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Wen LIU

 

Born in China, July 4th 1988.

Resident of Vienna (Austria) since 2005.

 

Summary

 

Wen Liu is the founder and artistic director of the multidisciplinary festival for contemporary music and art: M.A.R.S. (Music & Arts ReSound). And the collective Studio M.A.R.S. (Music Art Research Science), with the goal to explore and create innovative multimedia storytelling, immersive music theater designs, and hybrid forms of music theater performance that seamlessly integrate science and technology.

 

Studio M.A.R.S.’s first music theater project: a live participatory XR opera titled "Speculum Maius", premiered at the Kunstmuseum Bonn in December 2022 in collaboration with Theater Bonn. The opera merges live multiplayer AR & VR technology with audience engagement to create an immersive experience. Currently, the studio is focused on incorporating advanced XR and AI technologies into opera storytelling and composition, while also exploring ways to enhance audience engagement.

 

 

Wen Liu is a composer and media artist who is best known for her innovative and experimental work that seamlessly blends music, visuals, dance, theater, and various interdisciplinary art forms to create immersive and interactive experiences. Her work is driven by a deep passion for exploring the intersection of science, technology, and multidisciplinary storytelling.

She is particularly interested in exploring parallel timelines and mixed realities through her projects and has been recognized for her experimental research-based practices that delve into the fields of quantum physics, neuroscience, occultism, Eastern mysticism, consciousness, artificial intelligence, and the future of humanity.

 

 

„A full weekend of boundary-blurring, futuristic applied technology, […] neither an art show nor a concert but something greater than the sum of its parts.“ 

– LA Weekly

 

„In the future, concert festivals might look something like M.A.R.S.“ 

– Los Angeles Daily News

 

„ Speculum Maius ist eine ganz neue Erfahrung. […] Diese innovative Verknüpfung von Theater, Oper und virtueller Realität geht in ihrer Individualität deutlich über Videoprojektionen hinaus“  

– Das Opernmagazine 

 

„Wen Liu hat ein Gespür für die Mikrostruktur der Klänge und die Fähigkeit, das in größere formale Zusammenhänge zu binden. Sie verbindet instrumentale und vokale Gesten zu einer individuellen Musiksprache und hat ein starkes Klangbewusstsein.“

–  Ö1 Talentebörse-Kompositionspreis

 

Education

 

  • 2015-2019: University of California, San Diego (Ph.D. in Music Composition)

  • 2009-2014: University of Music and Performing Arts Graz (Composition studies under Prof. Clemens Gadenstätter)

  • 2010-2014: Music and Arts University of the City of Vienna (MA Composition under Wolfgang Liebhart, graduated with highest honors)

  • 2011-2013: University of Applied Arts Vienna (Stage/Film Design & Transmedia Art)

  • 2012:  SAE Institute Vienna (Film/Video Making & Visual Design)

  • 2008-2010: Music and Arts University of the City of Vienna (piano studies under Gerhard Geretschläger, BA Composition under Christian Minkowitsch, graduated with highest honors)

  • 2005-2007: Vienna Conservatory (piano studies with Laszlo Gereb and Alexandra Hermentin)

Teaching Experience

 

  • Teaching Assistant at University of California, San Diego (2015-2018) in Music Theory, Contemporary Music, and Music of 21st Century.

  • Lectures and Master Classes at Universitas Pelita Harapan Jakarta(Indonesia) in Contemporary Music and Composition 2014.

  • Mentor of the 2022-2023 European Women Music Program SEWEM.

Research and Thesis

 

  • Title: A Case Study of Interactive Multimedia Performance: Monster, and An Introduction of Interactive Music Composition. (Master's thesis at Music and Arts University of the City of Vienna, Austria, published by Akademia Verlag Germany, 2014)

  • Title: Holographic Reality: What You See is Not What You Get. Technology in Music and Art in the Twenty-First Century. Immersive Art and Theater in the Twenty-First Century (three research topics for the Doctor of Philosophy Qualification Exam at University of California, San Diego, 2018)​.

  • Current artistic research and practice: Using of AR/VR/MR and AI in contemporary music theater storytelling and composition.

 

Awards (selection)

 

  • S+T+ARTS ReSilence EU Artists in Residence Winner 2024.

  • Startsstipendium for music composition 2022 from Austrian Federal Ministry.

  • Arbeitsstipendium for music composition 2022 from the City of Vienna.

  • Staatsstipendium for music composition 2021 from Austrian Federal Ministry.

  • European Music Accelerator 2021 Fellowship.

  • International Composer’s Competition New Note Croatia 2016.  

  • Förderungspreis for music 2015 from the City of Vienna.

  • Ö1 Talentebörse-Kompositionspreis 2012 Austria. 

  • First prize at the “5th international composition competition Francisco Escudero” 2012.

  • 2012 Fidelio International Competition - Individual Creation Category.

  • Theodor Körner Fonds 2010 Austria, under the patronage of the Austrian President Dr.Heinz Fischer.

