Maggi Payne obtained music degrees from Northwestern University, the University of Illinois, and an MFA in Electronic Music and Recording Media from Mills College. She taught at the Center for Contemporary Music at Mills College starting in 1970 and was Co-Director of the CCM from 1992- 2018, where she taught recording engineering, composition, and electronic music. She also freelances as a recording engineer and editor. She is a composer, performer, flutist, installation artist, and video artist.

Her electroacoustic works often incorporate visuals, including dancers outfitted with electroluminescent wire and videos she creates using images ranging from nature to the abstract. She has composed music for dance, theatre, and video, including the music for Jordon Belson’s video Bardo. She has collaborated for several years with video artist Ed Tannenbaum in his Technological Feets performances.

She received two Composer’s Grants and an Interdisciplinary Arts Grant from the National Endowment for the Arts, and video grants from the Mellon Foundation and the Western States Regional Media Arts Fellowships Program. She was awarded four honorary mentions from Bourges, one from Prix Ars Electronica, and placed in the Barlow and “Luigi Russolo” per giovani compositor di Musica Elettroacoustica competitions. She was an Artist in Residence at the Exploratorium in San Francisco in the early 80s and Montalvo Arts Center in Saratoga, CA in winter, 2007/08.

Her works appear on Aguirre, The Lab, Lovely Music, Innova, Starkland, Music and Arts, CRI, Root Strata, Ubuibi, Asphodel, and/OAR, Centaur, MMC, Digital Narcis, Capstone, Mills, and Frog Peak labels. 

Heat Shield as I was refining my final mix and searching for a title, I came upon an article in Science News describing the Parker Solar Probe and its imminent launch. The 8/12/18 launch date beat the completion of my work by six days, which was fitting since Heat Shield materializes while in an imagined outer space. References to the scorchingly close solar flybys occur in the middle and final sections of the work, as the solar probe will experience 2500 degree Fahrenheit temperatures and will be protected by two light weight heat shields, each consisting of two superheated carbon-carbon composite panels with a carbon foam core between them. In Heat Shield these close encounters are represented by powerful crackles and pops that occur as a result of shifting phase relationships among the several oscillators I used in the making of the work.

At times multiple spaces coexist in this work. There is always a sense of place, an atmosphere, in these acoustic constructs. The sounds are choreographed in an expanded three-dimensional space beyond boundaries, with no walls, ceilings, or floors to constrain them.

This work was conceived in four channels and is mixed in four channel and stereo versions.

I created all sounds except one, a cricket that appears briefly at :29, using an early Moog synthesizer.