Sultana Isham explores sound as biology through composition and ethnomusicology. She is an award-winning composer, violinist, scholar, curator and interdisciplinary fellow at The Sundance Institute. Her recent score for the Emmy-nominated documentary, “The Neutral Ground,” premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival and earned her an IDA nomination for best score of 2021. In 2023, she made her composer/conductor debut with the Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra. Her upcoming score for the doc-series “Stax Records” will broadcast nationally on HBO in 2024. Her scholarship has expanded into a touring multi-sensory archival exhibition on the lives and works of performers-musicologists Dr. Geneva Handy-Southall and D. Antoinette Handy. Her curation is done in collaboration with their descendants of Handy Heights, Emory University, University of Minnesota, and University of Iowa Women’s Archive.

Sultana will be in residence with Janani Balasubramanian and they will spend their month at Green Box writing a dome Opera entitled Rouge Objects, an operatic, immersive, and inviting experience for dome cinema that brings the emerging science of brown dwarfs to audiences around the world. Through original footage, archival materials, and animation built with data from the new James Webb and Gaia space telescopes, and an original operatic score constructed from sonified data of nearby brown dwarfs, Rogue Objects welcomes us into the wonderful life of celestial objects that abound and sing in the dark. The residency will culminate with a workshop presentation of the opera.