composer / musician

Carmen Chan Schoenborn is a musician and artist. She has a Master of Music from the University of Melbourne, having studied percussion performance with Tim Hook, and piano with Michael Kieran Harvey. She also studied at Musikhögskolan i Piteå, Sweden, with Gary Verkade and Jan Ferm.

As graphic scores composer, her creative project ‘Do You See What I Hear?’ (2009–) with graphic scores, art and interpretations has invited interpreters ranging from professional musicians to non-musicians to become engaged. The project has been featured at La Mama Musica, Shepparton Art Museum, the International Alliance of Women’s Music blog, Art Gallery of Ballarat, Tilde New Music Festival, Festival of Slow Music, Waranga Film Festival, the community of Surrey Hills and with the Hong Kong New Music Ensemble. Carmen was also invited to present at the Notations21 European tour and symposium in Utrecht, the Netherlands in 2012. Her composition ‘No Clouds’ was included in the Melbourne Now exhibition (2013–14) at the National Gallery of Victoria. A site-specific work was created and performed at Town Hall Gallery in 2015. In 2017, she received a grant from the Earle Brown Music Foundation to present a tribute concert to Earle Brown and Morton Feldman, featuring their graphic scores, new dance choreographed by Tony Yap, and a new work in their honour by Warren Burt and herself.

Carmen has also been the recipient of several grants and scholarships from organisations and institutions, including the Ian Potter Foundation, the University of Melbourne and the Rotary Club of Melbourne. As educator, she has taught at Monash University, Scotch College and Presbyterian Ladies’ College in Melbourne, in composition programmes for students and children in Sweden, worked with school children at the Port Fairy Spring Music Festival, and recorded with the Amplified Elephants at the Footscray Community Arts Centre.

In 2018, Carmen was selected as Victorian representative for The Summers Night Project by Tura New Music, mentored by Cat Hope. Performances of her new composition ‘Our Current State of Progress’, which quotes the Global Gender Gap Report 2017, were held in Perth, Adelaide and Melbourne.

Carmen has performed in Adam Simmons Creative Music Ensemble as part of the Usefulness of Art series at fortyfivedownstairs and Wangaratta Festival of Jazz and Blues. She has also performed with Ren Walters’ multidisciplinary THIS ensemble, Domenico de Clario and was composer and musician for Efterpi Soropos’ project ‘Oompah!’ for babies at ArtPlay. In 2018, she was on the advisory assessment panel for Creative Victoria.