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fff ensemble

an interdisciplinary feminist improv collective

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Bay Area, California, USA



New Music, Experimental Art,

Interactive Technology, Improvisation, Interdisciplinarity & collaborativeness

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fff ensemble is an interdisciplinary feminist improv collective dedicated to supporting collaboration in the Bay Area and beyond





Clara Allison is a sound artist interested in intimacy and empathy. Her works explore connective networks, queer power dynamics, collaborative creation, and decolonialist approaches to western music composition. She is also a lover of drag/camp aesthetics as earnest and vulnerable forms of expression.




Doga Cavdir is a Ph.D. candidate at Stanford's Center for Computer Research in Music and  Acoustics (CCRMA). Her work explores gestural interaction and performers' expressive movements in musical instrument design, manufacturing, and performance. 





Michele Cheng is an interdisciplinary artist who uses music, experimental theatre, and other forms of media to be in dialogue with social issues and cultural identities. Through a journalistic approach to interview and research, she develops creative work that shines light on underrepresented figures and their disregarded narratives.




Simona Fitcal is a media artist, whose work offers a symbolic and expressive approach to digital visual effects by means of experimental video, multimedia performances, art installations, and interactive art. She often collaborates with musicians and programmers to bring a different dimension to her work. Fitcal is a graduate of the MFA Program in Art Practice in the Art and Art History Department at Stanford University. She holds an MA in Digital Media from the University of the Arts Bremen, Germany. She is a recipient of 2015 Murphy and Cadogan Award in film/video.

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Julie Herndon is a composer and performer working with internal/external space through improvisation, text, graphics, and electronics. Her work explores the body’s relationship to the self, to performance, and to tools like musical instruments and personal technology. 




Tiffany Lin is a visual artist, wordsmith, and dreamer. Through drawing, writing, and performance, her work investigates the nebulous distinction between want, need, and desire in context of political and capitalist spectacles. She holds a MFA from the Maryland Institute College of Art in Illustration Practice and a BA in Gender & Women's Studies and Psychology from the University of California, Berkeley. She's currently a visiting assistant professor at University of Nevada, Las Vegas.





Barbara Nerness is a PhD student at the Center for Computer Research in Music and Acoustics (CCRMA), Stanford University, currently working at the intersection of sound, space, and mind. She is interested in technological subversion, telling stories through immersive audiovisual performance, and auditory neuroscience. 




Patricia Robinson mixes digital design and visual experiences to create work around art, music, technology, and social change. Influenced by New Media and Communication Design, Patricia aims to explore the ways computational and natural forms change perception and simplify environments. Her practices balances expressiveness and functionality via data visualization, electronics, graphic design, interaction design, performance, and programming.




Stephanie Sherriff is an interdisciplinary media artist. Her work with sound, video, and plants is ephemeral in nature and culminates as time-based installations and performances that deconstruct familiar fragments of daily life through experimental processes. She received a BA from San Francisco State University in 2014 and an MFA in Art Practice from Stanford University in 2019, where she holds a position as lecturer in both the Music Department and the Art & Art History Department. Her work has been shown at the Brooklyn Academy of Music in New York, the Sfendoni Theater in Athens, Greece, and a diverse range of cultural organizations across the Bay Area.




Michiko Theurer is a violinist, artist, and fourth-year musicology student at Stanford. She seeks to create shared spaces through interdisciplinary resonances.




Katherine Whatley is a koto musician and PhD student in Japanese Literature at Stanford University working on gender and music in premodern literature. Her musical interests include free jazz and improvised music, improvised music in the context of non-Western and folk music, Japanese jazz, field recordings, noise music and sound art.



Julie Zhu is a composer, artist, and carillonneur. Her work is visual and aural--from artist books to sculptures and installations, sound walks to chamber music--operating on an expansive definition of score, striving for a new conceptual sincerity.







Pamela Z + fff ensemble

Date: March 19, 2021 (Fri) 4:00 pm PT

Location: CCRMA Live, Stanford University

After-concert Panel

Denning Artist in residency Pamela Z and members of the fff ensemble present a joint concert.


Register here for an after-concert panel with Pamela Z and the members of the fff ensemble, joined by special guests Margaret Schedel and Jocelyn Ho. The discussion will begin at 6pm PDT and will focus on performance with technology from a feminist perspective, including the Women's Labor project.

Jocelyn Ho + fff ensemble: Women's Labor

Date: March 8, 2020 (Sun) 2:30 pm

Location: CCRMA Stage, Stanford University

(Indefinitely postponed due to COVID-19)

A concert in celebration of the International Women's Day.

more info
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CCRMA lounge open-share

Date: Nov 15, 2019 (Fri) 7:30pm

Location: CCRMA lounge, Stanford University

CCRMA lounge open-share (Co-hosted by Michiko Theurer and fff Ensemble)


What: spread some joy/curiosity/questions... through anything you'd like to share: visible, audible, edible, drinkable, anything in-between or otherwise. Just learned to weld and want to share a totally non-functional but solidly joined clump of metal? (I might!...) Part-time poet or oud player in search of a supportive and non-judgmental audience? Want to tell a story or teach us all a dance? Please let me know if you have something you'd like to share at either gathering and how we can help prepare (equipment, setup, etc.). Works in progress are very welcome.


Date: May 10, 2019 (Fri)

Location: CCRMA stage, Stanford University


Join Christopher Costanza, Christopher Jette, and members of the fff ensemble (Doga Cavdir, Michele Cheng, Simona Fitcal, Julie Herndon, Tiffany Lin, Barbara Nerness, Patricia Robinson, Michiko Theurer, and Julie Zhu) for an evening of sonic and visual questions and openings. The program will include Bach’s C-minor suite for solo cello, performed by Costanza and ending with Bach’s original experimental retuning of the cello; brief selections for violin by Bach and György Kurtag, performed by Michiko Theurer; and musical and intermedia explorations envisioned and performed by Christopher Jette, Michiko Theurer, Patricia Robinson, Tiffany Lin, Barbara Nerness, Simona Fitcal, Doga Cavdir, Julie Herndon, Julie Zhu, and Michele Cheng.


Date: Jan 26, 2019 (Sat)

Location: CCRMA stage, Stanford University

improvisation and performance by: 
Michele Cheng, Julie Herndon, Barbara Nerness, Stephanie Sherriff, Michiko Theurer, Julie Zhu

performing works by:
Michele Cheng, Robert Fleitz, Kerrith Livengood with instruments created and extended by Patricia Alessandrini, Barbara Nerness, Stephanie Sherriff, and Julie Zhu. 


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