About Masary Studios
MASARY Studios is a team of artists awakening built and natural environments through live music performance and video projection mapping. By unlocking the hidden possibilities of an urban landscape or space, MASARY’s works are at once a performance, a dissection of architecture, and an immersive visual spectacle. The three principal members of MASARY have backgrounds that include degrees in fine art, classical and world percussion, as well as years of experience in West African music studies, new music composition, curation and direction, teaching at the university and conservatory levels, and more. When approaching a new project, their inspiration comes from the structure or environment itself as well as the history and local culture embedded in the place. The animation and musical works are developed in collaboration - one informing the other - allowing many turns of reflection and refraction.
A multidisciplinary collective, we specialize in reconsidering environments by creating site-specific installations using sound, light, interactivity, and performance. Whether introducing new instruments, devices, pieces, or using the environment itself as the tool, our work enhances and activates place and purpose. When exploring iconic architecture or natural environments, we investigate both the current uses and the cultural history of a place. What defines the community? What traditions exist? What is hidden within, behind, and around the site? We take these questions, answers, and discovered themes to create sonic and visual motifs, weaving together a larger story. As well, our practice extends to traditional performance spaces, such as theaters, galleries and the like, with decidedly untraditional results. Whether it be activating 70+ musicians surrounding an audience at a concert hall, or projecting crowd-sourced materials onto a facade, our designs are curious, fresh, and often surprising. Integrating projected animation, new musical works, and bespoke lighting and space design, our projects synergize the senses. We think about each project from the audience perspective, inviting conversation, curiosity and wonder.
who we are
We - MAria Finkelmeier, SAm “Samo” Okerstrom-Lang, and RYan Edwards, have been working together since 2015 when we received our first commission as a collective. Since then, we have continued to design and implement large-scale installations and interventions and built a team of collaborators that believe in breaking boundaries and taking risks to create thoughtful, exciting, and challenging pieces of multidisciplinary art.
Ryan Edwards is a career musician for dancers. From a beginning in big band jazz, to an extensive study in West African music and dance, he has been on the path to make people dance since he began in music. For 10 years he led annual adventure-travel missions to Guinea, West Africa. Currently producing interdisciplinary art and performance work, he continues to explore music, installations and design for dance as well as various site-specific works. Ryan is a New Music America Grant Recipient as well as a Creative City, Live Arts Boston and Now + There Arts Fellow. He graduated Magna Cum Laude with a degree in performance from Berklee College of Music and a minor in Africana Studies. Ryan is most proud to be a father of two beautiful children, Jafiah and Maya.
Named a “one-woman dynamo” by The Boston Globe, Maria Finkelmeier is a percussion performer, composer, educator, and arts entrepreneur. In addition to her work with Masary Studios, she is the founder and director of Kadence Arts, a Boston-based non-profit. Along with her performance and leadership activities, she teaches as Northeastern University, and is the former program manager of the Entrepreneurial Musicianship Department at New England Conservatory. Prior to rooting in New England, Maria spent three years in Northern Sweden at the Piteå Institution for Music and Media as an artist in residence. Maria is a 2017 Brother Thomas Fellowship recipient, and tours with her solo project #improvadayLIVE and Quartet Kalos. She is Yamaha Performing Artist, and additionally endorses Grover Pro Percussion, Vic Firth, and Remo.
Sam Okerstrom-Lang or “Samo" is a Boston based media artist and designer focusing on 3D animation, video projection design, and live visual environments. Technology serves as a vehicle and tool in Samo’s practice in order to question the boundaries of digital communication, while in turn questions the boundary and function of the pixel. His work engages associations between technology, body, and perception by immersing the human sensory system with experiences that obscure the line between nirvana and dystopia. www.samokerstromlang.com