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Natalie Chami (b. January 27, 1987) is a proud Canadian-born Lebanese American who adopted the TALsounds moniker in 2009 for her explorations in the drone, ambient, and improvisational disciplines. Since choosing the TALsounds moniker, Chami has spent 15 years building an illustrious career as a solo artist, first in Chicago and most recently in the Washington D.C. area. Through her masterful synth work, operatic vocals, and nuanced sculpting of mood and atmosphere, Chami’s music strikes a balance between the extremely personal and the selflessly transportive. She spirals effortlessly through a never ending carousel of solo improvisations and collaborations with other artists, and she seems to evolve with each performance, no matter how lofty and grandiose or humble and intimate those performances may be.

After a series of albums released on cassette by labels including Hausu Mountain, Tabs Out, and Moog’s own in-house imprint, Chami released her first TALsounds LP, Love Sick, with New York’s Ba Da Bing Records in 2017. Her second LP, Acquiesce, arrived in 2020 on NNA Tapes. Performed entirely by Chami and produced by Cooper Crain (Bitchin’ Bajas, Cave), Acquiesce was a perfect amalgamation of Chami as composer and improviser. Pitchfork said of Acquiesce that it “always goes deeper rather than bigger,” and that the songs “feel uniquely designed to pull you into them.” Other commentary on Chami’s music appeared in publications including The Fader, which acknowledged that Chami “has spent the past decade developing a reputation as one of America’s most compelling DIY artists,” and the Chicago Reader, which named Love Sick one of the best albums of the decade and identifies Chami as “a crucial contributor and even one of the faces of the city’s contemporary avant-garde electronic scene.”

Shift, Chami’s third LP was released by NNA Tapes on November 3, 2023. While Chami’s performance tactics and conception of her project continue along the path she laid with her previous works, Shift marks a number of major changes to her practice. Recorded exclusively with hardware digital and FM synthesizers, the album departs from the warmth of Chami’s trademark analog synth sound, for a more willfully crisp, icy tonal palette. Compared to the often dense sessions seen across her catalog in which her loops layer and build into towering climaxes, Shift highlights a more minimalist strain of Chami’s work, shifting the lens closer to the molecules of her synth and vocal performances and allowing each element to breathe in wider spaces within her austere mixes. 

Chami made it a point when conceptualizing Shift to work on its post-production aspects with women who share her Southwest Asian and North African (SWANA) descent, knowing that such collaborators could best illuminate the spirit of the work and present it in the way she imagined. Oakland-based Afghan-American producer Maryam Qudus mixed the album and added additional subtle production treatments to Chami’s recordings. Brooklyn-based Egyptian audio engineer Heba Kadry brought the album into its final incarnation with her mastering. Chicago-based Palestinian visual artist Mary Hazboun drew the album’s striking cover image. DC-based Lebanese photographer Farrah Skeiky took Chami’s press photos. By getting these artists together, Chami wanted to highlight the presence and importance of SWANA women in the landscape of experimental art and music. She states, quite simply, “We’re out here.”

Whether she’s opening for Merzbow or Mary Lattimore, Tim Hecker or Tortoise, Mdou Moctar or Kaitlyn Aurelia Smith, Chami is adept at drawing audiences into her entrancing performances and leaving them wide open to receive whatever comes next. Chami has performed across America and Canada, and she traveled to Europe in 2018 for a string of dates with Chicago composer Haley Fohr (Circuit Des Yeux). As a member of free music trio Good Willsmith, she toured the US and released nine albums from 2012 to 2018, including the LPs The Honeymoon Workbook (2014) and Things Our Bodies Used To Have (2016), along with Exit Future Heart (2018), a collaborative LP recorded with Dustin Wong and Takako Minekawa—all issued through Mexico City-based label Umor Rex. Chami also regularly collaborates in improvisational ensembles with musicians from Chicago and beyond, including frequent tour-mate Whitney Johnson (Matchess) and Brett Naucke. Johnson and Chami released their first collaborative LP as Damiana, entitled Vines, through Hausu Mountain in Summer 2021, and Naucke, Chami, and Johnson’s collaboration, Mirror Ensemble, was released on American Dream Records in Fall 2021.

Beyond her contributions to live performance and music production, Chami played a pivotal role as a founding faculty member at the Chicago High School for the Arts, the city's premier public high school for music and the arts. Serving as the Vocal Chair, she not only crafted curriculum for various courses, encompassing vocal technique and music technology, but also oversaw the development and implementation of anti-racist and trauma-informed curriculum. Her proactive engagement extended to forging connections with diverse organizations, facilitating opportunities for students, including collaborations with music conservatories and universities worldwide.

In addition to maintaining a private music studio for students since 2010, Chami expanded her influence by becoming a video host for the online musical instrument marketplace,, in 2019. Presently, leveraging her individual expertise and community collaborations, Chami holds the position of Product Manager at KORG USA. In this role, she actively contributes to the creation of synthesizer curriculum, participates in sound design, hosts educational live streams, produces marketing videos, and collaborates internationally. Her work involves defining product goals and features and aligning with sales and engineering teams for strategic positioning based on market data and insights from artists.

Chami's multifaceted career extends into the realm of film scoring and sound installations. In 2020, she composed the score for "Head to Head," a film portraying the struggles of women dealing with the emotional impact of unexpected hair loss due to Alopecia, Lupus, or chemotherapy. The film earned accolades from prestigious events such as the Beloit International Film Festival, the Milwaukee Film Minority Health Film Festival, the Heartland International Film Festival, and the Chi-Town Multicultural Film Festival. In 2021, Chami composed an ambitious 30-channel improvisational piece for the Sonic Pavilion Festival in Chicago, a series of sound installations commissioned by Experimental Sound Studio for the spatialized overhead trellis loudspeaker array at Millennium Park’s Pritzker Pavilion. “The result was an immersive canopy of sound—a fluid sonic architecture that bridged the focus of a live performance and the majesty of the surrounding cityscape” ( 

Chami's dedication to education continues through workshops hosted at esteemed institutions like Northwestern University, George Washington University, CalArts, American University, and the University of North Carolina. In 2023, Chami served as a Round Two Panelist for the Bemis Center for Contemporary Arts, evaluating submissions for their Sound Art and Experimental Music program.

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Short Bio

Natalie Chami (TALsounds) is a Canadian-born Lebanese American musician and educator. Known for her work in drone, ambient, and improvisational music, she has cultivated a distinguished solo career over the past 15 years, crafting a distinctive blend of personal and transporting music. Her compositions seamlessly integrate synth work, operatic vocals, and meticulous atmosphere crafting. Chami has released albums on various labels, toured internationally, and earned acclaim for her significant contributions to the avant-garde electronic scene including publications such as Pitchfork, The Fader, The Washington Post, and The Chicago Tribune.  Her latest release, Shift (2023), is a departure from her signature warm analog synth sound, with exclusive use of hardware digital and FM synthesizers, embracing a crisp, icy tonal palette and a minimalist approach. Notably, Chami collaborated with fellow Southwest Asian and North African (SWANA) women in the production, art, and photography for the album. 

Beyond her contributions to live performance and music production, Chami played a pivotal role as a founding faculty member at the Chicago High School for the Arts, continues to maintain a private music studio for students since 2010, was a video host for the online musical instrument marketplace,, and currently serves as the Product Manager for Synthesizers at KORG USA. Chami also enjoys when her multifaceted career extends into the realm of film scoring and sound installations. She also very much loves her friends, family of humans, cats, and dogs… and nature... and chocolate cake. 

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