 

Projects (selection)

2024

  • S+T+ARTS ReSilence Artists in Residence, together with Alexander Hackl to develop an interactive experience of environmental transformation through real-time AI music and performance.

  • Studio M.A.R.S. exclusive collaboration with Composer Matthias Leboucher and Ensemble NAMES (New Art and Music Ensemble Salzburg) for a new interactive AI concert series.

  • Studio M.A.R.S. new opera production: Yum! - A Participatory XR Opera, infusing satire with an immersive dining experience. 

  • The participatory XR opera Yum! has been invited to the TalentLAB 2024 residency at the Grand Théâtre de Luxembourg, with a partial Premiere scheduled for June 9th at the Grand Théâtre de Luxembourg.

 

2023

  • Studio M.A.R.S., in partnership with Eufonia Festival and the Faculty of Psychology at the University of Lisbon, and with co-funding from the Creative Europe Program of the European Union, is launching Sub_Bar 2023-2024. This innovative project and the Sub_Bar Academy in Lisbon, Berlin, and Vienna empower deaf and hard of hearing individuals to create music using low-frequency sounds, lighting, and visual elements.

  • Goethe Institut 'AI to Amplify' Fellowship.

  • La Monnaie, Brussels: Residency Workshop ‘Writing and Composing Opera & Challenges facing our society’.

  • Composition Commission for Lizard Ensemble 2023-2024.

2022

  • Mentor of the 2022-2023 European Women Music Program SEWEM.

  • The live participatory XR opera composition Speculum Maius (the project is initiated by Studio M.A.R.S.), in collaboration with Theater Bonn and Kunstmuseum. Premiere at the Kunstmuseum Bonn in December 2022.

  • Studio M.A.R.S. collaborating with IntAct Festival on the immersive music theater project Necromancy for Beginners. Premiere at the Bangkok Art and Culture Center in December 2022.

  • Women Opera Makers Residence at the Festival D’Aix-en-Provence in July 2022.

2021

  • Establishment of Studio M.A.R.S. (Music Art Research Science).

  • Fellowship of European Music Accelerator program JUMP 2021.

  • Fellowship of Creative Europe Sounds Now program Curating Diversity Course 2021.

  • Artist-in-Residence at Dias de Musica Electroacustica Portugal 2021.

 

2020

  • Composition commission from the Thailand New Music and Arts Symposium. Premiere and lectures at the Thailand New Music and Arts Symposium Bangkok 2020 (postponed).

  • Concert and lectures at the Athens Digital Arts Festival 2020 (online).

 

2019

  • Artistic Director of Festival M.A.R.S. in Shanghai and M.A.R.S. Forum in Paris in October.

 

2018

  • Artistic Director of Festival M.A.R.S. The Festival took place in Los Angeles, 6th-13h October.

 

2017

  • Composition commission from the Biennale Taschenopernfestival Salzburg for the short opera: Zeig mir dein Fleisch. Premiere with the Österreichischen Ensemble für Neue Musik in September 2017.

  • Artistic Director of Festival M.A.R.S. The festival took place in Los Angeles, 14th-23rd April. 

  • Establishment of Festival M.A.R.S.(Music & Arts ReSound).

 

2016

  • Composition commission from and for the EXPAN Festival, Premiere in November 2016.

 

2015

  • Composition commission from the Asian Art Ensemble (Berlin). Premiere at the Konzerthaus Berlin, April 2015.

  • Dian Red Kechil International Young Composers Residency in Singapore, June 2015.

  • Composition commission from the Biennale Taschenopernfestival Salzburg for the short opera: The End of The Song. Premiere with the Österreichischen Ensemble für Neue Musik in September 2015.

  • Composition commission from the Festival Steirischer Herbst 2015 - Musikprotokoll for Ensemble Recherche. 

 

Performances (selection)

 

Festivals: 

La Biennale di Venezia

Ars Electronica Festival

Wien Modern 

Expo Shanghai

International Computer Music Conference (ICMC)

Athens Digital Arts Festival

ManiFeste IRCAM Paris 

Steirischer Herbst – Musikprotokoll

ZeitRäume Basel: Biennale für Musik und Architektur

Music-Festival Grafenegg

Biennale Taschenopernfestival Salzburg

Festival Mixtur Barcelona 

Crossings for contemporary music and dance, Johannesburg

Stockholm Fringe Fest (Stoff)

 

Ensembles: 

Ensemble Intercontemporain

Intenational Contemporary Ensemble (ICE)

Ensemble Musikfabrik

Ensemble Recherche

Surplus Ensemble

Ensemble Garage

Österreichisches Ensemble für Neue Musik

Phace Ensemble

Ensemble Reconsil

Asian Contemporary Ensemble

Asian Art Ensemble

Ensemble Platypus

Signum Saxophone Quartet

China Radio Symphony Orchestra

Sydney Contemporary Orchestra 

KRKA Wind Orchestra

Vienna Saxophonic Orchestra

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