Susie Ibarra

Composer / Improviser / Percussionist / Educator

Fellows class


About Susie


I am a Composer/Performer , Percussionist and Educator whose musical influences stem from World, Jazz and New Music. I enjoy very much interdisciplinary collaborative work in the Performing Arts and in Research.

I lived in NYC for many years and toured frequently as a performing artist. I now live with my family in Kerhonkson , a small country town 2 hours above in the mountains and in the Philippines during parts of the winters. I still do enjoy working with many different communities globally. Thankfully I have found a wonderful school for our son in Woodstock which supports artists lives and travel.

In the Philippines I continue to work with and archive traditional folkloric and Indigenous music and culture. I am preparing to set up a Music and Ecology Residency in the Philippines.

Just recently I'm delighted to say I received an appointment as a Faculty Member in Bennington College to teach in their Music Department and in the new Center for Advancement of Public Action. Two classes I'll begin with are a World Percussion Ensemble and a class I'll co-teach with the President Elizabeth Coleman, Human Rights; Women and Girls Issues. I enjoy teaching and outreach to young children, highschools and young adults.

I am interested in the intersection of tradition and avant-garde,Indigenous and urban, improvisation and composition, acoustic and electronic, oral and written tradtiions, and how these pairings inform and shape music. Through music I have been drawn to the social dialogue and advocacy for cultural and environmental preservation and children's education in the arts.

My work can be seen and heard at

Current Work Include:
2012 March Premiere for Re-Visiting Tarab, a new work for mixed ensemble based off Tarab music, commissioned by Tarek Atoui and the Sharjah Art Foundation , Sharjah, Emirates
2012 Hidden Truths, A surround sound composition and performance co-commissioned by Harvestworks and Lower Manhattan Cultural Council
2012 Commission for the BT River of Music Festival with Arun Ghosh, for the opening celebrations of the London Olympics
2013 World Drum Project, A Site Specific Partiicipatory Performance piece
to involve 12 percussion ensembles live, a parade and a new composition for the multi-ensemble in EMPAC


  • Mannes College of Music, Goddard College; Music , Drumset and Percussion, Performance, 1989 - 1993

Job Titles

Composer,Performer,Percussionist, Educator

About Susie Ibarra’s work

Companies and organizations

Song of the Bird King LLC
Bennington College

Uploaded photos


Digital Sanctuaries, Lower Manhattan

Jun. 23, 2013 - Dec. 31, 2013

Digital Sanctuaries is a soundwalk in twelve historic sites in Lower Manhattan that launches in a mobile web app in October 2013. It features the music of Electric Kulintang with Susie Ibarra and Roberto Rodriguez, visual art by Makoto Fujimura and app design by interaction designer Shankari Murali. Digital Sanctuares allows you to experience the music in the soundwalk , make and record your own mix and post your experiences. It is a walk of Sanctuaries melding cultures from the past and present and bringing nature into the cities.

Project website

Circadian Rhythms

Jan. 07, 2012 - Apr. 21, 2013

Circadian Rhythms was a commission from Renssalear Polytechnic Institute for 8 percussion ensembles 10 soloists and field recordings from the Macaulay Library at Cornell composed by Susie Ibarra and set in 8.1 surround sound for EMPAC. In celebration and collaboration with Earth Week at RPI, Circadian Rhythms was composed in 7 movements for 80 performers live from varying abilities and genres.

Project website

The Cotabato Sessions

Jan. 26, 2013 - Present

The Cotabato Sessions is a short music film featuring Philippine traditional artist Danongan Kalanduyan and his family of master musicians from the South of the Philippines, Mindanao. It is Maguindanaon gong music which I recorded in January 2013 with filmmaker Joel Quizon.

Project website

Susie Ibarra on the TED blog


Sanctuaries of sound in New York City: Fellows Friday with Susie Ibarra

November 8, 2013

Percussionist and composer Susie Ibarra is creating virtual sanctuaries for real cities. Working in collaboration with local artists, historians, architects, city planners and musicians, Ibarra and her partner Roberto Rodriguez — who together form Electric Kulintang — have created a musical pilgrimage that takes the public on a sound walk through 12 sites in Lower […]

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