Rouse Visiting Artist Lecture: Susie Ibarra, “Listening and Creating Spatially : How do we hear in real life?”

Susie Ibarra on boat

The evening will begin with Susie Ibarra delivering a brief lecture. This will be followed by a ten-minute intermission during which time the audience will transition to seating in the round for a unique surround-sound percussion performance by Ibarra.


Composer/Percussionist Susie Ibarra creates music which often navigates how we hear in our environment and how our interdependence with each other and our surroundings informs and shapes these experiences. Ibarra will share several of her music works for performance and sound installations which include Fragility, A Game of Polyrhythms, a conducted game piece for performance which invites the audience to conduct an ensemble through polyrhythms; Music and Water Routes of the Medina of Fez , a music and architecture mobile app in collaboration with architect Aziza Chaouni, mapping with music, water and urban networks of Fez and its urban evolution; and Himalayan Glacier Soundscapes, a collaboration with glaciologist and geomorphologist Michele Koppes, sound recording for both research and installation which maps and records memory and change in the earth and its culture along the Ganges off of Satopanth Glacier.

Susie Ibarra will perform a concert of solo drum set and percussion where audience will sit in the round inside of an 8.1 surround sound system distributing her drums and percussion to the speakers.

This event is supported by the Rouse Visiting Artist Fund.

Susie Ibarra is a Filipina-American composer, percussionist, and sound artist. Her sound has been described as “a sound like no other’s, incorporating the unique percussion and musical approach of her Filipino heritage with her flowing jazz drumset style” (Modern Drummer Magazine) and her compositions are sometimes described as “calling up the movements of the human body; elsewhere it’s a landscape vanishing in the last light, or the path a waterway might trace” (New York Times). Recent commissions include Kronos String Quartet’s 50 for the Future Project Pulsation, PRISM Saxophone Quartet + Percussion’s Procession Along the Aciga TreeTalking Gong trio with pianist Alex Peh and flautist Claire Chase, film score When the Storm Fades directed by Sean Devlin, and a multimedia game piece Fragility: An Exploration of Polyrhythms for Asia Society.

Susie Ibarra is a 2019 United States Artist Fellow in Music .  She is a 2014 Senior TED Fellow and a  2018 Asian Cultural Council Fellow in support of her sound research of An Acoustic Story on Climate Change: Himalayan Glacier Soundscapes. She is recording and researching sound along the Ganges from source to sink in collaboration with glaciologist and geomorphologist Michele Koppes.  Ibarra leads the DreamTime Ensemble, which recently released the album Perception, a suite of music exploring memory and shifting sensory experiences. She performs in collaborative ensembles Mephista, Yunohana Variations, and LIMBS. With ThinkFun Games, Ibarra is inventing an interactive polyrhythm game to teach rhythms. Since 2012, she has been a faculty member at Bennington College where she teaches percussion, performance, improvisation, and art intervention.  Susie Ibarra is a Yamaha, Vic Firth, and Paiste Drum Artist.

Ibarra’s recordings are available to purchase from her website.

Anyone requiring accessibility accommodations should contact the Public Programs Office at (617) 496-2414 or [email protected].