sound installation
cello / voice songs

Artist Statement

The creation of my work is intuitive and primarily non-linear, leaving room for the evolution of poetic and image rich worlds. I create alternate realities where the emotional experience of a character is projected into environments presented in a timeless realm. Some of the themes within these worlds are: the juxtaposition between the techno-mechanical and the natural world and the irrational and illogical nature of human emotions. Childlike motifs and fairy tale symbols are also prevalent. The resulting work is a surreal interweaving of textures, themes and images. I use combinations of voice, cello, field recordings, black and white film projections, spoken text, elements performance art, movement and theater.


Merlin Coleman is a San Francisco based composer, writer, performer and recording artist. She creates original interdisciplinary works incorporating a mixture of recorded and live sound, text, movement, props and film, as well as working collaboratively with other artists.


Merlin has developed a unique style in her writing of text, which she presents in various settings using a surreal and theatrical interplay of image rich language and sound. In her work, language is presented primarily in a non-linear manner, in live performance and soundscapes and combinations thereof. She is currently working on FERN, a sonic theater work which she presented at the 2002 San Francisco Fringe Festival and then expanded in New York City at Engine 27 where she was awarded a residency. It was presented in December 2004 as a 16 channel Sound Installation in Engine 27's Gallery. In February 2004 she was pleased to be invited to sing with the Meredith Monk ensemble as part of the Meredith Monk Marathon presented at Mills College. Merlin has also been composing a series of songs for cello and voice which she performs simultaneously in a mix of styles and genres accompanied by guest artist musicians as Festival of Stillness. Merlin co-curates an artist salon series in Oakland, California and teaches voice privately. She performs regularly in the San Francisco Bay Area and has also presented her works in Seattle, Los Angeles, Chicago, New York and Japan. Merlin has been awarded residencies at Engine 27, New York, NY; The Ragdale Foundation in Lake Forest, Il; and at Millett Farm in Poughkeepsie, NY. She has ongoing collaborations with Dance Theater Choreographers Mary Armentrout and Maxine Moerman and filmmaker Catherine Hollander.