Lucas Artists Fellow

  • RESIDENCY DATES : Mar 2nd 2016 to Mar 30th 2016
  • FROM : USA

Cellist and composer Michelle Kinney is a dedicated and lifelong improviser working in non-traditional contexts. She finds much inspiration in cross-cultural and cross-genre collaborations. As Musician in Residence at the University of Minnesota’s Dance Program, Michelle mines the kinesthetic information revealed by the body in motion as she accompanies dance class on her cello, using a looping station and electronics.

Michelle creates cello-anchored scores for theater and dance, and co-leads several original music ensembles, including the 2-cello/tablas/drum quartet Jelloslave, a Twin Cities new music composers orchestra, Cherry Spoon Collective, and a new project with So. Indian veena virtuoso Nirmala Rajasekar, called Maithree. featuring Thanjavur Murugaboopathi on Mridangam and Pat O’Keefe on clarinet/sax.

Michelle earned her BA from Northwestern University, focusing on cello performance, composition and ethnomusicology/jazz studies, studying as much as possible with ethnomusicologist and jazz scholar, Paul Berliner. Returning to the Twin Cities, she spent a decade composing and performing for dance, theater, film and various improvisational ensembles. Michelle then moved to NYC for graduate school where she received an MA in Performance Studies from NYU, while working it out in the trenches of the downtown NYC music scene for the next 13 years; touring, recording and performing the work of luminaries such as Lawrence D. “Butch” Morris and Henry Threadgill, as well as her own projects.

Michelle is an extremely grateful recipient of a 2014 McKnight Fellowship in Composition, and a 2014 Next Step Fund grant from the Minneapolis Regional Arts Council. Her work has been funded and recognized by many other grants and foundations including a Bush Artist Fellowship, The Minnesota State Arts Board, The Jerome Foundation and American Composers Forum.