Emily Wells

Jul 15—21, 2024

Emily Wells is an award-winning composer, producer, multi-instrumentalist, and video artist.

Emily Wells’ multimedia performances are “quietly transfixing” (NY Times). She meticulously loops and layers real-time tracks of violin, synth, percussion, wind instruments, and vocals, creating what she calls “a new instrument.” Those instruments create an evocative and ethereal soundscape, reminiscent of the music of Bjork. Her songs will be accompanied by video projections on ArtYard’s two-story-tall screen.

NPR calls Wells’ music “breathtaking,” “mind-blowing,” and “visionary.” The New York Times describes her music as “dramatic, meticulous, and gothic.” In her words, it “bridges pop and chamber music,” and her video projections “intersect imagery of contemporary dance, extreme weather and effects of climate crisis, and protest footage.”

Wells’ sixth album, “Regards to the End” (2022) pays tribute to the visual artists and choreographers who were at the front lines of the early AIDS epidemic. Her message is that “collective action is power, and making art is an act of hope and a belief in the future.” She lists music theorist John Cage, minimalist composer Philip Glass, and the hip-hop group Wu-Tang Clan as her influences.


Performance Residency

July 2024

Emily Wells will be in residence to document the behind-the-scenes process that goes into developing her multimedia performances, creating video art that centers the elements of choreography and movement inherent to her work, as well as her video practice through projections.

“Most attempts at filming a live performance of mine have been afterthoughts, an appendage to the performance,” Wells said. “These captures are typically part of a tour in which I’m moving between disparate venues each night without dedicated sound and lighting designers. We will be shooting vignettes and various setups throughout the week and plan to capture a dress rehearsal and work in progress performance as well. I aspire to a playful, collaborative, and open process, and having an entire week to inhabit this very special theater with such a spectacular crew is the truest and rarest luxury.”