About Megan Ihnen – Founder, Editor in Chief, Executive Producer
Megan Ihnen is a mezzo-soprano on a mission to change the world through the commissioning, performance, and proliferation of new music. She has collaborated with individuals and ensembles around the globe including: International Contemporary Ensemble, Fifth House Ensemble, Great Noise Ensemble, Rhymes With Opera, and Synchromy. She is deeply committed to the belief that new music should be accessible in cities and towns of all sizes. Megan’s advocacy for music and musicians extends beyond the performance stage. She also effects change as a non-profit arts coach and consultant. You have likely interacted with her work for Nief-Norf, Live Music Project, New Music USA, and many individual artists throughout classical and new music. Megan’s work at the intersection of performance, creative placemaking, audience development, and music entrepreneurship is a delight and relief to her clients and colleagues.
Photo Credit: Nick Zoulek
“Working alongside my colleagues, directly serving communities hungry for meaningful cultural experiences, feels transformative and engaging in ways I can’t wait to tell the world about. Someone who needs solace is nurtured; someone who wants an opportunity to make music is heard. Though the thorny issues facing classical music and the arts require societal shifts, I believe personal connection to these individual artists, organizations, and companies are what changes society. Artistic merit, communication and marketing, development, and strategic planning are necessary for sustaining art and culture in our society. Each person’s actions drive engagement; and embodying these areas takes a personal commitment from everyone. I see my work as strengthening the ongoing love affair with classical music in our society.” – Megan Ihnen
The Sybaritic Singer was founded in 2010 in Baltimore, MD. At its inception, Megan was the founder and sole contributor. The blog featured both performance reviews and editorial posts about working as a singer in classical music. Since that time, it has welcomed dozens of contributors throughout the new and classical music ecosystem and offers live performance reviews, album reviews, and editorials on subjects related to performance, music entrepreneurship, audience development, and creative placemaking. Megan’s popular music entrepreneurship series 29 Days to Diva began in 2012. There have been over 150 posts in that series since then. The Studio Class podcast was introduced to the lineup in 2017.
The Sybaritic Singer had a tag line for the first few years of its existence: “Tim Smith can’t be everywhere.” It referenced the critic for the Baltimore Sun. In a coffee meeting between Megan and Tim Smith years later he mentioned, “You know, you’re right. I can’t be everywhere. In fact, according to my editors, I can’t review anything that doesn’t run for at least two weekends.” That was a galvanizing moment in the story of this platform. It is necessary that we each spread the word about those truly special people, works, and ineffable performances in our field. It is necessary that we share information with each other that can make “living a professionally creative life” just a little easier. The Sybaritic Singer exists to help musicians and music creators radically transform their relationship with their careers and to illuminate the work of individuals, organizations, and companies changing the world for the better through classical music.
About Austin Franklin – Associate Editor
Austin Franklin is a composer and sound artist based in Baton Rouge, LA. He received a Bachelor of Music degree from Lamar University, a Master of Music Composition degree from Louisiana State University, and is currently pursuing a PhD in Experimental Music & Digital Media from Louisiana State University. His interests include music involving process, such as algorithmic composition and music utilizing machine learning technologies.
Austin has several pieces for percussion published through C-Alan Publications and is regularly performed throughout the United States. He is the recipient of several awards and commissions, including the Sound/Sight Art Collaboration, the First Annual LSU Composition Competition, CNME Call for Scores, the Dead Resonance Call for Aleatoric Scores, and the PARMA Winter Call for Scores. His work has also been selected at festivals and conferences such as the Red Stick FutureFest (2018), New Interfaces for Musical Expression (2019) with a research project focused on using spatialized vibrotactile sensory feedback co-authored with Edgar Berdahl and Eric Sheffield, Electric LaTex (2020), Society of Composers Incorporated (2020), and Alba Music Festival (2020).
Austin is currently instructor of record for the MUS 2745 Intro to Computer Music course at Louisiana State University which covers a wide range of topics from using digital audio workstations, electroacoustic music history, and the principles of sound design and digital audio. He is also the author of the Using Studio One video tutorial series on Youtube.
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