Kelly Natasha Foreman



K. [Kelly] Natasha Foreman was born in Minneapolis, MN, and received a Bachelor of Arts in Music Theory and Composition at St. Olaf College in Northfield MN. She studied composition and theory at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts in Fontainebleau France (1992) and was awarded the Prix de Ville for the premiere of her work Sonate for duo celli and viola composed while there. In 1994 she earned the Master of Arts in Ethnomusicology and in 2002 the Ph.D. in Ethnomusicology with a secondary area in anthropology (specializing in Japanese area studies) from Kent State University in Ohio. Her doctoral dissertation research was expanded and published as a monograph by Ashgate Press in London, entitled The Gei of Geisha. Music, Identity, and Meaning (2008).

Foreman's creative contributions have thus far has focused on composition, Japanese music, the shamisen, Japanese musical aesthetics, and the role of gender in musical experience. She was the first to research the connections between the Japanese geisha, Japanese music history, and the complex parameters of geisha-patron aesthetic experience. During field research in Tokyo and Kyoto (1997-2001), she studied nagauta shamisen with one of the world's top shamisen headmasters, Imafuji Chôjûrô IV, and performed several times with her. She also studied kouta and tsugaru shamisen, the Chinese san xian, the Thai kong wong yai, and African percussion. She continues to play nagauta shamisen in the US and currently studies Congolese African dance with Congolese master dancer and choreographer Karen Prall. Her current research interests include African polyrhythmic structures, electronic music, aesthetics, body-music connections, and composition. She has an article in Bad Girls of Japan (Palgrave Press, 2004) and a chapter in Manners and Mischief in Japan (forthcoming). She has given numerous academic papers and invited lectures, her compositions are performed frequently, and she is a 2009 Artist in Residence for the department of art at the University of Lexington (KY).

Before joining the music department at WSU as a part-time lecturer, Foreman taught courses in the anthropology department (WSU) and was full-time lecturer for two years at St. Paul's Rikkyo University in Tokyo Japan. At WSU she has taught courses in Japanese area studies, Asian music, ear-training, world music, and music history, and oversees the New Music Collective.