Growing up in a big, blue collar family in Canada she had a passion for music and a diligent work ethic. Years of national track and field competitions have given her the drive to be persistent and to persevere when the going gets tough.
Battling a rare infection that left her temporarily blind, paralyzed, and deaf left Tay with a newfound understanding, awareness and appreciation for sound that sets her apart from other composers. Coping and healing after the sudden loss of her senses took extensive meditation and biofeedback therapy, but she also found solace in her guitar, which helped to rehabilitate her motor skills and heal her soul.
Tay’s life-changing experience sparked her curiosity for the wonders and mysteries of the universe. Her passion for science and the cosmos, augmented perception of sound, and extensive music education led Tay to evolve a unique musical style.
While experimenting with new sounds in the studio, Tay’s fascination with the universe inspired her to explore the sounds of space in her new LP, EarthTronica, which will be released later this year. EarthTronica features real sounds from NASA spacecraft and musical impressions of the atmospheres on other planets. Collaborating with a writer for Space.com, Tay researched and interpreted real data, images, and astronomical studies to carefully craft tracks that convert science into sound both artistically and realistically.
Following her dream to expand her musical strengths and explore more diverse and complex musical expressions, Tay completed the full four years of music theory education at Juilliard in 2013-2014 There she studied from world-renowned professors to refine her musical expertise. Many of her fourth-year compositions were selected for productions at Lincoln Center and off Broadway, including The North Star, an atonal piece that premiered at the Juilliard School’s celebration of Martin Luther King, and Maasai Queen, an Off-Broadway dance production scored for piano, violin and dual percussion.
Now she records inside her custom “boutique score space” called AWE, where she has worked to create online commercials for hip brands. Tay’s music branding has been featured online by The Cool Hunter, Huffington Post, NBC and Vogue.
Film & Television
Ms. Tay is the first woman of color to score for a theatrically-released feature film, Hate Crime (Image Entertainment) which she served as a film producer and secured a distribution deal using her score to successfully market the film. Hate Crime starred Tony Award-nominee Brian J. Smith and academy award nominee Bruce Davison. The score benefitted many AIDS organizations and won numerous audience awards. Further leveraging her combination of artistry and entrepreneurialism, she produced and scored a second feature film, Sedona, starring Frances Fisher of Titanic, Beth Grant of The Artist and The Mindy Project, and Lin Shaye of Insidious. The score featured the sacred tributes of the Apache and Lakota tribes. Tay and her Grammy-winning team of engineers recorded the tribes in 1200 B.C caves; an Apache Elder led a ceremony in ancient caves; Tay captured the Tribe’s tributes with the equipment; and then, using music theory and technology, she created the film’s score combing Juilliard musicians,which won an Arizona Music Award in 2012 for Best Score.
Ms. Tay recently composed the music and created the sound effects for a nascent web series called The EXpert, in which she experiments with unique audio effects sounds to bring the story to life. The score features members of The Roots Crew (The Tonight Show) and, like the sound effects, presents a range of unique sound samples and melodies (sometimes played in reverse) to support actress Jennifer Bareilles’ performance. Further episodes are in development.
Tay’s audio company, AWE, actively seeks to build diversity in post-production processing both on all of her works and also across the entertainment industry.