BORN IN SYRACUSE, NY, b. 1993 | BASED IN DETROIT
Vocalist | Composer & Improviser | Interdisciplinary Performance Artist
Alex Koi's vocal and compositional style encompasses a versatility to be reckoned with. From jazz to the avant-garde, industrial to operatic, experimental electronic to punk, her influences ring just as organically and significantly from one sonic world to the next. "Hauntingly beautiful, visceral, [&] enchanting", her music builds "toward some fantastic, nightmarish opera of sorts", (Current Magazine).
Koi developed a taste for improvisation and composition at an early age while recording sounds, song, screams, and poetry in the quiet quarters of her parents' linen closet. The artistry of her multiple projects and interdisciplinary collaborations has been propelling her as an innovative force in the Detroit creative music scene and beyond. She writes multi-sectional, original compositions for her eponymous project and is one-fourth of the glitch-electronic ensemble saajtak along with Simon Alexander-Adams, Ben Willis, and Jonathan Taylor.
A sought-after collaborator, she has worked with artists across the creative board including electronic artist Joo Won Park, Detroit improvising musician James Cornish, hip-hop artist MC Kadence, and multiple dance soloists and ensembles across Michigan. She has shared stages with Xiu Xiu, Gaelynn Lea, Vicky Chow, New Music Detroit, and more, with performances at the DSO Cube, Trinosophes, The Detroit Institute of Arts, The Power Center for Performing Arts, and the Museum of Contemporary Art and across the country.
Originally from Pittsburgh, Koi moved to Detroit after graduating from the University of Michigan with a Jazz Studies B.M.A. with Voice Concentration in 2015.
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Jazz Studies B.M.A. with Voice Concentration | University of Michigan | Graduated December 2015
- Alex Koi
Compositions for live ensemble and studio recording.
- find the <Exits.
Solo improvisational project.
Opera-electronic band. Co-composer with electronic artist Simon Alexander-Adams, bassist Ben Willis, and drummerJonathan Taylor.
- Park / Jones / Koi Trio
Trio collaboration for electronics, saxophone, percussion, voice, drum machine, etc.
- Lisa LaMarre and Dancers
Improvisation/composition collaboration with choreographer and movement artist Lisa LaMarre and Co.
- James Cornish Ensemble
Vocals and electronics. Upcoming live video release.
Musical collaboration for dance film by Erin Wilson. Upcoming live video release.
- Julian Allen
Backup vocals for live video session.
- Matt Endhal's "Jacobs Ladder Project"
Vocals. Upcoming CD release.
- MC Kadence
- Polyfold Musical Arts Collective
- University of Michigan Music Con Panelist, Participant on "Beyond the Medium" Panel, March 2017
- Dance Dynamics Performing Arts Center, September 2016 - Present
Vocal and Music Instructor. Teaches private lessons and advanced high school classes. - Expressions Music Academy, May 2017 - Present
Voice and Piano Instructor
- Hobart and William Smith Colleges, March 2016
Guest Artist. Taught masterclass in vocal jazz. Visited composition and musicology classes.
- Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit (MOCAD), May - August 2015
Public Programming and Education Internship.
- "saajtak Live at Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit"
As part of the Detroit Symphony Orchestra's Tenth Annual Strange Beautiful Music Marathon.
September 25, 2017. COMING SOON.
- "What Work Is"
Improvised Opera by James Cornish Ensemble featuring Alex Koi. Based on poem "What Work Is" by US Poet Laureate, Philip Levine. Performed at the DSO Cube. COMING SOON.
saajtak Spokes EP, Released independently March 2017. All songs written by saajtak. Vocal parts and lyrics by Alex Koi.
Channeling the textural experimentalism of electronic music, the catharsis of tragic opera, the growl of punk rock, and the urgency of polymetric grooves, saajtak “smelts its sonic influences into a maelstrom almost orchestral in nature and theatrical in its depth” (Sonic Circuits, Washington, D.C.)
find the <Exits.
Alex Koi's solo project, <find the Exits., is grounded in improvisatory idea and navigates self-referentialism, consciousness, gender, and nature. Utilizing looping methods, distortions, and alternative mediums, she creates a hypnotic atmosphere that breathes with its audience, communicating to the ear and to the body with both heavy, pulsating vibrations and tinkling considerations. Notable travels of <find the Exits. have included a performance at the 2013 International Society for Improvised Music's New York City Conference, a seating as Guest Artist at Hobart and William Smith Colleges in March 2016, and a performance at the 2016 Detroit Free Arts Music Fest.
Collaborations with movement artists have included those with Lisa LaMarre and Dancers, Dance in the Annex, Rachael Ahn Harbert, Amy Wilson, Ryan Meyers-Johnson, Kristi Faulkner, and more. Performances have taken place at the Detroit Institute of Arts, ArtPrize, Spread Art, the Wealthy Theater in Grand Rapids, Michigan, the Artist Village in Brightmoor in conjunction with Culture Lab Detroit, and elsewhere across Michigan. Koi has also performed live improvisations for film, the latest of which was Erin Wilson's dance film "Chanti" in conjunction with ArtPeers.
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