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Biographies of Digital Sanctuaries Artists


Composer/Percussionist Susie Ibarra

is interested in the intersection of tradition and avant-garde and questions how this informs interdisciplinary art, education and public service. In most recent years Ibarra has been creating music that blends jazz, electronic, Southeast Asian, Middle Eastern and experimental music.

Recent new works include 2012 London Olympic Festival BT River of Music world premiere of Binalig Blues with Arun Ghosh Arkestra Makara; Moon Over Still Waters of a Lost Road, world premiere with Visiting Tarab Project with Tarek Atoui commissioned by the Sharjah Art Foundation; Hidden Truths: Prayer for a Forgotten World, a 5.1 surround sound composition, performed by Electric Kulintang co-commission for River to River Festival NYC 2012 and Harvestworks Artist in Residency; Saturnalia , a new music theatre work with Libretto by Yusef Komunyakaa, Directed by Daniel Fish residency commission by Music Theatre Group 2010, Drum Codes composed and performed by Electric Kulintang world premiere Lincoln Center Atrium 2011.

Ibarra is a Yamaha, Vic Firth and Paiste Drum Artist, has recorded over 40 recordings as a leader, collaborator and soloist. Her music can be heard on Drum Sketches, solo percussion , Innova Records, Dialects , Electric Kulintang, Plastic Records, Folkloriko , Susie Ibarra Trio, Tzadik Records, Entomological Reflections, Mephista , Tzadik Records, Canciones de Cuna, Mundo Ninos.

She is a TED Fellow 2010, Asia 21 Delegate 2010 and recipient of a 2008 Asian Cultural Council /Rockefeller Fellowship that supported her work in Philippine Indigenous music and ecology. In 2009 Ibarra cofounded Song of the Bird King to foster multi-media art and humanitarian and environmental work that contributes to preservation and innovation with Indigenous communities and children’s education. With Roberto Rodriguez she lead a children’s world music group Mundo Niños that teaches and performs music with children from elementary to highschool. Ibarra joins Bennington Faculty in 2012 in the Music and Center for Advancement of Public Action CAPA.


Composer, Roberto Juan Rodriguez

Born in East Havana, Cuba, percussionist and composer Roberto Rodriguez draws upon his diverse influences music, making him one of the most versed and unique artistic voices today. Rodriguez, a Grammy nominee and American Music Award Recipient, received the BBC3 Radio Best World Music Award 2007. Roberto Rodriguez is a sponsored Paiste, Vader and Evans Drum Artist.

He has performed with notable artists such as: Rufus Wainwright, Joe Jackson ,John Zorn ,Marc Ribot , Celia Cruz ,Israel “CACHAO” Lopez,Paquito D’Rivera, Reuben Blades, Tbone Burnett, Julio Iglesias, Miami Sound Machine, Phoebe Snow, Diane Shurer, Paul Simon, Lloyd Cole, Dr. L Subramaniam, Kavita Krishnamurti, Lester Bowie and Wadada Leo Smith.

Rodriguez is Co-Founder and Director of Song of the Bird King ( 2008), an organization dedicated to cultural preservation of Indigenous Music and Ecology. He is also Co-Founder of Mundo Niños, a children’s group that performs, records and teaches children melody, rhythm and harmony in multi-languages.

Roberto Rodriguez Projects include:

Roberto Rodriguez’s Mulato Insurgency

Roberto Rodriguez y Orquesta Sarabia

Sexteto Roberto Rodriguez

Electric Kulintang- Best10 cd’s WIRE-UK 2007

Mundo Niños-This is a Beat

Selected Discography:

Roberto Rodriguez Timba Talmud (Tzadik 2009)

Electric Kulintang Dialects (Plastic)

Maurice el Medioni meets Roberto Rodriguez: Descarga Oriental, (Piranha)

Rufus Wainwright- Want (Geffen)

Roberto Rodriguez ~ Timba Talmud ~ Baila! Gitano Baila! ~El Danzon de

Moises (Tzadik)

Mundo Niños This is a Beat!

Jessie Harris Los Ferdinandos (Blue Note)

Joe Jackon Live – Two Rainy Nights (Sony )

Marc Ribot, & los cubanos postizos and !Muy Divertido! (Atlantic )

John Zorn, Taboo & Exile (Tzadik)

Miami Sound Machine, Into the Light and Cuts both ways (Epic )


Visual Artist, Makoto Fujimura

Makoto Fujimura is an artist, writer, and speaker who is recognized worldwide as a cultural influencer by both faith-based and secular media.

A Presidential appointee to the National Council on the Arts (2003-2009), Fujimura has contributed internationally as an advocate for the arts, speaking with decision makers and advising governmental policies on the arts. Fujimura’s work is exhibited at galleries around the world, including Dillon Gallery (New York), Sen Gallery (Tokyo), The Contemporary Museum of Tokyo, Tokyo National University of Fine Arts Museum and Oxford House, Taiku Place (Hong Kong). He has painted live on stage at New York’s legendary Carnegie Hall as part of an ongoing collaboration with composer and percussionist Susie Ibarra. A popular speaker, he has lectured at numerous conferences and universities, including the Aspen Institute, Yale, Princeton, the Q Conference, and IAM’s Encounter 10.

Fujimura’s second book, Refractions: A Journey of Faith, Art and Culture, is a collection of essays bringing people of all backgrounds together in conversation and meditation on culture, art, and humanity. Fujimura founded the International Arts Movement in 1992.


Interaction Designer, Shankari Murali

Shankari Murali completed her Bachelor’s Degree in Electronics and Telecommunication Engineering in 2008. After receiving an intensive 4-month training in Java/J2EE Programming, she worked as a Software Engineer at Infosys Technologies Limited for 2 years. While engineering and programming helped her become conversant with software and hardware technologies, she progressively became more inclined towards the sociology and design of products and proceeded to pursue a Master’s degree in Design and Technology at Parsons The New School for Design, New York. While at The New School, her main interest and focus has been towards creating platforms for sensorial translations and cultural exchanges. Her graduate thesis, You are Not Here, is an ethnographic exploration into the different ways in which people conceive of, perceive and live in spaces, focussing primarily on Dharavi, an informal township in Mumbai, India.