Guest Lecture – Isa Suarez

Isa Suarez is a London based artist and composer, originating from the Basque region. She trained as a classical musician and now works as a sound-artist, composer, songwriter and singer. She has exhibited at Tate Britain, Barbican Arts Centre, Whitechapel Art Gallery, South London Gallery, Berlin Biennale for Contemporary Art and Cape Town Art Biennale. She has collaborated and performed with musicians from the English National Opera, the BBC Concert Orchestra, Jazz Renegades, Transglobal Underground, Inner Vision Ensemble, Revolutionary Dub Warriors, Test Department and The Khoi Khonnexion. Her composition and songs are eclectic and have been broadcast, performed and released worldwide. She has scored a wi range of films for Television and Independent Film from emotional psycho-dramas, to adventure documentaries, socio-political, visual art and animation both in the UK and internationally.

Inspired by her interest in human rights and community engagement, Suarez has created several sound installations and public art works that explore these subjects through performance, sound art, music and lyrics. These projects have also led her to collaborate, perform and exhibit with other communities and artists in London, South Africa and Argentina including Amnesty International, Greenpeace, Platform, Big Chill Festival, Liberty Festival, Cape Town 09 Art Bienale and Etoy.

Working internationally with art projects – Went to cape town and produced a performance (Called Taxi Voices) where a group of singers rode a taxi with the customers, singing and cheering to take the commute mind off work and put a smile on their faces. They were an established chior, rehersing in a wooden house without electricity. The group wrote the melodies and words, and Isa worked on the installation part of the performance. After the project had been finished they went into one of the main studios of cape town to record the songs professionally. Making sure to document the process, but the final product is completely taken out of its setting and is almost over produced and feels artificial document the piece as it is originally experienced!

She did a similar project but the people were cycling around Cape town, and seemed to record the choir in the same setting as the Taxi Voices. Very different from how it must have been experienced in a “out in the world” setting.

Made an audio walk, inspired by vincent van gogh who lived in Brixton. It is not site specific, and can be listened to whereever in the world. The piece looks at mental health due to the psychological problems van gogh, based on letters saved from his time living there. She collaborated with a medical person who knew more about the mental parts of the project. Her role in the project was to produce and mix the sonic part.


Ollie Kepler’s Purple World – Main carachter starts hallucinating sound. She did both soundscapes as well the musical instrumental score. Working both with musical themes and “urban disharmony”. Very minimalistic classical music. Very specific brief to use acoustic instruments to express adventure and discovery.

Shackleton’s Whisky – National Geographic documentary

Paths Through Utopias – Documentary and fiction film about communities in europe living outside of the usual social system. Created electronic soundscapes for the film.


Released her latest album in 2014, self produced with collaboration with a lot of musicians from cape town and from other parts of the world. The album is sociopolitically active, the interludes are monologues about sociopolitical change.