Jocelyn Ho


Jocelyn Ho is a composer, performer and theorist who champions new music and reinvigorates traditional music with fresh, historical perspectives. Most recently, she is the artistic director of a New York music-art-tech project Synaesthesia Playground, in which she leads fifteen composers, visual artists, technologists, and fashion designers from all around the world to create an interactive, immersive experience that reinvents the piano recital with bio and gestural technologies. On the other end of the spectrum, she is a historical keyboardist specializing in the music of Haydn. Jocelyn Ho’s compositions have been featured internationally, including in France, Germany, Australia, and the USA. Her most recent works include multi-disciplinary collaborations with software developers and visual artists featured at the NYC Electroacoustic Music Festival, Stony Brook Faculty Art Exhibition, and the University of Florida Art Gallery. As a pianist, she has won major piano competitions internationally such as the first prize in the 2010 Australian National Piano Award, the Kawai Award, prizes at the Bradshaw and Buono International Piano Competition, and has performed at venues around the world such as Radio France, the Sydney Opera House, Berlin’s Radialsystem V, the Melbourne Recital Centre, New York Symphony Space, Spectrum NYC, the NSW Parliament House, the Victorian Governor’s House, and the Boston Isabella Gardner Museum. Her album “Luminous Sounds,” released by Master Performers, received a five-star review in Fine Music Magazine and was featured in her interview in Limelight. She is a founding member of the Sydney Piano Trio. Jocelyn Ho is an Assistant Professor of Performance Studies at UCLA. Jocelyn Ho is a Young Steinway Artist.

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Sheng, Piano, mobile phones, and playback with luminescent attire “Bio-Lux”.

Our smart phones are ever present. They can be immensely useful, yet at the same time, alienating and distracting. Given the paradoxical relationship some of us have with our phones, we dreamt up a scenario: what if, instead of concealing them in silence, we make them an integral component of an interactive piano performance? Sheng is a collective structured improvisation involving the audience’s mobile phones as makeshift instruments, with one guiding improviser (me) at the front. The audience will be able to make physical gestures with their mobile phones to play sounds. Thus, in this piece, the role of the performer is decentralized; everyone is a performer in the collaboration.

Featured in Keyboard Waves November 2016