Throughout her life, Aura Pon has explored a wide array of disciplines and the shared principles underlying them, particularly the exciting links between art and science. At the core of her activities is an intense passion for music and the depth of what it can express. Whether composing, performing, or creating instruments, her life work explores the joy, truth, and connection that music can bring.
She earned a Bachelor of Music degree with Distinction in Composition from the University of Calgary where she studied composition with Allan Bell and David Eagle, and oboe performance with David Sussman. She has written a variety of solo, chamber, and large ensemble works. Some notable and recent performances of her compositions include Torrent for Flutes and Water by Lucie Jones and the Mount Royal Chamber Flute at several venues around Calgary this year, Pura Vida Suite for wind quintet, performed by the Blythwood Winds in Toronto and Perfect Cadence Wind Quintet in Calgary, Mindsets for violin, brainwaves and digital signal processing by violinist Marco Fusi in Rieti, Italy and violinist John Lowry in Calgary in 2014, Songs of the North Woods No.1 by Quartetto Gelato in Niagara-on-the-Lake in 2012, Romp and Repose for Bassoon and String Orchestra by Michael Hope and Kensington Sinfonia in 2012, and Music for a Tower for Rubbing Stone Ensemble at New Works Calgary’s 25th Anniversary Gala. As an oboist she has performed several solo works, and currently plays with several ensembles, including Perfect Cadence Wind Quintet, the Symphony of the Kootenays as principal oboist and the Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra as additional oboist.
Her love of making and exploring new ground led her to the Computational Media Design program at the University of Calgary, where she earned a Master of Music and recently a PhD in Music, with her thesis entitled “Designing for the Mindbody in Technology-Mediated Music-Making.” Her research explores, among many things, designing new interfaces for musical expression, embodied music cognition, and composing for music and interactive electronics.
Some past endeavors include a career as a maritime surface officer in the Canadian Naval Reserve in Calgary’s local training unit, HMCS TECUMSEH, and onboard coastal warships, where she has performed her navigation and bridge-watchkeeping duties in operations from Alaska to Oregon, and Halifax to Ireland. Another of Aura’s many passions is philosophy, and she has been the founder of several university discussion groups and taught philosophy to youth at the Colorado based Camp Indecon. Her interest in space development and technology led her to work as an Operations Centre Coordinator and Dispatcher for Sunwest Aviation for 2 years.
A longstanding fascination with geodesic structures led her to own one of two dome homes in Calgary, a piece of history that was likely one of the first of its kind in Canada. Aura has been particularly interested in the relationship between music and architecture, and the similarities between the creative process of designing music and physical structures.
In this long and varied journey of hers, Aura likes to stop along the way to enjoy a hike or explore exotic places with her husband, best friend and fellow explorer, Joseph, and her two young sons.
View Aura Pon’s website