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.
Jacob Sachs-Mishalanie, Program Director
Originally from Utica, NY, Jacob Sachs-Mishalanie is a Brooklyn based composer, songwriter, electronic musician, drummer, and teacher. Currently, he is a PhD candidate in composition at the CUNY Graduate Center, where he has studied with Jason Eckardt and Jeff Nichols, and an adjunct instructor of music technology and theory at Brooklyn College. In 2013, he received a BM in composition from SUNY Purchase, where he studied with Suzanne Farrin, Du Yun, and Huang Ruo.
In recent projects, Jacob is focused on balancing mechanical and natural elements. This has taken shape in many forms, including fully acoustic concert pieces, self-reflective electronic pop released by Newlywed records, minimalist songwriting backed by a band of drums, cellos, and synths, and performance pieces like “Counterpoint for Two Isolated Drumsets” and “Piece for Eight Microcassette Recorders.”
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.
Ricard Romaneiro, Director of Outreach
Ricardo Romaneiro was born and raised in Sao Paulo, Brazil and moved to the U.S. at an early age and currently lives in New York City. The New York Times described his work (Strata) as “a blissful and compelling mix of Minimalist-derived rhythmic ecstasy and nightclub beats”. His music has been commissioned and performed by ensembles and institutions such as the the Museum of Modern Art’s Summergarden Series, Metropolis Ensemble, Wordless Music, Ensemble LPR, Nu Deco Ensemble, ECCE, New Juilliard Ensemble, ACO Underwood Readings, Quintet of the Americas, the Alvin Ailey Dance Company, the Colorado Ballet at the Ellie Caulkins Opera House, and the Sacramento Ballet. Ricardo’s music has been featured on NPR live broadcast from Prospect Park Bandshell as part of Celebrate Brooklyn! summerconcerts. Esquire Magazine featured his music and work process in their annual “Best & Brightest” issue. A recipient of the ASCAP Rudy Perez Songwriting Scholarship, Ricardo earned a Masters degree in composition from The Juilliard School and a Bachelors degree in composition from Manhattan School of Music.
Ricardo is endorsed by Sibelius, has been a guest presenter at NAMM for Avid, and has served on Avid’s Customer Advisory board for Pro-Tools and Sibelius integration and development.
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
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.
KT Pipal, Teaching Artist
KT Pipal is a recording and mix engineer from Southern California. They have lived in New York since 2011, and sometimes play music in groups called Causings and Cadet Kelly. They enjoy reading, hanging out with dogs and cats, and learning forever-lessons about music and life while working with the incomparable kids and crew at SAFA!
Angus Tarnawsky, Teaching Artist
Angus Tarnawsky is a performance-based sound artist experimenting with electro-acoustic improvisation and electronic composition. Originally from Tasmania, Australia, he holds a Bachelor of Music Performance (Honors) from the University of Melbourne and was a 2016 Artist-in-residence at the Red Bull Music Academy in Montreal, QC.
Angus has traveled extensively, leading and collaborating within a variety of projects. His interdisciplinary practice explores a dialog between spontaneity and structure realized using multiple tools and techniques. Important recent works include Artifacts, a long distance yet real-time collaboration with pianist Nathan Liow, an ongoing improvised duo with Yeah Yeah Yeahs drummer Brian Chase and a debut solo release, Pitched, exploring modular synthesis for Berlin imprint, Inner Surface Music. In addition to his performance-based work, Angus is the founder and curator of In Context Music, a record label dedicated to the exploratory channels of electronic and electro-acoustic music.
Angus will be providing his skills in sound science and performance to help develop and teach new STEM-based curriculum in synthesis and studio production.