Long Bio

Issei Herr uses the vast sound-world of the cello to expose openness, vulnerability, and a sense of wonder in her intricately looped and layered compositions. Weaving between an expansive array of stylistic genres and time periods, from notated music to improvised, acoustic to electronic, Issei champions a commitment to freedom of expression and a search for truth and beauty in her recorded and performance work.

Highlights of the 2022-2023 season include solo sets at New York venues Public Records (opening for Rachika Nayar), C’Mon Everybody, Purgatory, The Windjammer, and St. John’s in the Village. Issei also recently appeared on The Lot Radio, performing live cello as a guest of Northern Spy Records. Her forthcoming debut album Distant Intervals will be released on NNA Tapes in Spring 2023.

Trained as a cellist at Juilliard, Issei has collaborated with some of the leading musical artists of today - Nico Muhly, Kaija Saariaho, Rachika Nayar, JACK Quartet, and many others. She was featured as a solo cellist for live performances of Rachika Nayar’s Our Hands Against the Dusk, performing in venues such as The Shed, Knockdown Center, Elsewhere, and at SXSW.

As a composer, Issei’s musical language draws from a myriad of influences, both artistic and personal; her compositions are built upon free improvisations on the cello, which are layered and digitally transformed to create kaleidoscopic soundscapes. Though grounded in the traditions of classical composition and performance, her work aims to challenge the traditional molds of this practice, bringing together a wide range of influences - from ambient and electronic to noise, experimental, and beyond. Conceived through the sound-world of the cello and augmented through layering and electronic manipulation, Issei's music reflects her personal journey through memory and acceptance, as well as her continuous transformation through queerness. With a collaborative spirit and a commitment to pushing boundaries, Issei aims to transcend conventional modes of music making through her cello.