Julia A. Miller is a sound artist, guitarist, improvisor, composer, visual artist, curator and educator.


As a guitarist, Julia performs with the noise funk quartet Volcano Radar with Elbio Barilari, Harrison Bankhead, and Avreeayl Ra. In 2013, the quartet released the digital EP “Refutation of Time” on the Chicago-based netlabel Pan Y Rosas. Julia also performs in the avant electric guitar trio HKM with Mark Hardy and Reid Karris, and the electroacoustic trio, Auris, with Eric Leonardson and Christopher Preissing. Auris released the cd “Rub” with Gino Robair on Pan Y Rosas and Public Eyesore. In 2012, Julia was asked to participate in the $100 Guitar Project, a double cd release of improvised and composed short pieces by 65 different guitarists which was released on Bridge Records with proceeds benefitting CARE. Also in 2012, a live recording of her solo performance on the Experimental Sound Studio’s Sunday Solos series, titled “Solo Variations”, was released as a digital EP on the Chicago netlabel Pan y Rosas to critical and popular acclaim. Julia is a founding member of the Chicago Scratch Orchestra.

As a curator, Julia hosts and programs the Articular Facet series at the Empty Bottle in Chicago. This series of electro-acoustic compositions and structured improvisations features the incorporation of the visual and physical into the sonic. The performances reflect the use of ancient, adapted, or hacked technology, invented instruments and performative objects combined with traditional musical instruments. The initial Articular Facet series, performed at various venues in the Chicago area in 2011, set the foundation for the 2012 production of John Cage’s Variations V on the A.pe.ri.o.dic John Cage Festival, the 2013 production of John Cage’s Variations VI at the Neiman Center (SAIC), and continues with an internet radio show on numbers.fm, “Articular Facet with jseq_a”. Also in 2011, Julia served as the music curator for Collaboraction’s Sketchbook Festival at the Chopin Theater, programming over 20 concerts of live music within the theatrical setting. In 2012, along with noted sound artist Eric Leonardson, and composer Christopher Preissing, Julia curated the Make Sound Festival for young artists at the ZhouB Center in partnership with the Wet Paint exhibition curated by Sergio Gomez.

As a composer, in 2013 the flute and percussion duo Due East will premiere the commissioned piece “c_nz_n_”. In 2012, Julia partnered with Bay area composer and improvisor Gino Robair on the Improvised Opera Workshop at High Concept Labs which saw thirty improvisors tackle the combined operas of Miller (“Dissecting Adam”) and Robair (“I, Norton”) in an immersive setting with interactive scoring and video.

Julia is the Guitar Dept. Head at the Music Institute of Chicago (MIC), and is an Adjunct Assistant Professor in Sound at the School of the Art Institute (SAIC) in Chicago. Julia received a DMA in composition from Northwestern University in 2005.


Rob Mazurek is an electro-acoustic composer, cornetist, improviser and visual artist living in Chicago, Illinois.


Mazurek composes for and performs in the numerous ensembles he leads, including Exploding Star Orchestra, Pharoah and the Underground, Chicago Underground, Pulsar Quartet, Sao Paulo Underground, Skull Sessions Octet, Sound Is Quintet, and Starlicker.  He performs regularly in North and South America and in Europe with these and other critically acclaimed ensembles,   each of which has its own distinct   musical personality.  Mazurek’s diverse interests and abilities have led to collaborations with a wide variety of luminaries, such as Bill Dixon, Pharoah Sanders, Roscoe Mitchell, Yusef Lateef, Fred Anderson, Nana Vasconcelos, Mike Ladd and others.

Mazurek has over 200 original compositions and has released 46 recordings on various labels including Aesthetics, Cuneiform, Delmark, Rogue Art, Family Vineyard, Mego, Northern Spy, Submarine, Thrill Jockey and his own label, Infinity Dogs.  Beyond his ensemble efforts, Mazurek’s solo endeavors reflect his interest in musique concrete and electronic sound manipulation, with releases on Aesthetics, Bottrop-Boy, Delmark, Mego, Adluna and Moikai.

Mazurek’s work as a visual artist incorporates sound, painting, text and video.  He has received several prestigious artist residencies to develop sound and vision works and has presented works at the Rothko Chapel in Houston, Texas, where his paintings still hang on the office walls, at the Galleria Coletivo in Sao Paulo, Brazil, and the Abbey Royal de Fontevraud in Anjou, France, among others.  In 2013, Mazurek completed four 3-D lithographs during two artist residencies at URDLA in Villeurbanne, France.

Since 1997, Mazurek has received grants, awards and commissions for new works.  In 2011 and in 2013, the Sant’Anna Aressi Jazz Festival in Sardinia, Italy commissioned the “Transgressions Suite” and the “Galactic Parables” suite for his Exploding Star Orchestra.  In 2011, Mazurek was commissioned by the Jazz & Wine Festival in Cormons, Italy to compose the “Violent Orchid Suite” for a quartet featuring his Starlicker trio and flutist Nicole Mitchell. In 2010, Mazurek was awarded a New Music USA Commissioning Music/USA grant for the multi-media work The Space Between developed in collaboration with video artist and choreographer Marianne Kim.

In 2012, Mazurek received Jazz Musician of the Year in Italy’s Musica Jazz magazine and Alumni of the Year from Naperville Central High School.  The August 2013 edition of The Wire magazine features Mazurek as a prolific and venerable force in new music.

In 2013, Mazurek released four new recordings: Skull Sessions (Cuneiform), Beija Flors Velho E Sujo (Cuneiform), The Space Between (Delmark) and Matter AntiMatter (Rogue Art).  He has five more recordings coming in 2013. His latest work in progress is an electro-acoustic science fiction opera titled The Book of Sound.

His unwavering work ethic drives him, in his own words, “to create sound and vision that breaks barriers and creates a radical dialogue with like-minded and not-like minded souls in order to penetrate to the core of why we are here on this planet, in this universe and where we might be going.  My sound and vision works play an important role in the ritual of shattering the sky of ignorance and deception that is put upon us each and every day by mass media distortion modules.”


What an exciting honor to receive the Meier Achievement Award. This will allow me so much freedom in my artistic and career choices for the next few years.


I am a freelance theater director/adapter in Chicago. In 1997, I founded The Hypocrites, serving as Artistic Director for 15 seasons and directing a majority of the company’s productions. From 2004-2006 I was a participant in NEA/TCG Career Development Program for Directors. I have won several Jeff Citations for Direction and Adaptation. A very huge honor was to be awarded a Fellowship at the Radcliffe Institute for Advance Studies class of 2014, in order for me to complete work on my project All Our Tragic, which is my joint adaptation of all of the surviving Greek tragedies folded into one twelve-hour narrative (www.allourtragic.com).

To quickly summarize my theatrical goals, I attempt, through writing and directing, to make classic plays seems as if they were crafted for contemporary audiences. It is my desire to engage in the continuing historical dialogue and give audiences magnificent events to behold, hopefully inspiring audience members to strive for greatness in life.