Rebekah Wilson

Story by Marcus Jackson

New Zealand School of Music, 2017

Introducing Rebekah

Musician, programmer, business person, Master’s student: it’s amazing that one person could manage to fit all of this into their schedule, but Rebekah Wilson makes it work.

Moving to Victoria following a brief stint at Canterbury University, Rebekah has always had a keen curiosity for sound.

Deciding on pursuing composition was a relatively obvious choice: when she was younger taking piano lessons, it became apparent that rather than learning to play the piano, she would rather learn about what went into writing for the piano.

Completing her Bachelor of Music, it wasn’t until Rebekah’s Honours year that she decided to take up programming.

Being an Honours student, she was allowed an email address - something that not everyone had - and thus, she signed herself up to numerous electronic music mailing lists.

The World Wide Web

The advent of the internet was hugely beneficial in her career and she believes, “you shouldn't have to be a programmer to use the internet”: this is the mantra that drives Rebekah’s work.

In 2000, Rebekah was appointed artistic co-director at STEIM (STudio for Electronic Instrumental Music). STEIM is an independent studio in Amsterdam with over 30 years dedicated to live performance, specifically with instruments that incorporate elements of electronics.

It was here that she really learnt how to play experimental music, alongside curating programmes, participating in international festivals, and running workshops.

Source-Elements

In 2004, Rebekah co-founded Source Elements, a digital company based in Chicago producing software that allows people to collaborate remotely with real time, high quality audio meaning that, for example, a producer can record musicians, ensembles or even orchestras while both are in a different city. Used by more than 10,000 groups globally, Source Elements uses the internet to connect people.

As technical director, she deals day-to-day with programmers based in other places. This is the perk of living on the internet: Rebekah is completing her Master's in Wellington, while contributing to her work around the world.

Since finishing her undergraduate degree, Rebekah has lived in more than 10 different countries: all while continuing to work.

Fostering the Future

Rebekah set up a scholarship for Sonic Arts in 2016, with the first recipient in 2017. Noticing a distinct lack of female presence at an event for Composition students, she realised the need to support up-and-coming women in Sonic Arts, giving them a space.

Intended to support women who are currently studying or intend to study Sonic Arts at Te Kōkī New Zealand School of Music, the scholarship is an important gateway for women to pursue creativity at Victoria.

Music over the Internet

The focus of Rebekah’s Master's thesis is networked music performance: music performed live over the internet between at least two locations.

Rebekah’s creative output is wholeheartedly focused on allowing both herself and others to further their own creative output, providing new ways for artists to interact with the world around them, both physically and digitally.

Some parting words as inspiration for artists and programmers alike: “don’t consider just making something complex for its own sake, make it beautiful - and that can be something very simple”.

NZSM

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