Melissa Hyatt Foss is a musician, instrument-maker, composer and teaching artist hailing from Maryland and Vermont. After receiving her undergraduate degree in Art History at James Madison University she relocated to Argentina where she studied and developed her career as a performer, researcher and teaching artist for over a decade.
She completed her master’s degree in Musical Creation, New Technologies and Traditional Arts at the National University of Argentina, specializing in the recreation of ancient sound artifacts of the Americas and electroacoustic composition. For seven years she performed as a soloist, touring in Argentina and around the world, with the Orchestra of Indigenous Instruments and New Technologies, which was recipient of the International Music Council's Musical Rights Award in 2013.
Melissa has cultivated an interdisciplinary practice that takes shape in hand-built musical instruments and organic electronica. Her work is a multifaceted contemplation of the beauty of our human heritage, the wisdom of our ancestors, and a search for their place in our world today.
Her composition “Hanblecheyapi: In Search of a Vision,” which was composed using a collection of her own recreations of historical instruments from the three Americas, was selected as one of the International Rostrum of Composers’ 12 most relevant contemporary works in 2018 and has since been broadcast by the BBC and other radio programs in Finland, Portugal, Hong Kong, and Austria.
She is currently based in Baltimore, Maryland, where she is a Resident Artist with the Creative Alliance.