Vocalist, multi-instrumental electronic musician, composer and multimedia artist Christina Wheeler’s musical explorations have included forays in techno, house, 2-step, drum and bass, breakbeat, soul, dance hall, dub, ambient, free jazz and improvisational forms. In her live solo electronic performances, she blends an organic, fluid amalgam of improvised electronic music from a variety of sound sources, which include: processed vocals and vocal loops, hand-triggered sampler playing, processed four-octave electric mbira, processed electric autoharp, processed Q-Chord and theremin, sofware instruments, and live effects processing. Previous band projects include Wiremouth, Floating People, and BlowOut, and current and recent projects include solo song-cycle series, solo instrumental improvisational compositions, The Magical Garden, an ensemble-based multi-media performance/ generative installation project, and collaborations with Laraaji, Vernon Reid, Hprizm/Priest, Greg Tate, and Satch Hoyt.
A native of Los Angeles, California, Ms. Wheeler is a graduate of Harvard and Radcliffe Colleges, and Manhattan School of Music. She has performed and recorded internationally in collaboration with a variety of artists, including Vernon Reid, John Cale, Jamie Lidell, Murcof, A Guy Called Gerald, Swayzak, DJ Logic, DJ Olive and Lloop of We™, Marc Ribot, Chris Whitley, Zeena Parkins, John Carter, Fred Hopkins, and Andrea Parkins. Ms. Wheeler was also a featured artist with David Byrne, whose band toured the U.S., Europe and South America, performed on The Late Show with David Letterman, as well as on PBS’s Sessions at West 54th Street series. Ms. Wheeler also sang at Central Park Summerstage's Joni’s Jazz benefit concert (featuring the music of Joni Mitchell) along with Chaka Khan, PM Dawn, Ravi Coltrane and Vernon Reid.
Ms. Wheeler has presented her solo, collaborative, and band performances at a variety of local venues in New York City, including P.S. 1, Roseland, Bowery Ballroom, Irving Plaza, The Anchorage, The Kitchen, Joe’s Pub, Knitting Factory, Soundlab, Unity Gain, Roulette and Tonic, where she has been a regular performer and curator. She was featured on recordings by DJ Logic and Vernon Reid. Her composition, “Struthious,” was presented on Elliott Sharp’s compilation disc State of the Union. Ms. Wheeler has also recorded for Talvin Singh, Swayzak, Jan Jelinek, Modeselektor, HPrism/Priest (Anti-Pop Consortium, Airborn Audio), Mocky (with Jamie Lidell). Her own music was featured on MTV’s electronic music program AMP.
At Lincoln Center, Ms. Wheeler sang on the world premiere of Randall Woolf's The Trick is to Keep Breathing, a composition for voice, string quartet, tape, and turntables with custom acetates. She reprised her performance of this piece with the Sirius String Quartet at Roulette and Joe’s Pub, both in New York City. She performed and participated in the original development team for Sekou Sundiata and Craig Harris’ opera The Return of Elijah, the African. She also collaborated with DJ Olive on a new live electronic music score for the 1927 Japanese silent classic, A Page of Madness, a performance sponsored by the New York Underground Film Festival. Ms. Wheeler performed solo at the Warm-Up Music Series at P.S. 1, and also opened for David Byrne at Bowery Ballroom. She was featured on the New York episode of Tvframes, produced by Citytv, Toronto, Canada. She has performed solo and collaboratively at the Kitchen’s Electronic X-travaganza. Ms. Wheeler collaborated with choreographer Sally Silvers at the Vision Festival, and and composed music for choreographer Jodi Melnick’s solo dance work. Ms. Wheeler was also invited to perform with Ryuichi Sakamoto for the release of his recent CD “Chasm”, where she created new compositions using sampled elements from his recording, and also played in a collaborative setting with Mr. Sakamoto.
Ms. Wheeler relocated part-time to Berlin, Germany, and she now divides her time between there and Los Angeles. Her recent studio collaborations included work for producers Yapacc, Ripperton, Benjamin Brunn, Dolibox, Fred P., and Shinedoe. She also made her Berlin Philharmonie debut, as a featured vocalist with the Jazz Chamber Ensemble from the orchestra. She premiered a new solo electronic music performance for “Küchenkonzert” in Hannover, played the Krautok event at Tresor, played live with Dolibox at Karat’s label night, and performed live with Murcof for Berghain’s Elektroakoustische Salon concert series in Berlin. Recently, she was featured in Leonardo Music Journal’s 20th anniversary issue on “improvi-sation,”, completed a new solo EP and premiered new work at Free Rotation Festival in Wales. Ms. Wheeler presented a concert of new collaborations at Roulette, in Brooklyn, New York, with Laraaji, Vernon Reid, Abdou Mboup, and HPrizm/Priest; this concert aired on Roulette TV. Part I of her multi-media performance/generative installation piece, The Magical Garden, was commissioned and presented in concert at Issue Project Room in Brooklyn, New York, and Ms. Wheeler is a recipient of Harvestwork Media Center’s 2016 Artist Residency for technology development for this work. Recently, she opened JazzFest Berlin with Matana Robert’s Sextet performing a tribute to Pina Bausch. Now, she is completing production on a new song album, Songs of S + D, completing post-production for a new solo instrumental composition, Tres Es un Número Mágico, and developing new technology as well as composing new material for her latest instrument, the glass armonica.
News & Updates
Tres Es un Número Mágico: Kaleidoscopic Triptychs: A three-part, solo composition in audience-generated, chance order and direction, for voice, electric mbira, electric autoharp, Q-Chord, delay loops, and electronic effects processing: