Thembi Soddell (b. Australia 1980) is a sound artist, electroacoustic composer and practice-based researcher with an interest in ​​​psychology, perception, subjectivity and emotion in relation to intense encounters with sound. She works primarily with the sampler, generating sounds from field recordings, instrument textures, played found objects and analogue synthesis to form surreal and ambiguous realisations of internal experience. Her distinct approach to composition exploits the dynamic extremes, creating volatile, evocative sound experiences with a disquieting edge. 
She creates work for concert, performance, installation and CD. Her most recent sound installation, Held Down, Expandingis a multispeaker, single person sound experience that premiered at MONA FOMA in January 2018, in April through Liquid Architecture in Melbourne, and in May at Clunes’s infamous Booktown Festival. Her latest CD, Love Songs, was released in April 2018 through Lawrence English’s ROOM40 label, gaining favourable press through Europe, Australia and the US. Her work has been shown in galleries worldwide, such as the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (2002), National Gallery of Australia (2003), Wellington City Gallery (2013), National Gallery of Victoria (2014) and Australian Centre for Contemporary Art (2016). On top of Love Songs,she has released two more solo albums (Intimacy 2004; Instance 2005) and performed at many Australian experimental festivals, including Totally Huge New Music Festival, Liquid Architecture and What is Music?  She has a longstanding duo with cellist, Anthea Caddy who have together released two albums (Iland 2006; Host 2012) and twice toured Europe, performing 33 shows across 12 countries, including venues and festivals such as Instants Chavirés (Paris), Cave 12 (Switzerland) and Hoerkunst Festival (Germany). Soddell also works as sound designer and dramaturg for choreographer Tim Darbyshire, with whom she recently undertook a residency at Tanzhaus Zürich in late 2017, and theatre director Rebecca Russell. 
Since 2010 Soddell has been engaged in practice-based research at RMIT University, focusing on the embodiment of first-person perspectives of mental illness, trauma and psychological distress within sound. In 2016, she presented at two interdisciplinary conferences in Budapest, one on Trauma, the other on Storytelling, Illness and Medicine. Here she used sound to facilitate cross discipline discussions on patient perspectives in health care. Soddell has a BA in Media Arts from RMIT University with a first-class honour in Sound Art.
Soddell’s work has been described as “extremely accomplished” (Diffusion) and inducing of "psychological terror" (Real Time Arts), and she has been labelled “a high priestess of the digital realm” (Australian Music Centre). She has been discussed in two books, Experimental Music: Audio Explorations in Australia and Women of Note: The Rise of Australian Women Composers. Soddell lives in rural Victorian town, Clunes on Dja Dja Wurrung land.



2018: Held Down, Expanding, Mona Foma, Museum of Old and New Art, Hobart
2016: The Absence of Inclination, Gertrude Street Projection Festival, Seventh Gallery, Melbourne

2013-14: Electroacoustic Composition (curator), Melbourne Now: Now Hear This, National Gallery of Victoria, Australia
2013: Window, Sound Full, Wellington City Gallery, New Zealand
2012: Window, Sound Full, Dunedin Public Art Gallery, New Zealand 
2011: A Shut in Place (collaboration with Anthea Caddy), Parisonic Festival, Paris
2009: Artefact, Totally Huge New Music Festival, Perth
2009: Vacuum #1, Liquid Architecture, Melbourne
2008: Window, Next Wave Festival, Melbourne
2005: Pelt070905, Pelt Gallery, Sydney
2005: Flicker, Rest, and Repulsion, National Gallery of Australia Online
2003: Intimacy, Liquid Architecture, Melbourne
2002: Variable Resistance, SFMOMA, San Francisco
2000: The Sound of Your Name is a Song, Melbourne Fringe Festival
2000: Extraction:Reduction:Inversion, First Site Gallery, Melbourne

