Composer / Performer
Natacha Diels’ work combines choreographed movement, video animation, instrumental practice, and cynical play to create worlds of curiosity and unease. Recent work includes Papillon and the Dancing Cranes for construction cranes and giant butterfly (Borealis Festival 2018); and forthcoming is a 6-part TV-style miniseries with the JACK Quartet (TIME:SPANS and Banff Centre for the Arts) and a collaborative work with Ensemble Pamplemousse (Darmstadt 2021). With a focus on collage, collaboration, and the ritual of life as art, Natacha’s compositions have been described as “a fairy tale for a fractured world” (Music We Care About) and “the liveliest music of the evening” (LA Review of Books).
Natacha is a founding member of the composer/performer collective Ensemble Pamplemousse (est. 2003). Pamplemousse specializes in unique aspects of new music composition, from complex virtuosic instrumental performance to experimental theatre to electronic and robotic performance.
Notable commissions include those from the Borealis Festival for Papillon and the Dancing Cranes; the Fromm Foundation for an upcoming work for Talea Ensemble (2022); Darmstadt Summer Course (2021); TIME:SPANS Festival for Episode 2 of Beautiful Trouble, for JACK Quartet (2020–21); the Los Angeles Philharmonic for the Green Umbrella Series (Laughing to Forget, 2018); and Deustchlandfunk Kultur in Berlin for Ensemble Adapter (Sad Music for Lonely People, 2019). Other major activities include a repeat performance of Papillon and the Dancing Cranes (Nadar Ensemble 2021), a release by Ensemble Pamplemousse of works with the percussion trio Line Upon Line (2021), and being chosen as artist-in-residence for Harvestworks in partnership with MATA festival (summer 2019). Natacha‘s work has been performed globally by Ensemble Adapter, Ensemble Intercontemporain, Nadar Ensemble, hand werk, Decoder Ensemble, TAK Ensemble, Quatuor Impact, JACK Quartet; and soloists Jay Campbell, Laura Cocks, Samuel Favre, Ross Karre, Rane Moore, and Charlotte Mundy, among others. She has also created several short films and music videos which have been screened in Denmark, NYC, Chicago, and Budapest.
Natacha holds degrees in performance, digital media, and composition from New York University and Columbia University. She is currently an Assistant Professor of composition and computer music at the University of Pennsylvania/Philadelphia.