ListN Up: Sugar Vendil (October 2, 2020)

ListN Up is a series of weekly artist-curated playlists. Born from a desire to keep artists sharing and connected during times of isolation, ListN Up offers an intimate sonic portrait of contemporary artists by showcasing the diverse and stylistically varied music that influences their creative practice. 

Sugar Vendil is a composer, pianist, and interdisciplinary artist based in Brooklyn, NY in Lenapehoking. Her artistic practice is strongly rooted in rigorous discipline as a musician and gradually expanded into performance that integrates music, movement, and unconventional approaches to the piano. She is a proud second generation Filipinx American.

I’m Sugar Vendil, and I’m a composer, pianist, and interdisciplinary artist based in Brooklyn. This playlist includes some of my influences, artists I admire, as well as some of my own music. Stay safe, and make sure to vote November 3rd.

Ha oo mm by Sugar Vendil, performed by Laura Cocks (flute), Hajnal Pivnick (violin), and Sugar Vendil (piano)

Starting by introducing you to some of my music. HI!

Turtle Dreams by Meredith Monk, performed by Meredith Monk & Vocal Ensemble

I had heard of Meredith Monk when I was younger, but didn’t become familiar with her work until I started becoming interested in making my own interdisciplinary pieces. This was one of the first things that came up when I searched online for performance incorporating both music and movement.

“o o o o o” from The Oversoul Manual by Darius Jones

One of my favorite pieces of all time. I love how Darius has created his own language in the text and the overall aesthetic of the work. Darius is a friend, and I styled the premiere of this piece at Weill Hall, using clothes by my friend, designer Titania Inglis. 

Pagsamba by José Maceda

I would have loved to know who José Maceda was when I was a budding musician. I’m trying to learn as much as I can now, and I’m hoping to find some of his scores…until we’re allowed to travel and I can jet to the Philippines for a research trip.

“Blind Alley” by Fanny

Fanny was actually a big deal during their time. David Bowie was supportive of them, and Todd Rundgren produced their album. I did not learn about Fanny until last year, and I look up to them, as they were the first Filipinx-led rock band in a largely white male-dominated industry. 

Test Site 4: Now, Then, and then by Sugar Vendil and Jing Yu

When I’m working on something, I often make studies to do some exploratory work that become their own independent pieces, and sometimes part of my “Test Sites” series. This is one I did for my piece Antonym (still a work in progress) with my friend Jing Yu.  

Sunken Cathedral by Bora Yoon

This work is so beautiful. Love the music, and love how the elements come together on stage.

Breathing by Pamela Z

Aside from the sound of this, I love the physicality that is brought to the electronics.


UNEVEN MEASURES is a series dedicated to amplifying today’s women, trans, and nonbinary artists on the centennial anniversary of the 19th Amendment leading up to the 2020 presidential election. This series is made possible through a generous grant from The Elizabeth & Michel Sorel Charitable Organization Inc. to the American Composers Forum and their partnership with I CARE IF YOU LISTEN. The Sorel Organization is committed to supporting gender equity in music and addressing systemic inequities by providing greater visibility for women musicians from underrepresented communities.

I CARE IF YOU LISTEN is a program of the American Composers Forum, funded with generous donor and institutional support. A gift to ACF helps support the work of ICIYL. Editorial decisions are made at the sole discretion of the editor-in-chief. For more on ACF, visit the “At ACF” section or