Judy Dunaway performs avant-garde compositions and free improvisations on amplified latex balloons played as musical instruments. She is known internationally as a “virtuoso of the balloon.” She plays a variety of shapes and sizes of balloon instruments, each with it’s own special qualities, pushing the extremes of both pitch range and artistic limits. Her large rubbed “tenor” balloon gives Jimmy Hendrix’s guitar a run for the money and her giant balloon pulsates into the depths of the subaudio. Her abstract music and sounds are difficult to equate with other forms, depending upon the perception of the individual like the images seen in fire or clouds.
Dunaway has presented her works for balloons at many major venues and festivals throughout North America and Europe, including Academy of Media Arts Cologne (Cologne), Avant-Garde Schwaz Festival (Austria), Alternative Museum (NYC), Bang on a Can Festival (NYC), Everson Art Museum (Syracuse), Fylkingen (Stockholm), Frau Musica Nova Festival (Cologne), Guelph Jazz Festival (Canada), Lincoln Center Out-of-Doors (NYC), New Museum of Contemporary Art (NYC), Performance Space 122 (NYC), Podewil (Berlin), Roulette (NYC), CEAIT Festival (Los Angeles), Seltsame Musik Festival (Krems, Austria), SoHo Arts Festival (NYC), STEIM (Amsterdam) and Zentrum fuer Kunst und Medientechnologie (Karlsruhe). She has also performed on balloons with many outstanding musicians including Roscoe Mitchell, Jennifer Walshe, John Hollenbeck, Yasunao Tone, and the FLUX Quartet. CDs of her works for balloons have been released on the CRI (Composers Recordings Inc) and Innova labels, among others.