Center for Contemporary Music, Improvisation and eXperimentation

The Center for Contemporary Music, Improvisation, and eXperimentation (CMIX) serves as a hub for the creation and presentation of contemporary sonic art at Western Michigan University. CMIX presents a broad range of activities and guests who focus on the creation, production, presentation and study of sonic arts, including jazz, popular music, contemporary concert music, and multimedia. CMIX fosters experimentation and collaboration within the College of Fine Arts and beyond. 

CMIX was created to solidify and expand the relationships between students and faculty creating, performing, and presenting contemporary art projects involving sound in order to facilitate high quality, well produced new music and multimedia for student and faculty projects and other events at WMU. CMIX was established by faculty members coordinating the Jazz Studies, Multimedia Arts Technology, and Music Composition programs. CMIX Presents presents a series of educational and artistic concerts, installations, and talks each year that enrich the lives of students, faculty, and community members.  We hope you can join us for the CMIX Presents events below.

  • SPRING 2024 CMIX
  • CMIX Presents: Venus Theory 2023-09-19

    Venus Theory

  • CMIX Launch Event: Western Jazz Collective 2023-09-29

     Friday, September 29th at 7:30 PM in the Dalton Multimedia Room:

    The Western Jazz Collective presents original modern jazz. Nodes, which features WMU jazz faculty and electronic music Christopher Biggs, will present a mini-set of jazz with live electronics processing. Tickets cost $15 general admission, $10 seniors, and free for students.

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    Western Jazz Collective

  • CMIX Launch Event: Multimedia and Contemporary Music 2023-09-30

    Saturday, September 30th at 2 pm in the Dalton Multimedia Room:

    The Multimedia and Contemporary Music Concert will feature work and performances by WMU faculty, alumni, and students. The concert features performances by WMUs Anima Choir under the direction of Kim Adams and the stellar Western Brass Quintet. Tickets cost $15 general admission, $10 seniors, and free for students.

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    CMIX Present Launch

  • CMIX Launch Event: Corn Fed Girls with Carter Rice 2023-09-30


    Saturday, September 30th at 7:30 pm in the Dalton Multimedia Room: A 20-minute improvised DJ Set by Carter Rice, followed by the acoustic contemporary country band the Corn Fed Girls. Tickets cost $15 general admission, $10 seniors, $5 students

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    Corn Fed Girls

  • Nois Saxophone Quartet 2023-10-06

    The Nois Quartet will present a concert of works on Friday, Oct. 6th at 7:30 in the Dalton Recital Hall. This will include a work by WMU alum Elliott Lupp. 

    Founded in 2016, ~Nois has become one of the premier ensembles in the U.S. by combining contemporary classical music and improvisation in unique concert experiences. Heralded as “fiendishly good” by the Chicago Tribune, ~Nois has been awarded top prizes at prestigious chamber music competitions including the Fischoff and the M-Prize competitions. Since its founding, ~Nois has given over 120 performances in 22 states from coast to coast and has premiered over 80 works. ~Nois’ recent commission, “I Tell You Me”, by Annika Socolofksy was called “grotesquely gorgeous” by the Chicago Tribune and the premiere performance was included in their list of “Chicago’s Top 10 moments in classical music, opera, and jazz that defined 2021”.


    Nois Quartet
  • John Mayrose and Thom Limbert 2023-10-12

    John Mayrose and Thom Limbert will present a concert on Thursday, Oct. 12th in the Dalton Recital Hall. On Friday, Oct. 13th they will present in Dalton Center rm. 2004. 

    John Mayrose is a composer as well as an active performer, having performed and premiered new works for classical guitar, electric guitar, electric bass, mandolin, banjo and MIDI guitar, as well as more traditional performances on classical guitar. He holds a Ph.D. in composition at Duke University and a B.M. degree from the University of South Carolina Honors College. His teachers have included Stephen Jaffe, Scott Lindroth, Sidney Hodkinson, Anthony Kelley, Christopher Berg, and Michael Cedric Smith.

