Cristian Amigo is a Latinx composer, sound artist/designer, guitarist, producer, and educator. 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) and a Senior Fulbright Scholar/Artist Fellowship (Bolivia). He earned a Ph.D. in Ethnomusicology from UCLA and studied with masters from various performance traditions.
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. Recent productions include the geo-located theater/music/sound piece Lives of the New Kind of Saints (texts by playwright Migdalia Cruz), selected by USITT as a featured American design at PQ23 (Prague Quadrennial 2023).
Amigo’s current research interests include free improvisation, legacy and immersive mixing, ecological and social justice-themed sound installations, and the history and performance of Jamaican-style analog dub mixing. He continues to work to make music/sound/composition accessible to musicians, designers, and other non-traditional students.
In the summer of 2023, Amigo served as composer/arranger for La Havana Madrid by Sandra Delgado at South Coast Repertory. 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. In 2022-23, Amigo also composed the music and sound design for 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), La Egoista by Erlina Ortiz (Directed by Daphnie Sicre) at Skylight Theater (LA), 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 (NYC) Ritual environmental justice platform; Healthcare by Design’s palliative care immersive installation at Henry Mayo Hospital in Santa Clarita, California; and on 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, D.C.), 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.