the journey

Melody Chua (b. 1994) (she/they) is an international, transdisciplinary artist who orients herself towards conscious listening, expansive empathy, and finding alignment with one's inner truths.

Originally trained as a flutist, she finds flow through improvisation, particularly with electronics, through both performance and interactive installation settings. She has created a sensor-augmented flute (Chaosflöte) and improvisation machine (AIYA) as confrontational mediums within her artistic practice, where she asks, “How can we give voices to the ‘othered’ and give form to the invisible? How do we navigate the delicate borderlands where we are not only sovereign entities but also vulnerable extensions of each other? How can we subvert a system while being entangled within this system?” As a both an artist and professional engineer, freelancer and academic, cyberpunk cat in a posthuman mindbody, as well as a meeting point of Asian and American cultures, Melo prefers to jump between worlds rather than to call herself a citizen of any one in particular.
Considered a "pioneer in the development of interdisciplinary performances with new technologies"*, Melo's portfolio includes works with 360° touchscreens, 360° videos, Ambisonics/3D audio, 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, where improvisation machines can be regarded as "sparring partners" and simulations of resistance to the human engager--and therefore as entities that trigger reflection in one’s actions. As such, 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, Melo'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 (USA, fellowship), Montreal Contemporary Music Lab (CA, as a performer), Performing Media Festival (USA, as a featured guest artist), Radius Center for Contemporary Art and Ecology (NL, collaborative installation), Shedhalle (CH, collaborative installation), Kein Museum (CH, solo installation & group exhibitions), and the Timucua Arts Foundation (USA, artist residency), among others. As a conscious educator, Chua has given lectures and workshops on electroacoustic music, improvisation, and interactive music programming at institutions such as the University of Chicago, Zurich University of the Arts, University of the Arts Bern, 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.

Melo 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. She is also part of the River Oracle collective and co-founder of STUDIO ZYKLOS. Institutionally, she divides her time between the Zürich University of the Arts (research, teaching), Kunstuniversität Graz (as a PhD candidate), and the elea Foundation for Ethics in Globalization (as a systems engineer).

*"Mit der Maschine lernen" ZHdK Jahresbericht 2021


2021-present: Kunstuniversität Graz (AT), Zürich University of the Arts (CH)

Doctor artium | Dissertation: Developing a Visual Framework for Musical Improvisation Machines: Investigating Impacts on Human-Machine Interaction, Posthuman Identity, and Performance Narrative

2016-2021: Zürich University of the Arts (CH)

>J. William Fulbright Scholar, Swiss Government Excellence Scholar, summa cum laude

Master of Arts in Transdisciplinary Studies | Thesis: black box fading: Exploring Human-Machine Relationships and Impacts on Improvised Music Performance Practice Through Creating a Musical Improvisation Machine)
Master of Arts in Music Performance | Studio of Matthias Ziegler | Concentrations in electroacoustic composition and sensor-augmented instrument research at the Institute for Computer Music and Sound Technology

2012-2016: University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (US)

>Chancellor's Scholar, Bronze Tablet Scholar, summa cum laude

Bachelor of Music in Flute Performance (Studio of Dr. Jonathan Keeble)
Bachelor of Arts in Music Technology


overview of current practice and artistic output:

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comprehensive list of artistic experience:

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list of all past concerts/news/events, etc:

to archive

>AIYA (4)

born 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 now

>classical piano (8)

>classical flute (18)



>contemporary flute (10)

>live coding (4)

>installations (6)









>improvisation (6)

>electroacoustic composition (6)

>video gaming (24)

>max/MSP/Jitter (7)

>supercollider (5)

>touchdesigner (3)

>informatics (4)

>chaosflöte (6)

>motion capture (4)