    John's music has been played throughout North America, Europe, and Australia, by among others, Duo 46, Amphion Percussion, Michael Mizrahi, Fireworks, pulsoptional, Jillon Stoppels Dupree, Duo d'amore, the University of North Carolina Wind Symphony, and percussion ensembles at Truman State University, the University of Texas, Central Michigan University, and Lawrence University. He is the recipient of the first place prize in the Percussive Arts Society Composition Contest (2009), the ASCAP Plus Award, the Aliénor Harpsichord Composition Prize (2008), the William Klenz Prize in Composition (2001), the ASCAP Morton Gould Young Composer's Award (2004) for "What Hath God Wrought": Reflections on a Theme by Samuel F. B. Morse, the Bass Named Instructorship (Duke 2005/2006), the Mary Duke Biddle Fellowship, and several University of Wisconsin Oshkosh Faculty Development Grants. John is a member of the new music ensemble pulsoptional, a composer's collective based in Durham, North Carolina. His music has been featured in the Electronic Music Midwest Festival, Western Illinois New Music Festival, the Aspen Music Festival, Oregon Bach Festival, the Boston Early Music Festival, and North Carolina HIP Festival.

    John is an Assistant Professor of Music at the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh. He has taught at Indiana University South Bend and served as the Postdoctoral Fellow in Music Composition at the Lawrence University Conservatory of Music where he was also the director of the Improvisation Group of Lawrence University.


  • Evan Chambers Presentation: 2023-11-10

    Composer Evan chambers will present and give a master class on Friday, November 10th in Dalton 2004.

    Evan Chambers (b 1963, Alexandria, Louisiana) is currently Professor of Composition at the University of Michigan. 

    His 2007 orchestral song cycle The Old Burying Ground was performed in Carnegie Hall in February 2008; a recording is available on Dorian/Sono Luminus.

    Chambers' compositions have been performed by the Cincinnati, Kansas City, Memphis, New Hampshire, and Albany Symphonies, among others; has also appeared as a soloist in Carnegie Hall with the American Composers Orchestra. He won first prize in the Cincinnati Symphony Competition, and in 1998 was awarded the Walter Beeler Prize by Ithaca College. His work has been recognized by the American Academy of Arts and Letters, the Luigi Russolo Competition, Vienna Modern Masters, NACUSA, and the American Composers Forum. He has been a resident of the MacDowell Colony and Yaddo, and been awarded individual artist grants from Meet the Composer, the Arts Foundation of Michigan and ArtServe Michigan. His composition teachers include William Albright, Leslie Bassett, Nicholas Thorne, and Marilyn Shrude, with studies in electronic music with George Wilson and Burton Beerman. Recordings have been released by Albany Records, the Foundation Russolo-Pratella, Cambria, Clarinet Classics, Equillibrium, and Centaur. His solo chamber music disk (Cold Water, Dry Stone) is available on Albany records.



  • Nick Zoulek 2023-11-16

    Saxophonist, composer, and artist Nick Zoulek will present a concert on Thursday, Nov. 16th in the Dalton Recital Hall. 


    "…Zoulek's performance, on saxophones in every range, is stunningly virtuosic, whatever the genre…none of this would matter much (except to saxophonists) if he were a less imaginative composer." (The Wall Street Journal) 

    A modern saxophonist of “pure mindfulness and talent” (PopMatters), Dr. Nick Zoulek's focus on performance, collaboration, multimedia art, and improvisation, has led to a diverse portfolio of distinctive artistic ventures, performing across France, the United Kingdom, Canada, and the United States.

