Eve Klein

University of Queensland

Keynote Presentation: Friday 2020-07-10 8-9pm AEST


Eve Klein is an award-winning composer, mezzo soprano, sound artist and academic. She designs large-scale, immersive art music experiences for festivals. Klein's music has been described as: "contemporary music at its most relevant – simultaneously inward and outward focused in addressing the challenge of its existence and its capacity to produce something great" (Cyclic Defrost).

Drawing together traditional and experimental classical music, interactive performance art, and electronica, Klein pushes the boundaries of genre to find new ways of immersing contemporary audiences in art music forms. She holds a PhD in Music and Sound and is a Senior Lecturer at the University of Queensland.

Eve's work has featured at international festivals and venues including MONA FOMA, VIVID Sydney, Brisbane Festival, Salisbury Cathedral, Burning Man, Underbelly Arts, the Melbourne Arts Centre and New York University. Eve's recordings have been released on Wood and Wire, New Weird Australia, and Feral Media. As a mezzo soprano she has appeared as a principal artist with Opera Australia and Pacific Opera. Eve is known for her electronic opera The Pomegranate Cycle which asks its audience to comprehend how women heal from violence. The album version has been downloaded over 60,000 times since its release.

Eve's recent work explores the intersection of the body, technology, mass datasets and social justice. An example is Counting 2015, a multimedia work using crowdsourced video and collaboratively curated datasets to highlight the affective quality of numbers in online social justice campaigns. This work asked Facebook participants to reflect upon the human consequences of numbers they encounter online. In this way the composer acts as curator of a discussion in online communities, where participants are both audience members and performer-collaborators.

Eve collaborates with festivals, scientists, artists and researchers to develop cross-disciplinary performance experiences. Eve's work Vocal Womb is an example of this practice, being the first work of its kind to deploy laryngoscopy during real time performances for a live audience. Vocal Womb allows its audience to explore the relationship between voice, identity and power by stepping into, and directly manipulating, the voice of another. The premier was called the "#1 coolest thing at MOFO 2018..." (Timeout Melbourne) and "One of the must-see music/art works of the 2018 festival... a deeply considered engagement with the history and traditions of opera" (The Conversation). The season sold out completely.

Eve was awarded the 2020 Noisy Women Commission and is working with Ensemble Offspring to create a new composition teasing out the idea of "home" as the basis of a compassionate response to climate change. The music uses crowdsourced objects from people's past homes to create a public conversation about the personal consequences of climate inaction and to invite audiences to explore these themes as co-creators of the work.

Klein is currently leading a VR/AR music research cluster at the University of Queensland where she is guiding postgraduate composers on the creation of virtual reality and augmented reality concert works and operas. Other research explores human computer interaction design and its impact on music performance and composition; classical music recording practices; environmental sound recording; and technology-enabled performance.