Eli Berman (they/she/זי/זיי) is a composer-vocalist, improviser, and new instrument builder from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. She creates electroacoustic music using experimental vocal techniques across a variety of her ancestral vocal technologies, including khazones (Ashkenazi Jewish cantorial music), Yiddish and Appalachian folk songs, Slovak travnice (traditional women's haymaking songs), and western classical repertoire. Eli's work explores possibilities for embodied, nonbinary theories of the voice and gender. For example, her recent xibuccal instruments–a prototypical collection of acoustic and electroacoustic extensions of the human vocal tract–help her question the foundational myths of mind/body, self/other, and human/machine that contribute to the 'logic' of the western gender binary (man/woman).
Eli has premiered her music at multiple festivals including (R)evolution: Resonant Bodies at the Banff Centre, New Music On the Point, Yiddish Summer Weimar, New Explorative Oratorio Voice Festival, Atlantic Music Festival, and Gender Unbound. In addition to her experience as a "countertenor" and "baritone" in vocal ensembles such as C4: The Choral Composer/Conductor Collective, Eli has sung as soloist in the U.S. premiere of John Tavener's "Total Eclipse" and in a New York Times critically-acclaimed concert of works by Eve Beglarian. She has presented her music and creative research at the 2021 International Conference on New Interfaces for Musical Expression, 2020 Pan-American Vocology Association Symposium, and 2019 Transgender Singing Voice Conference. Eli recently graduated with a B.A. in Music from Princeton University (June 2020).