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Semay Wu (sē mā wo͞o) is a composer, media artist, cellist & performer. Her compositions are drawn from experiments and improvisations of sound-worlds that reflect human traits, mindsets, energies, somatics and provocations. Semay works with all complex sounds derived from our natural world to man-made constructions, and composes (electro-acoustically) around the curious contrasts and sensory disturbances that materialise. Her pieces have been affiliated with devised theatre, dance, and other visual platforms such as moving image, and performance art; and her performances are 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 draws on a multi-elemental format, building and weaving threads of sound with imagined contrasts of time, memory and space.
Semay developed her signature voice at the heart of Manchester’s musical communities (1996+) whilst also training at the Royal Northern College of Music (with Jenny Curtis and Clive Greensmith). She trained further at the Institute of Sonology and STEIM in The Netherlands (2013-16) to increase her focus on electronics, researching concepts and processes which placed her attention between sonic and gestural-physical languages. Her current solo projects use DIY electronics using sensor (and Ipson) technology, live-capture/fixed visuals, video-art, and programming through MaxMSP software.
The first sabbatical year 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 Wu also initiated the New Emergences discussion series, based in The Hague. The series began in March 2016, addressing the need to openly discuss issues around gender, equality and diversity within electronic music and sound art. New Emergences has now become a Foundation as of May 2018.