Cristian Amigo

Cristian Amigo

Cristian Amigo is an American and Latinx sound/music/noise composer, designer, musician/guitarist, and audio producer for theater, immersive environments, movement, free jazz/blues/new music/R&B/rock/world music bands and ensembles, opera, installation, and film/video. He is interested in sound art that links itself to social justice, ecological and political issues, and intercultural collaboration and aesthetics. 

Amigo’s compositions are characterized by the foregrounding freely tonal and extended electroacoustic sounds, timbre/color, dynamics, space, and free movement between multitemporal planes and locations. As a musician, he is interested in improvisation, the blues, and American (of the Americas) folk and popular music.

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. He earned a Ph.D. in Ethnomusicology from UCLA and has studied with masters from various world performance traditions including Wadada Leo Smith (CalArts), Harihar Rao (India), Kenny Burrell (USA), Carlos Hayre (Peru), and Judy Mitoma (UCLA).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 and upcoming productions include theater/music/sound projects with Cornerstone Theater (LA), Queens College (NYC), REDCAT (LA), The Globe Theater (SDO), Tufts University (Boston), and an INTAR Theater (NYC) commission for a geo-located theater, and sound work created in collaboration with NYC playwright Migdalia Cruz. 

Amigo has collaborated with hundreds of renowned and diverse theater, music, and dance artists (and poets), including Oscar, Emmy, Tony, MacArthur, Grammy, Juno, Guggenheim, Fulbright, and Pulitzer Prize winners. His theater, dramatic, and performance works have been presented and supported by the Flea Theater, La Jolla Playhouse, PUBLIC Theater, Rattlestick Theater, 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, CSI (CUNY), World Festival of Sacred Music (LA), Vision Festival, NYC Latin Free Jazz Festival, and the Alternative Guitar Festival, among many others.

Cristian is a faculty member at CalArts, in the Department of Experience Design and Production in the School of Theater, where he teaches music, sound design, and production to student artists throughout the Institute.