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Jake Meginsky

Musician in Dance

Headshot of Jake Meginsky


47 Belmont Avenue #201


Composer/filmmaker Jake Meginsky, a New Music USA award winner and Massachusetts Cultural Council Fellow in both music and film, has collaborated and performed with an extraordinary range of musicians including Milford Graves, Alvin Lucier, Joan La Barbara, Kim Gordon, Vic Rawlings, Greg Kelley, Bhob Rainey, Joe McPhee, Thurston Moore, William Parker, Daniel Carter, Paul Flaherty, John Truscinski, Arthur Brooks, and Bill Nace.

His work has been presented widely and internationally, including Institute for Contemporary Art (London, UK), TUSK Festival (Newcastle, UK), BFI Southbank, (London, UK), IFFR Rotterdam, SXSW Film Festival, CPH:DOX, Click Festival (Copenhagen, Denmark), Deutsches Historisches Museum (Berlin, Germany), Laemmle Music Hall (Los Angeles), Counterflows (Glasgow), Standards (Milan), the Duolun Museum of Modern Art (Shanghai), Beijing Today Museum, Jinse Gallery (Chongqing, China), throughout New York City at The Kitchen, Lincoln Center, Metrograph, The Guggenheim, New York Live Arts, Joyce SoHo, Gibney Dance, Dance Theater Workshop, Danspace Project, Symphony Space, Judson Church, La MaMa, The Stone, The Flea Theater, Vision Festival, Roulette, Museum of Arts and Design, Center for Performance Research, Improvised and Otherwise Festival, and Northside Festival; in Boston at the Museum of Fine Art, Opensound Festival, The MIT Center for Art, Science & Technology, YDLMER Festival, Mobius Gallery, Le Laboratoire and the New England Complex Systems Institute; The Neurosciences Institute (La Jolla, CA), Context Art Fair (NYC & Miami), Experimental Music and Performing Arts Center (EMPAC), and the Arts Center for the Capital Region (Troy, NY), The Fisher Center for the Performing Arts (Bard College, NY), DOT AIR Festival (Providence, RI), University of Iowa, Flynn Center for the Performing Arts (Burlington, VT), Work in the Performance of Improvisation Festival and USDAN Gallery (Bennington College, VT), A.P.E. Gallery, Academy of Music, and the Sound and Space Festival (Northampton, MA), Pioneer Arts Center (Easthampton, MA), and the Mead Museum of Art (Amherst, MA). His work has also been supported by several organizations, including the Massachusetts Cultural Council, Jerome Robbins Foundation, Bumper Foundation, National Performance Network, Vermont Arts Council, New Music USA, Northampton Arts Council, Lower Manhattan Cultural Council and New York City Department of Cultural Affairs.

Meginsky has been reviewed extensively in leading contemporary music, art and culture publications worldwide. In 2018 Artforum Magazine wrote, “On recent releases, Meginsky juggles off-kilter patterns of undulating bass, prickly sine pulses, and shards of white noise to build rhythmic worlds of dizzying density, depth, and textural variety.” Art In America Magazine says, “Meginsky’s digital concrète takes percussion to outer extremes.” Critic David Keenan called Meginsky’s 2014 solo record, L’appel Du Vide, “a hallucinatory electro percussion masterpiece.” Meginsky’s debut solo album, L’appel Du Vide, was included in WIRE Magazine’s Top 10 Records of the Year for Outer Limits and his third release, Seven Psychotropic Sinewave Palindromes, was listed in FACT Magazine’s Top 50 Albums of 2016.

In 2018 he directed and produced the award-winning feature film Milford Graves Full Mantis. The New York Times called the film a “stunning documentary” and wrote, “this movie gives you the man’s heart, and it’s a beautiful one.” The film was released nationally in January 2018 and went on to receive an international release. In October 2018, Milford Graves Full Mantis was featured at the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture’s inaugural film festival in Washington, DC. It is now streaming worldwide.

Meginsky frequently collaborates with choreographers and has worked with Cori Olinghouse, Paul Matteson, Stuart Singer, Jennifer Nugent, Susan Sgorbati, Wendy Woodson and Nora Chipaumire. He has a longstanding artistic relationship with Gwen Welliver. Welliver, Singer and Meginsky premiered a new evening-length work, “On Its Face,” at Gibney Dance Center (NYC) in May 2018. Meginsky is the recipient of a New Music USA Live Music for Dance award for his original composition for Welliver’s Beasts and Plots, which premiered at New York Live Arts in 2013 and was restaged at the Guggenheim in April 2018. Prior to his appointment in the Smith dance department, Meginsky has worked as a dance musician for Bennington College, Amherst College, Mount Holyoke College and The American Dance Festival (ADF).

His solo recordings can be found on NNA (Burlington, VT), Mantile (London), Second Sleep (Milan), Feeding Tube Records (Northampton, MA), Rel Records (Providence, RI), Open Mouth Records (Northampton, MA), Wooden Finger Records (Belgium), Ultra Eczema Records (Belgium), and Ecstatic Peace Records (London/Northampton). He recently produced a track on Kim Gordon’s (Sonic Youth) solo album, released on Matador Records (NYC) in October 2019. His latest solo LP, Gates and Variations, was released on Open Mouth Records.

Meginsky’s current projects include the creation of a new music for contemporary dance digital resource platform; collaborations with choreographers Gwen Welliver, Elena Demyanenko and Susan Sgorbati; a new solo album, Trinities, on Poole Records; and new content for an upcoming release of Milford Graves Full Mantis on the Criterion Collection.

Selected Performances and Screenings

Bodies in Motion Festival: Northampton, MA, with Elena Demankyo and Liz Tonne (January 2020)

Boston City Hall; Boston MA
Concrete Sounds: New Multichannel works at City Hall (October 2019)

The Smithsonian Museum of African American History and Culture; Washington, DC 
Milford Graves Full Mantis (October 2018)

Gibney; NYC
Installation with choreographer Gwen Welliver (May 2018)

The Kitchen; New York, NY
Sonic Flux (November 2018)

Guggenheim Museum; NYC
Beasts and Plots re-imagined with choreographer Gwen Welliver (April 2018)

Massachusetts Institute of Technology Center for Art and Science; Boston, MA 
METAPATTERNS Processes in Time – 8 channel sound installation with live performance (September 2016)

Roulette; Brooklyn, NY
Heart Sound Music With Organic Graphics” (February 2013)

The Neurosciences Institute; San Diego, CA
Musical Director of the Emergent Improvisation Project, Residency and Performances (January 2006)


M.F.A., Bennington College
B.A., University of Massachusetts Amherst


Film website