Kelley Sheehan is boston based composer and musician moving between electro-acoustic, multimedia, and performance art works.
Her work has been described as “Full of discovery, collaboration, and unpredictability” (Iannotta, Kyriakides, & Stäbler) with “Woozy Electronics” (LA Times).
In any medium, her work constructs environments meant to merge electronic and acoustic forces into one composite organism, dependent on this merging to become more than just an extension of itself. Her work focuses on sculpting noise, shifting materiality and structure, machinery, and grappling with the sustainability of electronics within a climate crisis.
Named prize winner of the Gaudeamus Award 2019, laureate of the 2025 IMPULS Composition Competition, awardee of a 2022 Hildegard Commission, recipient of a 2023 Barlow Endowment Commission, awarded first place for the 2020 ASCAP/SEAMUS commissioning competition, the 2023 John Green Prize, and given honorable mention at the 2023 Darmstadt Summer Courses, among others.
When not composing, she’s an avid improviser on self-made DIY electronics, no-input mixer, her AI-electric guitar hybrid called ‘other machines,’ or modular. Having performed at such venues as the Banff Center for the Arts, the Art Institute of Chicago, and the Goethe Institute of Boston.
She is ABD (all but dissertation) at Harvard University having studied with Chaya Czernowin and Hans Tutschku. Currently, Kelley is teaching and conducting research as a Post Doc in Music Technology (2023-25) at the Smith Music Department. Her research has led her to study with composers of various interests such as Sivan Cohen Elias, Marcos Balter, and Fredrick Gifford.
Interview with Thea Derks for Gaudeamus
Interview with On Composition by Oliver Thurley
Review by Thea Derks
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photo credit: Wenhua Shi