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Maggi Payne

Maggi Payne

In collaboration with Nick Bertoni

Maggi Payne (b. 1945) is an American composer, flutist, video artist, recording engineer/editor, and historical remastering engineer. Her work involves electroacoustic, instrumental, and vocal works along with works involving visuals. Payne has received an Interdisciplinary Arts Grant and two Composer's Grants from the National Endowment for the Arts, as well as video grants from the Mellon Foundation and the Western States Regional Media Arts Fellowships Program. She is a professor at Mills College and has been doing collaborative work with the video artist Ed Tannenbaum since the 1980s. An album of this work has recently been released by the Bay Area record label Root Strata.

Flame Speaker


Flame Speaker was a sound sculpture whose 10-inch-high gas flame became the medium through which one could speak or play music. As the ionized gas of the flame vibrated to the electrical impulses provided by an enclosed amplifier, remarkably high fidelity music could be heard coming from the flame itself. By speaking into a microphone or playing on a small keyboard, one could control the sounds coming from the flame and explore the dynamic range of fire as a sonic medium.