    A soloist, Nick’s musicianship is praised as “wickedly contagious” (The Huffington Post) with the capacity to “[take] you to other worlds” (Milwaukee Magazine), and “[b]eautiful harmonies [singing] in contrast to mysterious knockings and hums, and finally to ungodly, soul-shattering blasts.” (Shepherd Express) He has garnered numerous awards as a classical musician, with features on Chicago's Classical WFMT, Boise NPR, Toledo NPR, and 88.9 Radio Milwaukee. As a specialist in contemporary music, Zoulek has collaborated with leading ensembles including Grammy-winners Eighth Blackbird, Third Coast Percussion, and many others. He has been featured in concerti with the Boulogne Ensemble du Vent, the University of Wisconsin Whitewater Symphonic Wind Ensemble and Symphony Orchestra, and the University of Wisconsin Eau Claire Wind Ensemble. Connecting genres through virtuosity and experimentation, Nick’s work is “a no-holds-barred engine of avant-garde exploration,” (Portland Press Herald). Committed to the advancement of the classical saxophone, Nick has commissioned and premiered over 100 works by composers including Martin Bresnick, Alissa Cheung, Marti Epstein, Gordon Fitzell, Baldwin Giang, Ted Hearne, Aaron Kernis, Emma O'Halloran, Amanda Schoofs, and Shelley Washington. He has been a featured artist of the Groundswell Festival, the Shockingly Modern Saxophone Festival, Treefort Music Festival, and as the year-long Artist in Residence for the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee SENSORIA series. He performs frequently as a visiting guest artist at universities across North America. 

    Currently, Nick is working on his second multimedia project and album, Enter Branch, which will combine his saxophonic language and compositional vocabulary with collaborations from members of Bon Iver, Eighth Blackbird, Field Report, the Tontine Ensemble, ~Nois saxophone quartet, artists J. Ivy, Nathalie Joachim, and many more. Nick’s music and film can be experienced in Rushing Past Willow (INNOVA Records), which fuses all of facets of his work through self-composed pieces for alto, tenor, and bass saxophone.

    As a chamber musician, Zoulek has worked with cutting-edge classical ensembles including Eighth Blackbird, Third Coast Percussion, and Juxtatonal, indie-rock ensembles Field Report, Reliant Tom, Next Paperback Hero, and a vast array of groups dedicated to innovative sound. Nick is one half of Duo d’Entre-Deux, a Canadian/American saxophone duo praised for its avant-garde approach to saxophone, often working to augment saxophone performance through interdisciplinary collaboration and acoustic alteration of the saxophone’s structure. Zoulek is the tenor saxophonist of the Coalescent Quartet and combines indie-rock crooning with contemporary classical aesthetics in the tenor saxophone trio Dial-Up Stepmom.


    A composer, Zoulek has worked with Rockstar Games, Found Format Films, the License Lab, and Legs of Steel ski films. Additionally, he has served as the Music Director of Wild Space Dance Company, and has composed for the Madison Ballet, HYPERlocal, and with members of Zenon and Like You Mean It dance companies.  

    An award-winning media artist, Zoulek’s visual media, audio production, and digital sound design is an extension of his musical language. His films have screened at festivals in England, Canada, Serbia, Italy, India, Africa, and around the United States, and have garnered numerous awards, including Best Experimental Film from the London Modcon International Film Festival and Largo Film Festival. His doctoral dissertation, “Analyzing the Intersections of Saxophone and Digital Media through Media Theory,” strives to expand the analytical language of musical multimedia. For more information on Zoulek’s media work, visit

    Nick maintains an active profile as a researcher and educator with a commitment to advancing the saxophone’s role in contemporary classical music. He has served on faculty at Bowling Green State University, Ashland University, Oakland University, and the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater, teaching courses in saxophone, chamber music, multidisciplinary arts, multimedia, and jazz. Zoulek holds a DMA in Contemporary Music Performance (saxophone) with a cognate in Digital Media from Bowling Green State University. Additionally, Nick holds a Master of Music Performance from BGSU, a Certificat des Études Musicales from the Conservatoire à Rayonnement Régionale de Boulogne-Billancourt, and a Bachelor of Music Performance with Magna Cum Laude honors from the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater. He has studied with Dr. John Sampen, Jean-Michel Goury, Dr. Matthew Sintchak, and improvisation with Jöelle Léandre.