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Born in Chengdu, Sichuan, China, and currently based in San Francisco, Ningxin Zhang is an award-winning electroacoustic composer, pipa/electric pipa player, multimedia artist, music software developer, and electronic instrument designer.

 

Ningxin's academic journey is as diverse as her artistic pursuits. She started her higher education at Hong Kong Baptist University, majoring in Translation, Interpreting, and Intercultural Studies, laying a foundation for her multicultural expressions in music. Her passion for fusing traditional music with contemporary sounds led her to the Berklee College of Music, focusing on Electronic Production and Design and Creative Coding. She is now studying at Stanford University's Center for Computer Research in Music and Acoustics (CCRMA), delving into Music, Science, and Technology.

As an electroacoustic composer and multimedia artist, Ningxin has crafted a portfolio of compositions with her unique sonic aesthetics and experiments.

Her notable compositions include Kagemusha: for Pipa and Electronics (影 — 為琵琶和電子音樂而作), which won 2nd for the SWEETWATER/SEAMUS Award. This piece, along with her other significant works such as Travelers among Mountains and Streams (谿山行旅), The World of the Spectacles (景觀世界), Is It Better to Speak, or Die?, I'm Sitting in the Wood (我坐在⼀棵⽊頭中), Interrupted Dream in the Garden (遊園驚夢), have been featured at the New York City Electroacoustic Music Festival, SEAMUS National Conference, the Interdisciplinary Conference on Musical Media, the International Csound Conference, Center for Computer Research in Music and Acoustics Concerts, etc.

As an electronic instrument designer, Ningxin has been focusing on sound synthesis and has published a paper Using a Waveguide to Model the Pipa in Csound at the 6th International Csound Conference, which used the waveguide synthesis method to model the timbre of the traditional Chinese instrument pipa, winning her Max Matthews Award. Ningxin has also developed versatile software instruments and audio processing tools that can be used as standalone applications, AU plugins, and VST plugins. Besides, by combining Csound, Teensy, and Bela Sensors, Ningxin has designed her custom controller to perform live electronic music.

 

Ningxin actively performs as a pipa and electric pipa player at many concerts, including performances of her electroacoustic work at CCRMA'S annual Transitions Concert, original multichannel audio-visual works at the Interdisciplinary Arts Institute, microtonal music at the Micro-jam concert with the Planet MicroJam Institute, traditional Chinese music at the International Folk Festival, etc.

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