Cristian Amigo

Cristian Amigo

Cristian Amigo is a Latinx composer, sound artist/designer, guitarist, producer, and educator. His practice examines the aurality and technologies of theater, electroacoustic music, studio production, immersive environments, 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.

Amigo’s awards include a Guggenheim Memorial Foundation Fellowship (music composition), a Senior Fulbright Scholar/Artist Fellowship (Bolivia), and the Van Lier Fellowship from Meet the Composer. He earned a Ph.D. in Ethnomusicology from UCLA and studied with masters from various performance traditions including Wadada Leo Smith (CalArts), Harihar Rao (India), Kenny Burrell (USA), and Carlos Hayre (Peru). The New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians (Oxford Press) contains an entry on his work. Amigo is currently an artist-in-residence at INTAR Latino Theater in New York City.

Upcoming productions include the geo-located theater/music/sound piece Lives of the New Kind of Saints (texts by Migdalia Cruz) selected by USITT for the American design exhibit at PQ23 (Prague Quadrennial 23). It will correspond with the drop of a full length CD of original music from the piece.

He is composing original music and sound designs on Heading Into Night: A Clown Play About…[Forgetting], a one clown show by Daniel Passer (Cirque du Soleil) and director Beth Milles at The Cherry Arts (Ithaca, NY) in March 2023; and for La Egoista by Erlina Ortiz, directed by Daphne Sicre, at Skylight Theater (LA) in February 2023.

Amigo is also the new composer/arranger for La Havana Madrid by Sandra Delgado at South Coast Repertory in Summer of 2023. La Havana Madrid had sold-out runs at Steppenwolf and Goodman Theatre in Chicago, was featured in the New York Times and CNN, and named one of the best plays of 2017 by New City Chicago and Time Out Chicago.

Fall 2022 projects included the CalArts Center for New Performance world premiere of Octavio Solis’ Scene 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). 

Pandemic-era productions included 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); Maggie Bofill’s short film Cuban American Gothic at PBS Latino Experience; Jill Sigman/thinkdance’s Ritual environmental justice platform; the CalArts Healthcare by Design palliative care immersive installation at Henry Mayo Hospital in Santa Clarita, California; and geo-based land acknowledgements for the Tataviam and Chumash people of Southern California. 

Amigo has collaborated with hundreds of diverse theater, music, film, and dance artists. His work has been presented and supported by institutions including the Flea Theater, La Jolla Playhouse, PUBLIC Theater, Rattlestick Theater, Ma-Yi Theater Company, LAByrinth Theater, Cherry Lane Theater, Woolly Mammoth (Washington, DC), Grand Performances (LA), New Dramatists, 59E59, ASK Playwright/Composer Lab, Sundance Institute Film Composer Labs, Asian Pacific Performance Exchange (APPEX/UCLA Center for Intercultural Performance), World Festival of Sacred Music (LA), Vision Festival (NYC), NYC Latin Free Jazz Festival, and the Alternative Guitar Festival, among many others.