Adam Lenz is a composer, multidisciplinary artist, educator, and producer based in Windsor, Connecticut. His work spans composition, sound art, installation, performance, and works on paper. Examining themes of fantasy, memory, materiality, and identity, Adam’s work has been presented at internationally recognized venues in over a dozen countries.
Since 2013, Adam has worked alongside acclaimed director and designer Robert Wilson as a composer and music supervisor on productions as well as special events at The Watermill Center. Adam served as a composer and music supervisor on Wilson’s first radio drama, Monsters of Grace II, which premiered in front of live audiences at the Zentrum für Kunst und Medientechnologie (ZKM) and the Badisches Staatstheater in Karlsruhe, Germany. Commissioned by SWR2, Hr2 Kultur, and the Karlsruhe University of Arts and Design (HfG), the work premiered at the 2013 ARD Hörspieltage and was broadcast on German, Austrian, and Swiss airways. It featured recordings and performances by Isabella Rossellini, Isabelle Huppert, Lady Gaga, Christopher Knowles, and members of the Berliner Ensemble. Adam also partnered with Wilson on his production of Eugene Ionesco’s Rhinoceros at Teatrul Național “Marin Sorescu” in Craiova, Romania. The production was subsequently performed at the National Cinema in Bucharest, Romania during the 2014 National Theater Festival, at the Cankarjev Dom in Ljubljana, Slovenia, and at the Voronezh Concert Hall during the Platonov Arts Festival in Voronezh, Russia.
Adam has also maintained a close relationship with The Watermill Center, Wilson’s laboratory for performance on Long Island. He served as the music supervisor for the 21st Watermill Annual Summer Benefit and Discover Watermill Day events in 2014, overseeing sound for performances and installations across the ten-acre property. For this events, Adam created a six-channel, site-specific sound installation, If Thou Return, We Return, situated in the grassy terraces leading up to Watermill’s central Knee Building. He also partnered with director Gintare Minelgaite and director Baboo Liao to develop and perform 1,001 Nights in “America,” an hour-long performance installation examining American pop culture and gender roles. The work was subsequently performed in Berlin, Germany at the Haus der Berliner Festspiele in 2016. Adam has collaborated on projects at Watermill with visiting artists including director Dimitris Papaioannou, dancer and performer Prince M. Gentile Andilolo, and performance artist Abdi Karya, among others. In 2015, Adam was in residence at Watermill assisting on an oral history project with Shinnecock leader Shane Weeks and filmmaker Tomek Jaziorski recording the stories of members of the Shinnecock Indian Nation. Additionally, Adam has worked as a music and sound consultant at Watermill on special projects with Wilson including a series of video portraits of Lady Gaga for Wilson’s Living Rooms exhibition at the Musée du Louvre and a proposed redevelopment of Republic Square in Yerevan, Armenia with acclaimed architect Michel Mossessian. Recently, Adam performed with artist Matthew Thurber in Thurber’s work Pete’s Love of Maps at the 2019 Discover Watermill Day.
In 2018, Adam partnered with director Gintare Minelgaite on Electric Dreams, a large-scale performance installation. The work was created by invitation of the Print Screen Festival with support from the Lithuanian Culture Institute and was developed with members of the Nissan Nativ Acting Studio. Electric Dreams premiered at the Holon Mediatheque and the Petach Tikva Museum of Art in Tel Aviv.
Adam’s video art and electronic music has also been presented in partnership with international musicians and artists. In 2012, Mexican violinist Abderrahman Anzaldua commissioned Adam to create Sloth for violin, video, and electronics. Anzaldua has performed the work at the Ammerman Biennial Symposium on Art and Technology, Electronic Music Midwest, Western Michigan University, Conservatorio de Música de Chihuahua, Festival Cultural de Zacatecas, Festival Ramificaciones, and at the Baroque on Beaver Island Festival. Sloth has also been performed by Icelandic violinist Geirþrúður Ása Guðjónsdóttir at University of Hartford and Mengi Gallery in Reykjavik, Iceland. Adam’s composition A Collapsing Field was recently presented at the Abrons Arts Center during the New York City Electro-Acoustic Music Festival (NYCEMF) and presented at the Society for Electro-Acoustic Music in the United States (SEAMUS) conference in 2020. Other notable venues have included Boston University Art Galleries, Goldsmiths, Roodkapje Radicals #1 Festival, International Streaming Festival for Audio Visual Art, Toride Railway Statio, and Ecos Urbanos Festival de Música Electroacústica.
In fall of 2020, Adam served as artist-in-residence at the Windsor Art Center in Windsor, Connecticut. Here he developed a large body of charcoal drawings inspired by the history and architecture of the disappearing tobacco sheds in the Connecticut River Valley. These drawings served as meditations on the destruction of the historic local sheds which were torn down during the residency to make way for an Amazon distribution center. The drawings were also used as graphic musical scores realized in collaboration with experimental multi-instrumentalist and improvisor Zach Rowden. The recordings made during this process were manipulated and reconstructed to form the basis of a multichannel sound installation to accompany the drawings. The resulting works were exhibited at Windsor Art Center in an exhibition titled A Way of Providing Ventilation in November 2020. The work was also presented in a visiting artist lecture as a part of the Viewpoints series at The Watermill Center.
As a producer, Adam launched Sleeping Gnome Arts as a platform for presenting special projects in contemporary sound and movement. He brings over a decade of experience planning and promoting concerts and cultural events. Drawing from his extensive background in higher education, Adam also maintains a special focus on education and community engagement in his production work. In November 2019, Adam produced Hartford Celebrates Meredith Monk, a four-day festival celebrating the work of seminal composer, performer, filmmaker, and director Meredith Monk. The festival included a retrospective film screening at The Wadsworth Atheneum’s Aetna Theater, a series of lectures and workshops, a multimedia installation, and a performance of Cellular Songs in Concert with Meredith Monk & Vocal Ensemble at University of Hartford. During the 2020-2021 school year, Adam served as curator and producer of The Hartt School’s Composers’ Seminar and Institute of Contemporary American Music lecture series. Through this partnership, Adam hosted more than twenty artists, musicians, and scholars engaging with sound to present their perspectives on music in our time. Guests included Helga Davis, Tania León, Carlos Soto, Audra Wolowiec, Charmaine Lee & Zach Rowden, Matmos, Guillermo Galindo, and Sarah Hennies, among others.
Adam holds a BM in Composition and a MA in Music Research from Western Michigan University and an AD in Music Composition from The Hartt School at the University of Hartford. Currently, Adam teaches electronic music, sound design, and sound art at the University of Hartford. Here he serves as director of Hartt Studio D, The Hartt School’s electronic composition laboratory, and is a recipient of the University’s 2021 Gordon Clark Ramsey Award for Creative Excellence.