"The most wonderful thing was that the members of my cohort come from different disciplines, this created enriching conversations during the seminars..."

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Student Profile: Mar Alzamora

October 18, 2021
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Contemporary Arts master's student in the Faculty of Applied Sciences

I am a doublebassist, sound artist, writer, and cultural manager. I am a devoted creator and practitioner in transdisciplinary arts, new music and sound studies. In this lifetime, I have had the honor to become the co-founder of many artistic projects including the Itsmeña Youth Symphony Orchestra, Paisaxe Chamber Ensemble, and ArtTIC Electronic Arts Festival. I am also co-coordinator of Ars Amandi International Poetry Festival, and I have served as adviser, cultural liaison and coordinator for several institutions such as U.S Embassy in Panama, L'Alliance Française de Panama and the Panamanian Chamber of Books. Besides my artistic path, I am involved with mindful practices and philosophies, so I got my certification in Deep Listening® and Nada Yoga (Yoga of Sound.) I hold a BA in Music from Arizona State University. I am in love with cats, pizza, and soundwalks.

WHY DID YOU CHOOSE TO COME TO SFU?

I chose SFU because of the World Soundscape Project. R. Murray Schafer and Hildegard Westerkamp's sound compositions and research have impacted my creative practice.

HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE YOUR RESEARCH OR YOUR PROGRAM TO A FAMILY MEMBER?

For years, I have dedicated my musical experimental interdisciplinary practice to the relationship between the city, sound, and memory; my sensory experiences in the city through soundwalks and sonic meditations. My current research started because of my passion for bodies of water and music improvisation. Being a musician, I always wondered how I could dialogue with the non-human. So, I decided to walk along the urban river streams, trying to find the voice of the rivers. From that personal search, I decided that soundwalks would be the way to connect with the rivers in Panama City. During my soundwalks, I improvise and find new ways to embody this relationship with the Other. Trying to explain environmental urban issues through the sounding creative process.

WHAT ARE YOU PARTICULARLY ENJOYING ABOUT YOUR STUDIES/RESEARCH AT SFU?

I am also graduating and I have enjoyed every second of it. The most precious aspect of the SCA's MA in Contemporary Arts is the multidisciplinary curriculum. I am a musician, but my artistic exploration includes documentary filmmaking, poetry, performance, meditation and more. I was able to take classes related to film, performance, anthropology, and else. I could decide how to tailor the program according to my own research. The most wonderful thing was that the members of my cohort come from different disciplines, this created enriching conversations during the seminars... And last, but not least, during the program I became close friend with Gilles Deleuze!

HAVE YOU BEEN THE RECIPIENT OF ANY MAJOR OR DONOR-FUNDED AWARDS? IF SO, PLEASE TELL US WHICH ONES AND A LITTLE ABOUT HOW THE AWARDS HAVE IMPACTED YOUR STUDIES AND/OR RESEARCH.

During my program, I have been awarded with the Graduate Fellowship and also the Special Grad Entrance Scholarship. I really appreciate these awards since they covered my tuition 100%. During the pandemic, this financial support helped me concentrate in my studies and not in the economic aspect of higher education.

HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE YOUR PROGRAM/POSTDOC POSITION TO SOMEONE STILL SEARCHING FOR A PROGRAM OR POSTDOC POSITION?

The MA in Contemporary Arts is a program that will open your mind regarding contemporary arts in general. This is a multidisciplinary program for people willing to explore your practice and research from other disciplines perspectives. This program will make you think deeply about the most up-to-date theoretical and philosophical approaches to arts. Artistic research is a possibility during this program, this made me rethink my practice and now I am applying to PhDs in artistic research.

 

Contact : mar_alzamora@sfu.edu

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