Natacha Diels’ work combines ritual, improvisation, traditional instrumental practice, and cynical play to create worlds of curiosity and unease. An accomplished composer and performer, Natacha’s unique musical approach contributes to the ongoing development of new American experimentalism. She holds degrees in flute performance, integrated digital media, and is currently completing a DMA in music composition from Columbia University.
Natacha founded the experimental music collective Ensemble Pamplemousse in 2003, and continues to be its executive director and flautist. In 2009 she co-founded the performance duo On Structure with Jessie Marino. Pamplemousse performs globally and has commissioned over 100 compositions from musically and demographically under-represented composers. Inexorably uncompromising, the group has developed its name by presenting exquisitely challenging music at both internationally recognized festivals such as MATA Festival (NY) and lesser-known gems such as Louisville’s Experimental Music Festival (KY).
As flautist, Natacha has recorded or performed with such luminaries as Christian Wolff, Frederick Rzewski, and Vijay Lyer; and has premiered works by Dave Broome, Luke Dubois, Andrew Greenwald, Bryan Jacobs, George Lewis, Jessie Marino, and Tristan Perich, among numerous others. Her performance has been described as “an insane, barking bird who can’t find his way out of his own birdcage” (The Sound Projector).
Natacha has taught courses in electronic and computer music at Columbia University and Parson’s School of Design (2012-2014); and has conducted numerous workshops or lectures in composition and computer music at schools such as the School at the Art Institute of Chicago, Wesleyan University, and University of Southern California. A devoted teacher of all ages, Natacha has also designed and taught workshops at the Montessori School of Raleigh and a summer music camp in Léogane, Haiti.
With a focus on choreographed movement, traditional instrumental technique, and a wide array of DIY electronics, Natacha’s compositions have been described as “a fairy tale for a fractured world” (Music We Care About) and “fantastic playful modern chamber music full of magic and wit” (Vital Weekly). Natacha’s work has received support from the American Music Center’s Composer Assistance Program (2011); Issue Project Room’s Emerging Artist Commission (2011); and the Cary New Music Performance Fund (2013), among others. Recently, she was a winner in Heather Roche’s crowd-funded commission competition (2015) and a finalist in the Fresh Minds Festival for audio-visual work (2015).
As of January 2016