Somna M Bulist is a harpist/composer/performer.
The possibilities of sound as a generative force inspire my music making. I believe that sound has transformative potential and can be used to effect change in consciousness and personal reality, influencing in turn the greater world that we inhabit. To achieve this sound through musical composition and performance is the challenge.
Recent performances with Ghost Ensemble in NYC from 2012-14 presented many new works involving the harp including Somna's Beneath the surface gravity loosens and weightlessness prevails. The work was generated by each participant's response to a question. Individualized scores are played in the quietest way possible.
In 2009 Somna founded Xarpe Artist Editions as consortium of composer/performers focusing on the harp in new and exciting forms. The project introduced at least 2 new works for the harp, The Elementals by Ben Richter involving micro-tonal tunings and Nocturne for Harp (1986) by Webster Giles Smith, harp with ambient tape accompaniment. The scores are available in finely produced signed editions. Somna's Sonic Salutations are a collection of short tonal gestures to be sounded in the time capsule of a night and a day.
Somna's first performance was in 1998 at the multi media exhibit, Asian and Asian-American Women Artists, at Space 101 in Pittsburgh. Soon after a series of thematic works were performed at the New York International Fringe Festival, Philadelphia Fringe Festival, Womens' Work Pittsburgh.
_at the 1998 Philadelphia Fringe Festival, where she performed her original work for solo harp, The FAERYE Invocations, and, in the same year, a selection of the pieces were released on her debut CD, Invocations FAERYE. She premiered her situational work in tribute to the millennium, 44 minutes on the flatline_A Cry for the Millennium, at the 1999 New York International Fringe Festival, a production of The Present Company. At the 2001 Philadelphia Fringe Festival she performed Valentine Stigmata her three-part minimalist opera inspired by ceremonial Qabalist chant.
As a electro-acoustic harp soloist Somna performed her original music in cross over performances at CBGBs Alchemy, Arlene's Grocery, Mother, the New York Metropolitan Vampyre Balls and more, earning an ASCAPLUS award in 2006/7. Her use of guitar effect pedals and sustained tones by bowing the harp helped create the thematic soundscape performances.
A native of Pennsylvania, Somna nee_WR Fong, is a graduate of Pratt Institute. She studied the harp with the renowned harpist and pedagogue, Lucile Lawrence. During her harp study in 1986 she performed at the Pyramid Club and Area NYC with Zette.
Somna is a member of the American Harp Society and International Association of Women in Music. Presently she resides in rural Central Pennsylvania.