Niki Johnson is a percussionist and composer-performer whose musical practice incorporates contemporary classical repertoire, improvisation, interdisciplinary collaboration, and performance art. She is a current PhD Candidate at Monash University, where her research explores percussionists’ collaborations with sculptors and designers, and the process of co-creating, and composing for new sculptural instruments. Her main research project is Shock Lines, a collaboration involving Niki as percussionist-composer, glass artist Caitlin Dubler, and sound designer Natasha Dubler. Niki also works with clarinettist and composer Solomon Frank in the experimental music and theatre duo Throat Pleats. This collaboration explores shifting animalistic power dynamics, balloons, hoses, and vacuum cleaners.
As a freelance percussionist-composer, Niki was awarded a position in the 2019-2022 Speak Percussion Bespoke Artist program, and nominated for the 2021 Classical Freedman. She works regularly with Speak Percussion and Ensemble Offspring, has recorded percussion for Trackdown Fox studios and the ABC, and has been commissioned to perform a solo percussion work at Powerhouse Museum Jane Sheldon x Culinary Archive 2022. Niki has played percussion for Andree Greenwell’s new opera The Three Marys premiering at the Sydney Opera House in 2023, and performed Damien Ricketson’s Sound Touch for solo percussionist at Phoenix Central Park 2022.
photo credit – Stefanie Zingsheim