Sugar Vendil is a composer, pianist, interdisciplinary artist and theatre maker. Her artistic practice is strongly rooted in rigorous discipline as a musician and gradually expanded into performance that integrates music, movement, and unconventional approaches to the piano. She is a proud second generation Filipinx American.
Vendil has performed at a variety of venues, ranging from arts spaces such as BAM Fisher, Dixon Place, Knockdown Center’s Ready Room, National Sawdust, the New School’s Glassbox Theater, and Roulette; to galleries and spaces such as The Development Gallery, Milk Studios, Spring Studios, and others.
Most recently, Vendil was selected as a runner up in National Sawdust’s Hildegard Competition. She is a 2019 resident artist at Mabou Mines and was an artist in residence at Target Margin Theater. In 2016, she was a Fellow in the Target Margin Institute for Collaborative Theater Making, which encouraged her to further pursue composition and performance making. Other residencies include Summer Labs at National Sawdust and a Avaloch Farm, Earthdance (E|MERGE Multidisciplinary Residency), the A-Z West Wagon Station Encampment, Arts Letters & Numbers, and Yaddo. She is the founder of a contemporary music ensemble, The Nouveau Classical Project.
Vendil is an advocate of the oxford comma, is obsessed with her cat Coco, and has an excellent memory.
I am a composer, pianist, and interdisciplinary artist. My compositions span acoustic, electro-acoustic, and electronic works, and I am interested in the coexistence of equal-tempered and microtonal sounds. My interdisciplinary pieces integrate music and movement, giving the body of the musician a more active role. Fusing sound and movement allows me to form unusual connective threads that encourage closer inspection.
Music and the body are central to my practice. To me, a score is only a piece of paper without the performer working to activate it. This notion is rooted in my background as a performer of over ten years, which influences my process: I imagine the live performance in order to create a score that will come alive beyond the page.
My work is non-narrative, conveying raw meaning or emotion rather than telling a story. My inspiration comes from observing and hyper-analyzing human behavior. I hypothesize, research, then deconstruct and distill my findings to extract essence.