Sonia Killmann is an international composer and multi-media artist from Belgium. As a saxophone player, electronic musician, and audiovisual artist, they have performed across the UK and Europe, and have recently been nominated for best electronic artist 2022 at the Scottish Alternative Music awards. Sonia’s works are largely inspired by composers such as Kaitlyn Aurelia Smith and Alvin Lucier, and explore the relationship between sound and environment through audiovisual soundscapes. Sonia has been collaborating with dancers, theatre makers and visual artists from France, Germany and Belgium after graduating from a masters in composition at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland where Sonia studied with Dr Linda Buckley. Sonia is currently also working closely with Cryptic Glasgow as a Cryptic Artist. Sonia’s work ranges from creating ambient electronic music to classical music using acoustic instruments or electroacoustic compositions.
In January 2022 Sonia went on an artist's residency to teach workshops in visual coding and digital music making in Yekaterinburg (Russia) as part of a collaboration with the Pushkin Museum, British Council and Cryptic Glasgow. Being fluent in French, German and English, they have collaborated with artists around Europe, including the COMEPULSIVE collective and has also created various radio mixes international radio stations, such as Lamacun Radio (Hungary).
In Sonia’s ambient duo Failed System Test, the composer uses coded visuals and Ableton Live to create an immersive experience through melodic saxophone playing and live digital processing of multiple mediums together with Aidan Lochrin. In 2022, the duo performed across Scotland, including their own sold-out ambient music night at the Glad Café and a sold-out show at Tramway at Cryptic's Sonica as part of the Next-Gen Youth Music scheme, supported by PPL and PRS.
Aside from creating her own visuals for her live performances, Sonia also creates visuals for other sonic material and has collaborated with the Royal Northern Sinfonia on a classical concert at Sage Gateshead in November 2021 and March 2022. In March 2022, they performed alongside Annabelle Playe on Ad Astra with audio-reactive visuals in Cryptic's Sonica 2022 festival.
Sonia is also interested in the conjunction of movement and sound, which has sparked some collaborations with Ballet dancers, such as Yasmine Naghdi and Constant Vigier, with whom she worked on One Dance UK and BBC Dance Passion 2022 and created the Fringe Show "Bamboozled" (premiered in August 2022. Simultaneously, the composer also worked with dancer and choreographer Jamie Laurence on his ballet "Read Only Memory" for Rubicon Dance Company, which premiered in September 2022 in Newport.
In addition, Sonia also teaches electronic music techniques and live visual coding with the aim to make electronic and audiovisual music more accessible. In January she will be hosting field recording workshops with Sam Welch as part of counterflows and Sound Lab. Sonia also programs concerts and volunteers with the sound art organisation Sound Thought who help promote the work of local and emerging artists. Sonia is a versatile composer who flourishes during collaborative processes and is influenced by their queer identity, which resulted in Sonia’s recent receipt of the Queer To Stay artist bursary from the Shaper Caper dance company in Dundee.