2018: Love Songs, Room 40
2012: Host (duo with Anthea Caddy), Room 40
2006: Iland (duo with Anthea Caddy), cajid media
2006: Absence and Presence (with Philip Samartzis, Anthea Caddy, Dave Brown, Michael Vorfeld, and Sean Baxter), microsonics
2005: Instance, cajid media
2004: Intimacy, cajid media

Performance & Concert Presentations

2018: 'Love Songs' @ The Substation, Melbourne

2018: 'Love Songs' @ Mengi, Reykjavik, Iceland
2017: 'Love Songs' @ Biegungen im Ausland, Berlin
2016: Listening at the Edge of a Knife, Institute of Modern Art, Brisbane

2016: Avantwhatever Festival, RRR Performance Space, Melbourne
2016: Sound as Consequence, Australian Centre for Contemporary Art, Melbourne
2015: Room 40: Openframe @ Audiorama, Stockholm, Sweden
2014: Listening Visions, Bourges, France (concert program curated by Gail Priest)
2014: ‘Your Sickness is Felt in my Body,’ After Julia: Decibel New Music (performance of commissioned work by Decibel Ensemble)
2012: Now Now Festival, Sydney
2011: Punctum Presents Undue Noise, Castlemaine
2011: High Reflections Festival, Sydney 
2009: European Tour (duo with Anthea Caddy)
2009: Australian ‘Artefact’ Field Recording Tour
2009: Liquid Architecture Australian Tour (duo with Anthea Caddy)
2008: Melbourne International Biennale of Exploratory Music (quartet with Jerome Noetinger, Max Kohane, Xavier Nichols)
2008: Live Soundtrack to Moulin Rouge, Brisbane Cinematheque (duo with Camilla Hannan)
2007: Melbourne Women’s International Jazz Festival (duo with Joe Talia)
2007: The Now Now Festival, Sydney (duo with Tony Buck)
2006: European Tour (duo with Anthea Caddy)
2006: Liquid Architecture NZ
2005: Cajid Media Australian Tour
2005: What is Music? Festival Melbourne
2004: Immersion Festival Melbourne 
2004: Small Black Box series Brisbane
2001: Liquid Architecture Melbourne

Sound Design & Dramaturge
2017: Tainted Title (creative development), Tim Darbyshire
2017: Triggered (creative development), directed by Rebecca Russell
2014: Entitled Title, Kier Choreographic Award, Tim Darbyshire
2012: More or Less Concrete, Tim Darbyshire
2011: Hot August Night, Tim Darbyshire

Awards, Grants & Commissions

2017: Australia Council Grant for a forthcoming CD release

2016: VicArts Grant for a new multispeaker sound installation
2015: Commission for Room 40 @ Audiorama, Stockholm
2014: Commission for Decibel New Music Ensemble, After Julia concert
2010: Australian Postgraduate Award
2009: Victoria Rocks International Touring & CD recording Grants 
2009: Sound Travellers Grant
2008: Commissioned by curator, Ben Byrne, for a Sound Installation for Next Wave
2005: Australia Council Run_way Grant
2005: DCITA Contemporary Music Touring Grant
2004: Arts Victoria CD Recording Grant
2000: Melbourne Fringe Festival Visual Arts Award

Conferences & Symposia

2016: Sound as Consequence, Australian Centre for Contemporary Art, Melbourne
2016: 6th Global Conference on Trauma,, Budapest, Hungary
2016: Storytelling, Illness and Medicine,, Budapest, Hungary


2018: Cove Park, Scotland, thanks to Cryptic and The SUBSTATION
2017: Tanzhaus Zürich with Tim Darbyshire
2016: Creative development residency at Newport Substation for a solo multispeaker sound installation

2009: Punctum Seedpod at ICU Castlemaine with Anthea Caddy


2010-continuing: PhD Candidate, Narratives from a Disordered Mind: Understanding Mental Illness through Sound Art Practice, RMIT University
2005: Sound Art, Honours, RMIT University
2002: Bachelor of Arts (Media Arts), RMIT University

A full archive of Thembi's activities prior to 2016 can be found at