Percussionist and Technical Director
Chris Sies is a percussionist and sound artist who seeks to bring visceral sonic and performative experiences to diverse audiences. A unique performer with “virtuoso flair" (Detroit Free Press), Chris has appeared with such groups as New Music Detroit, The National Arab Orchestra, Man Forever, So Percussion, The Black Earth Ensemble, My Brightest Diamond, and the Fulcrum Point New Music Project, among many others. As a composer and collaborative artist, Sies has worked in many facets including dance, performance art, and multimedia with works presented by the Society for Electro-Acoustic Music in the United States (SEAMUS), The Percussive Arts Society, The American College Dance Association, The Great Lakes Chamber Music Festival, New Music Detroit’s Strange Beautiful Music, and the Detroit Bureau of Sound. Through the integration of percussion and live electronics, Chris’s music lives at the crossroads of the academic avante garde, DIY rock, and power electronic genres with his music being described as an "aural assault" (TEMPO), possessing a "searing intensity" (College Music Symposium). Aside from his work with Latitude 49, Chris also records under the duo project ARCHISMS with long-time friend and collaborator Sam Cooper, and is a member of the Willo Collective, a percussion-heavy venture dedicated to creating collaborative and interdisciplinary work. Chris also performs under the moniker S[K]IES - a solo project dedicated to what he calls “psychedelic noise-metal” through relentless experiments with percussion and electronics that focus on sounds and structures inspired from altered states of consciousness.
As passionate educator over the years, Chris has instructed a diverse body of students, holding faculty positions at Triton College (River Grove, IL), The People’s Music School (Chicago, IL), The Chicago Academy for the Arts, Baylor University (Waco, TX), and the University of Michigan (Ann Arbor, MI), where he directed the Modern Percussion Lab from 2020-2022. Previous students have won international competitions, attended various music festivals, and gone on to become educators at universities, public schools, freelancers, and creators forming their own artistic projects and original work while investing in their communities.