Pushing Air is a San Francisco-based live-looping music project blending high-diva vocals, jazz-based improvisation, beatboxing and extended vocal technique. Conservatory-trained and bebop-schooled vocalist Diana Thompson composes and performs all parts, all voice, all live, melding jazz, blues, minimalist classical, and African musics into "avant world bop."
Diana grew up singing and playing violin with equal passion, helping create her largely instrumental style of singing. At The Boston Conservatory, enjoyed the sonic challenges of singing songs of 20th century American composers including Aaron Copland, Ned Rorem, and Thomas Pasatieri. She also first exposed to the extended vocal techinique of Meredith Monk. At Berklee College of Music, where she received her Bachelor of Music degree, she studied jazz voice and traditional popular songwriting. Her music career began as a singer-songwriter, guitar in hand, in the tradition of Joni Mitchell, Suzanne Vega and Shawn Colvin. Diana cut her musical teeth in the subways and coffee houses of Boston.
She has sung with the Mystic Family Circus, André Custodio, and Scott Sterling. As a founding member of the experimental voice and electronics ensemble Rex Brulée, Diana worked heavily in improvisation, rhythm and extended vocal technique, gaining inspiration from the musics of Africa. She also explored the creative possibilities of working purely with voice and technology which has become the core of Pushing Air.
Using digital looping, each performance is a live mix with transitions between songs, emulating the continuous flow of a DJ/Producer set. Pushing Air has brought its innovative music to venues such as 111 Minna, Epic Arts, The Luggage Store Gallery, and the Y2K6 International Looping Festival.