Melody Chua (b. 1994) is considered a pioneering force of her generation in the development of interdisciplinary performances with new technologies. Her portfolio includes works with 360° touchscreens, 360° videos, Ambisonics, motion capture systems, live-coding, pressure-sensitive shoes, real-time projection visuals, and sensor-augmented instruments, while at the same time reflecting critically on the multifaceted issues surrounding human-machine interactions. Currently a doctoral candidate at the Kunsuniversität Graz and Zürich University of the Arts, her artistic research focuses on the development of a visual framework for improvisation machines, working specifically with a machine she has created (AIYA) that takes inputs from a sensor-augmented flute (Chaosflöte). Through this, she investigates the impacts visual representations of these machines have on human-machine interaction, perceptions of posthuman identity, and performance narrative. She is fascinated by the potential of new electronic interfaces to act as both vehicles of narrative expression and as opportunities to destabilize the normatives present in one’s relationship with technology. She believes that the nature of human-machine relations is in fact a reflection of how we relate with ourselves. Therefore, her work with technology represents a humble call to reflect on the state of empathy and understanding within and among our communities. The aesthetics of her work gravitate towards immersive future-fictions with undertones of nostalgia and introspection, pulling audiences into intimate worlds.
Awarded a Fulbright-Swiss Government Excellence grant for the development of the Chaosflöte, Chua's performance works have been selected by various prestigious festivals and conferences, including the Zürich Digital Festival (CH), Zürich Design Biennale (CH), New Interfaces for Music Expression (NIME) Conference (CHN), Zentrum für Kunst und Medien (ZKM) Next Generation Festival (DE), Geneva International Film Festival (CH), My Behavioral Surplus (DE), Network Music Festival, La Côte Flute Festival (CH), Swiss Digital Day (CH), Kleintheater Luzern (CH), PAM-Hörmal Festival (CH), Immerse: Creative City Project (USA), IGNM Zürich (CH), and the USF New Music Festival (USA). She has also had engagements at the Institute for Computer Music and Sound Technology Zürich (artist residency), Immersive Arts Space Zürich (diploma residency), University of South Florida (artist residency), Atlantic Festival Future Music Lab (fellowship), Montreal Contemporary Music Lab (as a performer), Performing Media Festival (as a featured guest artist), Radius (installation), Shedhalle (installation), Kein Museum (solo installation & group exhibitions), and the Timucua Arts Foundation (artist residency), among others. As an educator, Chua has given lectures and workshops on electroacoustic music, improvisation, and interactive music programming at institutions such as the Zurich University of the Arts, University of the Arts Bern, University of Chicago, University of Music and Performing Arts Stuttgart, University of Central Florida, University of South Florida, Wayne State University, The Melrose Center, and the Atlantic Music Festival. She has studied classical and contemporary flute performance under Matthias Ziegler, Dr. Jonathan Keeble, and Shanna Pranaitis.
Chua is the co-founder of Null-state, a performance ensemble committed to advancing the development of sensor-augmented instruments, live coding, and electroacoustic music education. Since August 2022, she has joined the faculty of the Sound Arts Department at the University of the Arts Bern (HKB).