Tilted Arc is an electroacoustic duo comprised of composer/multi-instrumentalist Sam Torres and pianist/keyboardist Sophia Subbayya Vastek. Their music evolves primarily out of structured improvisations, and uses field-recorded samples as well as elements of live-processing of acoustic instruments and digital synthesis. Tilted Arc performs in real-time settings and also creates fixed-media and interactive long-form installation pieces. They are interested in how music can affect a space, and how a space can affect music.
At Arts Letters & Numbers on March 25, they will present a mixed concert of new/old and electroacoustic/acoustic works.
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Sam Torres is a New York City/Baltimore based electroacoustic composer, saxophonist, and freelance audio engineer. He is interested in creating electroacoustic music that elegantly combines live interactive electronics with acoustic instruments, as opposed to pitting the instrument against the machine.
Tilted Arc, an electroacoustic duo with pianist Sophia Vastek; Stretto, Sam’s modern jazz quartet; and Little Wing, an 11-piece indie chamber ensemble are among Sam’s ongoing ensemble projects. In addition to these, Sam has written music for live electronics and saxophone, solo piano, and has performed on saxophone and electronics with various ensembles. He has been commissioned to write works for violin and electronics; a 42-piece high-school string ensemble, choral ensembles, and various other soloists and chamber ensembles. A graduate of the Horace Mann School, Sam earned his Bachelor’s degree in jazz performance in May of 2016 from Manhattan School of Music, where he has studied composition with Reiko Fueting and Todd Reynolds, electronic sound arts with Sam Pluta and David Adamcyk, and jazz saxophone with Donny McCaslin, Rich Perry, and Steve Wilson. Sam is currently Master’s student and Graduate Assistant fellow at the Peabody Institute, John Hopkins University, where he studies computer music composition with Geoffrey Wright.
Sam’s music has been performed at the Thalia Theater at Symphony Space, Spectrum, Peabody Institute, Manhattan School of Music, and the University of Cape Town in South Africa. As a saxophonist and woodwind doubler, Sam has performed at Carnegie Hall, Jazz at Lincoln Center, Symphony Space, Spectrum, the RISD Museum, SMOKE, The Shrine, and others with Stretto, ensembles from Manhattan School of Music, New York Youth Symphony, New York Jazz Academy, and others. As an audio engineer, Sam has worked with new music ensembles Talea Ensmeble, Chartruese, Columbia University Composers, composer Michael Harrison, the Uptown Phil, and sTem trio; as a technical assistant with violinist Todd Reynolds at the Jewish Museum, Talea Ensemble at the Dimenna Center, Wet Ink ensemble, and composers David Adamcyk and Zosha Di Castri at the Italian Academy for Advanced Studies at Columbia University.
Pianist Sophia Subbayya Vastek lives in the intersections – struggling to know her different cultural backgrounds, reveling in the questions, embracing the space between music now and before, and living squarely in the crosshairs of her wildest and most intimate emotional selves. She is committed to the never-ending exploration of the role of music as a force for good, and how art can shine a light on the common ground between disparate fields and ways of thinking.
Performing has taken Sophia to South Africa, Mexico, The Kennedy Center, the United States State Department, the Canadian Embassy (DC), Polish Cultural Institute (DC), The Apollo Theatre, Tenri Cultural Institute, and DiMenna Center, among many others. She has also been presented at festivals such as The NoiseGate Festival, Queens New Music Festival, Artscape, and Arts Letters & Numbers.
Sophia’s debut album is due out on May 26, 2017 on innova Recordings with music by Michael Harrison, Donnacha Dennehy, and John Cage. Featuring vocalist Megan Schubert and tabla player Nitin Mitta, produced by multiple Grammy-winning engineer Adam Abeshouse.
With composer David Ibbett, Sophia is a co-founder of Music of Reality, a multi-disciplinary concert series and event production organization that connects the world of scientific discovery and research with musicians and artists. They have collaborated with the NoiseGate Festival, United Nations Sustainable Development Solutions Network, New York University, Boston University, and Brandeis University, as well as researchers across a broad spectrum of scientific and technical fields. They are releasing an EP this spring. Sophia is also one half of Tilted Arc, an electroacoustic duo with electronic sound artist and multi-instrumentalist Sam Torres.
Sophia received a Bachelor of Music from Indiana University, Bloomington where she studied with Emile Naoumoff, the last pupil of Nadia Boulanger, and a Master of Music from Manhattan School of Music.