Evening Collaborative Featuring Musical Guest:
Christen Lien



Christen Lien

Biography: (Viola artist, activist, and musical anarchist by Jana Lynne White) Dynamic and beautiful, when she wields her Viola, Christen Lien commands elemental force. Earth, wind, fire, and water pour through her layered electronics. One fan calls her soundscapes: “Ethereal and otherworldly; a bridge to the divine.” Her debut album is called Vol. I: Battle Cry, and it is dark and delicious. It’s street-cred and classical, mystically woven in a fierce musical tapestry. This newly released CD reflects a twenty-four year journey of mastering, then challenging and expanding classical Viola expression. Christen’s performance and compositional approach is to surrender to creating space for music to express through her. Spontaneously creating then incorporating layers of live effects, Lien paints music with guitar effect pedals, live looping, melodic mixing and expressive performance. She was eight years old when she first started playing the Viola. Since that moment, she’s been passionate about her instrument although life tempted her with other paths from time to time. The film world called for its storytelling. Working with John Cusack’s production company, New Crime Productions, as Assistant to the President, Christen learned valuable organizational skills that led to a transformational role in rebirthing the Ann Arbor Film Festival (AAFF). Under Christen’s leadership as Executive Director, Variety named the AAFF one of their top ten favorite film festivals in the world, openly impressed by the First Amendment lawsuit she launched: Ann Arbor Film Festival v. the State of Michigan. Film historians recognize and respect the strong leadership role Christen played in transforming laws granting access to funding for artists, and standing against censorship. Today, her time is dedicated to her music. The surprise and mystery of her life’s journey is never predictable. A California resident, Christen travels and plays wherever she’s called, creating atmospheric Viola environments that people experience and remember.

Website: www.itsnotaviolin.com

Christen can be reached by e-mail at christen@itsnotaviolin.com for additional information about this conference session.

Return to 2010 Forum Home Page