Max Alper, Founder & Director
Max Alper is a sound artist, performer, educator, and a vocal advocate of music technology living in Flatbush, Brooklyn. Originally from Boston, Max is currently an MFA candidate in the Sonic Arts at the Conservatory of Music at Brooklyn College, where he currently studies privately with David Grubbs and serves as a Graduate Assistant. He has studied composition and electronic performance with legendary electronic music composer Morton Subotnick, as well as improvisation and contemporary piano technique with Grammy winning composer and bandleader Arturo O’Farrill. Max was awarded the Morton Feldman Award in Experimental Music Composition in 2014, as well as the H. Wiley Hitchcock Award in Cross-Cultural Composition and Performance in 2013.
"'Sonic Arts For All!' is not only our name, but our mantra": no matter what music a student may be interested in, or what the student’s musical skill set may be, there is a place for all who are motivated to learn. Max Alper has a passion for helping mold the next generation of performers, composers, creative engineers, sound designers, and 21st century music scholars. In an age in which we can hold a fully functional recording studio on a device small enough to fit in our pockets, Max's mission is to show students how to utilize and develop the skills they have already obtained by being raised in this day and age and apply them to professional music contexts, and to continue on this path to create innovative pieces of sonic art and performance using this amazing technology.
Jaydee DeLeon, Program Director
Jaydee Deleon is a guitarist, music technologist, and educator, born and raised in Brooklyn, NY. He graduated from the Conservatory of Music at Brooklyn College in 2016 with a Bachelors in Music Performance (Classical Guitar) and a minor in Music Technology. His primary instructors included Dr. Lars Frandsen, Douglas Geers, and George Brunner. Having been exposed at an early age to the hardcore punk and metal scene of South Brooklyn, Jaydee utilized these contemporary performance skills during his undergraduate studies of classical and electroacoustic music. He has taught in both the private and elementary-age group classroom settings.
Eliza Walton, Teaching Artist
Eliza Walton is a self-taught electronic music producer, sound nerd, and illustrator living in Brooklyn, NY. Beginning as a drummer at the age of 12, her love for the strange soundscapes of the 80s pop world eventually led her to the wonderful world of sound design and synthesis. As one of the newest members of the SAFA! teaching artist team, she's delighted to help plant the seeds of knowledge for our young producers and sonic artists!
Gabriela Baez, Teaching Artist & Outreach Coordinator
Gabriela Baez is a bassist, song writer, and music producer, born and raised in Brooklyn, NY. She graduated from Hunter College in 2016 with a B.A. in Music Performance and a minor in Media Studies. She studied under the tutelage of Emmy- winning composer and jazz pianist Robert D.D. Jackson in Hunter’s Popular Music Combos. She has also studied under Ryan Keberle of the jazz group Catharsis in the Hunter College Jazz Ensemble. Baez is currently working as a studio bassist and interning at a professional recording studio. She is the bassist in several bands including The Protectors of The Wood Band and Semicrcls. Her love of live performance and song writing with technology is something she is excited to share with aspiring musicians and producers.
Matthew Weisberg, Development Coordinator
Matthew is a Sonic Artist and career educator. He has worked at nonprofits teaching microscopy, gardening, healthy cooking, and digital sound production. He is dedicated to community focused programming and increased access to fun and meaningful educational experiences. He is also slowly learning to play the trumpet.
Dyani Douze, Teaching Artist
Dyani Douze is a Brooklyn-based DJ and multimedia artist working in sound art, music production, film editing, film distribution and curatorial projects. She has presented her work at Red Bull Music Academy Festival, Brooklyn Museum, The Whitney Museum, AFROPUNK AFTER DARK, and ALL GOLD Listening Room at MoMa PS1, among other programs. As a member of the New Negress Film Society, Dyani has most recently presented her films at Anthology Film Archives, Indiana University Cinema, Made in NY Media Center, South Dallas Cultural Center, and Cooper Union as part of a series presented by Black Radical Imagination. She is also the co-creator of MAMI, an exhibition programming series that began at Knockdown Center in August of 2016.
Shanti Gallard, SAFA! en Puerto Rico Development Officer & Teaching Artist
Shanti Gallard is a cellist, composer, writer, producer, community organizer, and educator that focuses her work on the creation of soundscapes, translating poetry into music and vice-versa. As Development Officer for the second official SAFA! chapter, located in Puerto Rico, Gallard will lend her musical intuitions and community expertise to bring SAFA! en Puerto Rico to life and sustain it for years to come.
Luzdaris Morales, Teaching Artist
Luzdaris Morales is a singer, songwriter, and producer born and raised in Puerto Rico. She studied psychology and music at the University of Puerto Rico in Rio Piedras. After graduating from college she started to teach music in several private schools and attained certification in Waldorf education in Cuernavaca, Mexico. As a singer she has worked as a professional jazz performer, and performs electronic music under the name La Emperatriz. She is a co-founder of the first Waldorf inspired school in San Juan, Puerto Rico and she is the Kindergarden teacher and music teacher for primary students.