About Joel

Joel Mellin is 2017 recipient of the American Composers Forum's Jerome Fund for New Music

Photo: Erin Clare Brown

Photo: Erin Clare Brown

Joel Mellin is a Queens-based multidisciplinary artist whose exploratory career has taken him from NASA space science engineering to studying with the musicians in the remote villages of Bali, Indonesia.  He is a composer, musician, sound artist, installation artist, visual artist, and instrument builder. During the day he is the Head of Technology for Sudden Industries - a niche digital agency in NYC.

As a visual artist, Mellin experiments with abstract forms derived from sound and nature.  He has sculpted tree branch lamps in copper, printed sound with glass, burned paper silhouettes, and built optical dioramas.  Always looking for new methodologies or techniques, Mellin looks to utilize traditional tools and materials in new ways.

Striving to realize the unheard and unseen, Mellin often uses computers in his work for their robust calculation capabilities, their efficiency handling complex, tedious tasks, and their objective, apathetic relationship with aesthetics and memory. He has developed immersive 3D sound environments to realize audio tornados, evolved language with genetic algorithms, scored thunderstorms, and developed innovative tools for deconstructing and reconstructing digital audio.  Since 2008, he has studied Balinese music with Gamelan Dharma Swara in NYC, and the group now regularly performs his composition, Synesthesia.

His work has been performed in the US at the Smithsonian Institute (DC), the Princeton Festival (NJ), the Chocolate Factory Theater, The Kitchen, Ronald Feldman Gallery, Hartwick College, Adelphi University, and the Gershwin Hotel (NY).  Internationally, his work has been performed in London (UK) and at the Dublin Fringe and Dublin Dance Festivals (IE). He has collaborated with the performance artists Faurot/Paulson, dancer/choreographer Jodi Melnick, The Liz Roche Dance Company, Adelphi University, and the Czech-based sound artist and instrument builder, Martin Janicek.

To help connect musical artists to other creative media projects through innovative online licensing tools, Mellin founded the non-profit arts charity Waxfruit Arts Media, Inc. with his brother, Jeff Mellin. The pair also founded the underground pop-friendly label Stereorrific Recordings, the more experimental imprint Musique Impossible, and have collaborated on countless web-based projects utilizing Mellin’s early content management system for artists. 

In 2009, Oakland-based Kolourmeim Press published a limited edition book and companion CD entitled, Compositions For Computer: Volume 1.