Thembi Soddell (b.1980) is an Australian sound artist, electroacoustic composer and practice-led researcher whose work pushes the boundaries of musique concréte and the acousmatic tradition. Her primary instrument is the sampler, which she uses to manipulate field recordings, instrument textures, played found objects and analogue synthesis into ambiguous and cathartic expressions of psychological experience. Her distinct approach to composition exploits dynamic extremes, creating volatile, evocative sound environments with a disquieting edge. These reflect her longstanding interests in psychology, perception, extreme emotion and the subjectivity of experience in their relation to intense encounters with sound.
Since 2010 Soddell has been engaged in practice-led research at RMIT University, focused on the sonic embodiment of first-person perspectives of mental illness, trauma and psychological distress. She creates work for concert, gallery and CD presentation. Her work has been shown in galleries worldwide, such as the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (2002), National Gallery of Australia (2003), Wellington City Gallery (2013), National Gallery of Victoria (2014) and Australian Centre for Contemporary Art (2016). She has released two solo albums, Intimacy (cajid media 2004) and Instance (cajid media 2005), with another set for release in 2017 through Room 40. She has performed at many Australian experimental festivals, including Totally Huge New Music Festival, Liquid Architecture and What is Music? Together with cellist, Anthea Caddy, she has released two collaborative albums, Iland (cajid media 2006) and Host (Room 40 2012), and twice toured Europe. Soddell also works as sound designer and dramaturg for choreographer Tim Darbyshire and theatre director Rebecca Russell, has guest curated for the National Gallery of Victoria, Australia and from 2004-2009 assisted in running Australian experimental music label cajid media.
Soddell’s work has been described as “extremely accomplished” (Diffusion) and inducing of "psychological terror" (Real Time Arts). She has been mentioned in two books, Experimental Music: Audio Explorations in Australia and Women of Note: The Rise of Australian Women Composers. Soddell lives in rural Victorian town, Clunes.