, equality and diversity within electronic music and sound art. New Emergences is a non-profit organisation since 2018.