Winner of the 2021-2022 Frederic A. Juilliard/Walter Damrosch Rome Prize in Music Composition, Tina Tallon is a temporal media artist, engineer, historian, and educator whose work grapples with questions of identity, agency, and power as constructed and performed in our increasingly technologically-mediated world. Dr. Tallon received her Ph.D. in music composition from the University of California San Diego in 2020, where she explored the potential of electronic music as a reparative medium for engaging trauma. She currently serves as Assistant Professor of AI and the Arts in the University of Florida’s College of the Arts, where she is director of the Florida Electroacoustic Music Studio (FEMS) and affiliate faculty in the UF Informatics Institute.
Her concert music and interactive installations have been widely performed and presented by ensembles such as the LA Philharmonic New Music Group, Ensemble Intercontemporain, wild Up, and Talea, in venues ranging from some of the world’s most celebrated concert halls and arts institutions to aquariums, ancient Roman aqueducts, and grain silos. She has received numerous awards, grants, and fellowships from organizations such as the Harvard Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study, the American Academy in Rome, the Barlow Endowment, ASCAP, and NewMusicUSA, among others. Recent commissioners include Guerilla Opera, the LA Philharmonic, the La Jolla Symphony, and the Peabody Institute of Johns Hopkins University. Her collaborators have included particle physicists, visual artists, poets, dancers, biological engineers, filmmakers, birds, and jellyfish.
Dr. Tallon’s current research focuses on the myriad ways in which artificial intelligence influences how artists engage with society, with a specific emphasis on equity and algorithmic justice. Her interests include human-computer interaction, virtual tactility, embodied sonic cognition, algorithmic composition and procedural music generation, data sonification, computational musicology, labor, automation, intellectual property, and accessibility. Her work has been featured by the New Yorker, NPR, Politico, TheNextWeb, and enterprise.nxt, and recent international public speaking appearances include two keynotes at the Iceland Airwaves PRO conference in Reykjavík and the MIT-Grafenegg Forum in Austria. She has also served as an arts and technology entrepreneurship coach for MIT Bootcamps, and is currently a research affiliate in the MIT Department of Biological Engineering, where she is developing an engineering ethics curriculum based on her work with technological bias.
Recognizing the challenges posed by lack of access to sophisticated, nuanced, and affordable documentation services for emerging and underrepresented artists, Dr. Tallon founded SALT Arts Documentation, an outfit that specializes in creating artistically-informed audiovisual documents of contemporary performing arts and training other artists in audio engineering, videography, photography, and web design. She has worked with numerous nonprofits, arts groups, and presenting organizations around the world, and her media have been published by the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, the LA Times, the Boston Globe, the San Diego Union-Tribune, and many others. She is also active as a vocalist, conductor, electronic musician, and video artist, and has performed in and facilitated many productions around the globe. Prior to beginning her career as a musician, her research in pancreatic cancer won the Alexander J. Denner Award from MIT, and she has developed computational tools to model both cancer metastasis and stem cell differentiation.
Prior to commencing her doctoral work at UC San Diego as a Katzin Prize fellow, Dr. Tallon completed B.S. degrees in Biological Engineering and Music from MIT (2011) and an M.F.A in Music Composition and Theory from Brandeis University (2013). Her primary composition teachers include Peter Child, David Rakowski, and Lei Liang, and she has studied computer music with Miller Puckette and Tom Erbe. From 2020-2021, she was a Radcliffe Fellow at the Harvard Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study, where she began work on her first evening-length multimedia opera and book on the technocultural history of voice technology. Prior to joining the faculty at the University of Florida, she served as Assistant Professor of Composition at the Boston Conservatory at Berklee, Visiting Assistant Professor of Music at Clark University, and Lecturer in Music and Theater Arts at MIT. She has also been on faculty at many festivals and summer programs, and currently serves as Composition Program Director for the Cortona Sessions for New Music. A passionate educator, Dr. Tallon is committed to supporting young artists and engineers as they find their voices and dream up ways for their creative endeavors to make the world a better place.