Cristian Amigo is a Latinx composer-improviser, theater sound designer, and music/audio producer. He works with immersive environments, geo-located sound, soundscapes, free jazz and blues, Latin folkloric music, new music ensembles, opera, dance, installation, and film/video. His practice examines the aurality of theater, live music and stage performance, electric and acoustic guitars, studio production, vintage and 3D audio, AR and VR, and a conscious sound art that links itself to social justice, ecological, educational, and humanistic issues. Amigo is a sound faculty member in the Experience Design and Production Program at the CalArts School of Theater where he teaches students from throughout the Institute.
He earned a Ph.D. in Ethnomusicology from UCLA and has studied with masters from various performance traditions including Wadada Leo Smith (CalArts), Harihar Rao (India), Kenny Burrell (USA), Carlos Hayre (Peru), and Judy Mitoma (UCLA/APPEX). Amigo’s awards include a Guggenheim Memorial Foundation Fellowship (music composition), a 2016-2019 Senior Fulbright Scholar/Artist Fellowship (Bolivia), and the Van Lier Fellowship from Meet the Composer. The New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians (Oxford Press) contains an entry on Amigo and his work, and he is currently artist-in-residence at INTAR Latino Theater in New York City.
Recent productions include the geo-located theater/music/sound piece Lives of the New Known Saints (texts by Migdalia Cruz) which premiered in Battery Park, NYC on November 7, 2020; music/sound for Young Joo Lee’s digital animation/installation Jaguar’s Vision at The National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art (Seoul), Ochi Projects LA, ALT LOOP Space (Seoul), South Korean public television (KBS); music and soundscapes for playwright Maggie Bofill’s short film Cuban American Gothic at the PBS Latino Experience (summer 2021); music/sound/live performance for jill sigman/thinkdance’s (NYC) Rikers Island Healing dance/music/video piece (2023); sound/music design for a Healthcare by Design immersive installation in the palliative care unit at the Henry Mayo Hospital in Santa Clarita, California; and as geo-based land and water acknowledgements for the Tataviam and Chumash people of Southern California.
Fall 2022 projects include the CalArts Center for New Performance world premiere of Octavio Solis’ Scenes with Cranes at REDCAT (LA), José Rivera’s References To Salvador Dali Make Me Hot at CSULA, and Tara Ricasa’s The Goddess of Lost Things at Bocón Festival of New Works (SDO). Upcoming and recent projects with Cornerstone Theater (LA), Queens College (NYC), The The Globe Theater (SDO), Mabou Mines (NYC), Tufts University (Boston), University of Oregon, and an INTAR Theater (NYC) commission for multiple geo-located theater and sound works in collaboration with NYC playwright Migdalia Cruz.
Amigo has collaborated with hundreds of diverse theater, music, and dance artists (and poets). His theater, dramatic, and music performance works have been presented and supported by the Flea Theater, La Jolla Playhouse, PUBLIC Theater, Rattlestick Theater, CalArts Center for New Performance, Ma-Yi Theater Company, LAByrinth Theater Company, Cherry Lane Theater, Danish Arts Council, Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company (Washington, D.C.),Grand Performances (LA), Oslo Elsewhere, Atlantic Theater, Brava Theater (San Francisco), Clemente Soto Vélez Cultural Center, New Dramatists, 59E59, Cornerstone Theater Company, The Coterie, Inner-City Arts (LA), Teatro del Pueblo (Minneapolis), ASK Playwright/Composer Labs, American Lyric Theater, Sundance Institute Film Composer Labs, NYC Children’s Theatre, Asian Pacific Performance Exchange (APPEX/UCLA Center for Intercultural Performance), CSU Dominguez Hills, CSU Stanislaus, CSU Northridge, University of Oregon, Bates College, UM (Farmington, MA), CSU San Diego, UC Riverside, NYU, and CSI (CUNY), World Festival of Sacred Music (LA), Vision Festival (NYC), NYC Latin Free Jazz Festival, and the Alternative Guitar Festival, among many others.