Emily Cardwell - composer, electronic musician, vocalist

  • classical and electronic composition

  • music theory and ear training 

  • live vocal processing

  • classical and folk voice

  • mixing and mastering

  • audio setup and recording

  • classical and improv conducting

"Music can act as a statement, as a moment of deep connection between people, as a call to action, and as a positive outlet for difficult emotions. I am passionate about both advocating and breaking-down music for the newly initiated, as well as helping experienced musicians finesse their work and find focused direction. Through mentorship, collaboration, inspiration, and knowledge, I will help your natural talents blossom."

A composer, singer, improviser, poet, and art-maker, Emily's passions are creating chamber works, installation pieces, and electronic music. She collaborates with visual artists and choreographers, most closely with BodyStories: Teresa Fellion Dance, with whom she has performed live at Danspace Project, Federal Plaza, Gibney Dance Center, NY City Center, and Triskelion Arts. Her works are inspired by nature, politics, and the human condition, and express both traditional and experimental styles of music. She is the singer, co-composer, and Native American flutist of the NYC-based Trilogy Ensemble, which creates a mixture of live and processed sound for dance and film collaborations. She has performed operatic, art song, choral, jazz, folk, and experimental vocals with Canto Chamber Choir, Texas State Mysterium Improvisational Ensemble, Sarah Lawrence Dance and Music Experimental Ensembles, Mills Contemporary Performance Ensemble, and Mills Improvisation Ensemble.

Emily was the assistant conductor for Sarah Lawrence Experimental Orchestra in 2017 and guest conductor for Mills CPE and Improv. Ensemble in 2018.  Emily has studied at Boston University Tanglewood Institute, Oberlin in Italy, and obtained her BA in music composition and experimental music at Sarah Lawrence College in 2016. She has studied composition with Russell Riepe, John Yannelli, Chris Brown, Maggi Payne, Laetitia Sonami, and John Bischoff, and improvisation with Katherine Westwater and Zeena Parkins. Emily has been teaching since 2018, and founded Thistledown Productions, an electronic music production and contemporary composition publishing company, in 2016. Emily received her MFA in electronic music and recording media at Mills College in Oakland, California in January of 2020.

Work Samples

MFA Thesis:

"The Ecstatic Female Voice: Discovering Happiness, Agency, and Artistic Identity"


Dec. 2019


2009 – 2013

MFA in Electronic Music & Recording Media, Mills College

BA in Experimental Music Composition, Sarah Lawrence College

Classical Vocal Performance, Lousisiana State University & Texas State University


2018 – present

2018 – 2020

2017 – present

2015 – 2017

2015 – present

Self-employed: voice and composition private lessons

Mills College: Center for Contemporary Music Fellow, video TA

Founder and owner of Thistledown Productions: producing and publishing

Sarah Lawrence College: assistant conductor, electronic music & concert recording TA

Live vocalist and electronic musician for dance and chamber performance in NYC and SF


June 2019

May 3, 2019

April 7, 2019

March 7, 2019

Summer 2018

Dec. 5, 2018

Greenermind Summit 

Composition Studio Concert (composer, performer)

California Electronic Music Exchange Concerts (coordinator) 

Signal Flow - Mills College graduate music festival  (composer, lighting head, vocalist)

Light Grey Art Lab Artist Residency, Norheimsund, Norway (sound artist resident)

Contemporary Performance Ensemble Concert (composer, vocalist, assistant conductor)

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2020 Emily Cardwell