Sasha Zamler-Carhart is a singer, composer-designer, and scholar specialized in contemporary and medieval music, and formerly a linguist and a lawyer. They teach Music History at Mannes School of Music and Medieval Multimedia at Parsons School of Design.
Sasha is the vocalist of Zamler-Carhart/Rauh/Greenberg (voice, electric guitar, glockenspiel), a New York chamber improv band that composes music on medieval and contemporary experimental poetry in real time. Several composers have also written operas and song cycles for Sasha’s voice: Jason Cady, Andrew Noseworthy, Samn Johnson, Kyle Tieman-Strauss.
As a linguist Sasha’s interest lay in language contact, diffusion and transmission, pidgins and creoles, and the linguistics of Africa and the African diaspora. This orientation survives in Sasha’s artistic practice and research, which involves a structuralist approach to cross-cultural contact phenomena.
Their own works are mostly collaborative multimedia design projects, often referencing the Middle Ages or Africa. Their musical style can best be described as medieval spectral disco.
Their most recent design project involved re-imagining 5th-century Ostrogoth cloaks in African chitenge wax cloth in collaboration with Zambian tailors (Lusaka, Zambia, 2019). Other projects include a a book of harpsichord pieces honoring the anniversary of Rameau’s death (Tokyo and New York, 2014); a liturgical drama for music, theater and light design (France, 2012); an opera on St. Francis of Assisi for music, dance, electronics and projection (performed 12 times in New York in 2010); a Cameroonian madrigal comedy for percussion, recitation and projection (Netherlands, 2006).
Before joining the faculty at The New School Sasha was director of the Medieval Music program at the Royal Conservatoire The Hague, The Netherlands, and artistic director of The Ascoli Ensemble, a vocal ensemble for medieval polyphony. They used to be a lawyer specialized in international tax issues and hold a JD from Stanford Law School, an MA in linguistics from Stanford University and an MMus in composition from University of London (Royal Holloway). Their pronouns are he, she, or they.
Sasha holds a JD from Stanford Law School, an MA in linguistics from Stanford University, an MMus in composition from University of London (Royal Holloway), a Diploma in composition from the Royal Conservatoire The Hague (Netherlands), and a double major BA in linguistics and philosophy from Stanford University.
medieval studies, Africa, linguistics, fashion, graphic design, acoustics
History of Music 1A
History of Music 1B
History of Music 1B (Spring 2019)