Since his earliest memories of family journeys through desert state of Utah, Michael Northam has been intimately and directly inspired by vast geographies, severe weather and other impressive natural events and places. This life long fascination of the phenomena of perception and experience faced with intimidating scales (large or small) continues to the foundation of his work with sound and images.
His work is the continuation of more than 15 years active art-life-travel which has brought him to visit, work with, and learn from over 90 artists from over 50 locations in 25 countries. Through these various experiences he has woven a complex tapestry of influences into a very personal intuitive process of creation. He continues to rediscover relations between visual/physical and sonic structures via a continual activity in graphic design, photography and filmmaking parallel to the sound work. As well as finding and practicing links between ‘sound as art/experience’ and traditional ‘musical’ approaches, such as periods of study of Kirana, Kayal and Dhrupad vocal tradition with teaches such as C.C. Hennix, Pashupati Nath Mishra and the Gundecha Brothers. He has a consistent approach to weave various traditions and approaches together to find a crossing points in sound of many traditions.
He has established studios, organized events, made his own way independent of institutions and nationality now for over ten years through relocations between several countries. By now his work has been presented in over 15 countries with CDs published on four continents. He is ever surprised to discover new listeners and collectors of his music in the most disparate places—from Japan to Lapland from Moscow to Montana.
Based in southern Oregon since 2013. Michael has recently been going out to south Asia to help with various projects. Completing the sound design for Anirban Datta’s new documentary film, ‘Shamans of the Streets.’ Also has volunteered with audio restoration work for the Tibetan Library of Works and Archives in Dharamshala. As well, he is making occasional ‘Sonic-Arts’ workshops at various locations where he shares his love of listening to the world we inhabit. Sharing ‘deep listening’ experiences, sound-arts as trans-personal experiences and an increasing imperative to be a part of the global shift of consciousness through applied artistic life action.