Macklay, Sky International Festival of Contemporary Music Warsaw Autumn

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born in 1988, composer, oboist and installation artist. She completed her DMA in composition at Columbia University, where she studied with Georg Friedrich Haas, George Lewis, and Fred Lerdahl. She lives in Baltimore, where she is Assistant Professor of Composition at the Peabody Institute of the Johns Hopkins University. Her music is published by Edition Peters.

In her music, she explores extreme contrasts, audible processes, surreal tonality, and the physicality of sound. Her works have been commissioned, among others, by Los Angeles Philharmonic, Klangforum Wien, Chamber Music America, Fromm Foundation at Harvard University (for Dal Niente ensemble), Barlow Endowment, Jerome Fund for New Music, and Kronos Quartet (as part of Kronos Quartet’s 50 for the Future). As a fellow at the Columbia Institute for Ideas and Imagination in Paris, she also collaborated with French ensemble 2e2m. 

Her ASCAP-winning string quartet Many Many Cadences has, since its recording by Spektral Quartet (2017 Grammy nomination), entered the repertoires of many quartets worldwide. Macklay has also been recognized with a 2021 Guggenheim Fellowship, and with awards and fellowships from The American Academy of Arts and Letters, Civitella Ranieri, and MacDowell. She has been featured at international festivals such as Gaudeamus Muziekweek, The BBC Scottish Symphony’s Tectonics Festival, and the ISCM World New Music Days. 

As an installation artist, Sky has created and built a unique series of interactive harmonica-playing inflatable sculpture environments, which were supported by a New Music USA Project Grant and won the Ruth Anderson Prize from the International Alliance for Women in Music. HarmonibotsMEGA-ORGAN, and Harmonitrees all use various flexible plastic shapes to channel air through deconstructed harmonicas. Sky is now incorporating these sculptures into chamber music pieces, such as her 2022 piece Harmonifriends for Ghost Ensemble, of which she is cofounder and member (oboist). 

Selected works (since 2013): Zoom In for tenor saxophone, violin, cello, piano and percussion (2013), 60 Degree Mirrors for ensemble (2013), Many Many Cadences for string quartet (2014–15), The Braid for clarinet, cello and percussion (2014), Inner Life of Song for oboe ensemble (2014), Doppelgänger III for two oboes and organ (2014), Lessina, Levlin, Levlite, Levora for speaking violinist and electronics (2015), White/Waves for ensemble and electronics (2015), FastLowHighSlow for violin and piano, with optional 5th movement for two violins and piano four hands (2015), Harmonibots, sonic and kinetic harmonica-playing sculpture (2015), The Big Wind-Up for toy piano and toy viola (2016), Glossolalia for mezzo-soprano and piano (2016), Density Dancity for tenor saxophone and piano (2016), All About Alice for orchestra (2016), Why We Bleed, chamber opera for two sopranos, baritone and piano (2016–18), Microvariations for ensemble (2016), Fly’s Eyes for soprano, flute, tenor saxophone, violin, piano, percussion and electronics (2016), Six Years Six Days for vocalist, flute, clarinet, violin and percussion (2017), Exponential for saxophone, violin, electric guitar, piano and percussion (2017), MEGA-ORGAN, installation (2017), Choppy for oboe, clarinet, bass clarinet, saxophone and bassoon (2017), Escalator for oboe, horn and chamber ensemble (2018), The Surrogate, chamber opera for five singers and sinfonietta (2018), Swarm Collecting for ensemble (2019), Maps (of Friendship) for violin, viola and video (2019), Seven Squiggles for Sam for violin and bassoon (2019), Head Voices for sopranino and baritone saxophones with electronics (2019), Vertebrae for string quartet (2020), Harmonitrees, sonic and kinetic harmonica-playing sculpture with space for improvisation (2020), 2 Cities for two oboes, two percussionists, accordion and piano (2021), Disassemblage for flute, clarinet, trumpet, violin, viola and cello (2021), Trrhythms for violin (2021), 1323 for cello (2021), Harmonifriends for flute, accordion, harp, percussion, viola, cello, bass and two harmonitrees (2021), Shepard’s March for 16 instruments and two percussion (2022), Canon Cadenza Cadence Cluster for two violins, viola, cello and double bass (2022), Mnemonic Songs for Mushroom Hunters for baritone, bass clarinet, trumpet and trombone (2023).