Meta Cohen (she/her or they/them) is a queer composer, sound designer, performer and dramaturg. Their work spans music, theatre and interdisciplinary art. They are currently based in Melbourne, Australia, on the unceded land of the Yaluk-ut Weelam people.
Meta’s music has been commissioned by ensembles such as the Sydney Children’s Choir, Luminescence Chamber Singers and Mosaic Voices, and performed in diverse venues ranging from the Powerhouse Museum to the Sydney Opera House. Recently, Meta was the first non-male composer to have a piece performed by an Orthodox Jewish choir in the United Kingdom. In her composition work, she particularly loves to explore the properties and theatrical potential of the voice, often combining this with electroacoustic elements. She is currently composing a commissioned work for ABC Classic.
Meta has applied her compositional training to her work as a theatre maker, sound designer and dramaturg. In particular, she is interested in the intersection of theatricality and sound, specialising in sonic dramaturgy and musical thinking in theatre making. Recent credits include Doctor Faustus Lights the Lights (composer/sound designer/dramaturg, dir. Alyson Campbell), Hedda GablerGablerGabler (dramaturg, dir. Mary Angley), A Slippery Thing (dramaturg, dir. Rinske Ginsberg) and At Your Disposal (sound designer/performer/dramaturg/co-devisor). In 2022, she will work on the UK/European premiere of Lachlan Philpott's promiscuous/cities (dir. Alyson Campbell) as part of the British Council's UK/Australia season in London.
Meta is an associate artist at Alyson Campbell and Lachlan Philpott's queer performance company wreckedAllprods, a resident sound designer in the New Ghosts Theatre Company’s IGNITE Collective and a resident dramaturg in the Theatre Works She Writes Collective. In 2019, she completed a Master of Dramaturgy at the Victorian College of the Arts, Melbourne.
Meta is especially passionate about bringing queer, interdisciplinary and sound-driven work to the stage, and welcomes any collaborations in these areas. Please get in touch.
'Meta Cohen’s “Sim Shalom”, [...] sung by the male voices only, has beautiful introspective passages that were sung with great sensitivity by the singers.' (Len Power, CityNews)
'Meta Cohen's (i)dentity [was] perhaps the most ambitious and complex work on the program [...] The rhythmic drive through the piece underpinned an excellent grasp of independent lines anchored by a repeated refrain.' (Peter Campbell)
Meta has been commissioned as part of the recent ABC Classic initiative to write a new song cycle for Divisi Chamber Singers and pianist Coady Green.
Emerging choral group Divisi Chamber Singers, led by Alexander Gorbatov along with pianist-collaborator Coady Green, will commission emerging composer Meta Cohen to write a song cycle for vocal consort and piano, in celebration of diversity in Australian LGBTIQ+ experiences. The song cycle will feature newly-commissioned texts from four young Australian LGBTIQ+ poets, Leona Cohen, Savanna Wegman, Christopher Healy and Victor Hu.