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Nirmali Fenn

Assistant Professor; Compositionfenn

Nirmali Fenn is a Sri Lankan-born Australian composer who has been island-hopping since finishing her PhD at Oxford University. She sees herself as a musical nomad, currently living in New York, but calling Germany, Singapore, Hong Kong, Australia and the UK as ‘home’.

Nirmali’s music has been described as “dynamic and sculpturally fluid” exploring the “poetics of spacetime thematic resonance”. She has been a composer-in-residence at a number of major European festivals, most notably the Lakes District Summer Music Festival, the Saxophone Habanera Festival in Poitiers, Zeitströme 2018 in Darmstadt and festivals in New York held by Yarnwire and Unheard- of//Ensemble. Her compositions have been staged all over the world, performed by ensembles such as the Arditti String Quartet, Ensemble Cairn, Ensemble Linea, the Kuss Quartet, Ensemble Concorde, Melbourne Symphony Orchestra, the Hong Kong New Music Ensemble, UnitedBerlin ensemble, and Ensemble Offspring.

Nirmali has interests range from acoustics and sound design to sensorial phenomenology and Hindustani raga traditions. There are three things she feels noisy about in her music: 1) social reform; 2) sound and environmental ecology; 3) refining sonic awareness by constructing spatial ‘views’ of our surroundings. These three things are relevant to her society and that require activism and reaction for her musically. Her music is available on the Kairos label.