Suna No Onna is a cello and viola duo committed to the performance of new and experimental music. The name Suna No Onna comes from the title of a novel by Japanese author Kobo Abe that was later made into a film by director Hiroshi Teshigahara and is loosely translated as “Woman in the Dunes”.

Formed in 2004, Suna No Onna is made up of violist Robin Streb and cellist Laura Cetilia.  Both are active performers of new music in their own right.  The duo has performed in Vancouver (Canada), Los Angeles, and New York.

Artist Statement

Suna No Onna is a cello and viola duo committed to the performance of new and experimental music, focusing on microtonal, long-form and graphic scores – unconventional music that presents a challenge to both the ensemble and the audience.

For Suna No Onna, performance is an act of discovery, a chance to reveal something essential about the way we perceive sound in time as well as the music making experience and process.
Therefore, in their performances, the ensemble gravitates towards creating sonic experiences where relationships between sound and silence, microtuning or graphic score interpretation is explored on a deeper and more personal level.

Suna No Onna seeks out scores that are more than the sum of their parts; that is to say, music that offers a different perspective on the listening experience for both the performers and audience.

Robin Streb (viola) is an active performer and teacher.  She has performed with a wide variety of ensembles including the Victoria Symphony, Vancouver Opera Orchestra, New West Symphony (California), Fresno Philharmonic, Mélange Chamber Ensemble, and the Galiano Ensemble.  She also held the position of assistant principal viola with the Vancouver Island Symphony from 2003-08. Currently, Robin is a member of the Vancouver Miniaturist Ensemble as well as The Pacific Rim String Quartet. Robin has appeared frequently as a new and experimental music performer in Canada, the US and Europe, performing with various chamber ensembles and as a soloist, including the Okiro New and Experimental Music Series (Hollywood), Tonoi Ensemble (Los Angeles), Line Space Line (Los Angeles), various events at the California Institute of the Arts,  Listen Space (Brooklyn), The Wulf (Los Angeles) The Cellar ‘A Month of Tuesdays’ (Vancouver), Sonic Boom Festivals (Vancouver), with oxo and other ensembles at Blim Gallery (Vancouver) and with Redshift Music Society (Vancouver). In 2007, she was invited to perform James Tenney’s seminal ‘postal piece’ Koan on viola at ctrl+alt+repeat festival in Los Angeles. In July 2009, she perfomed a program of string music with members of the Bozzini Quartet at the Düsseldorf Kunstraum in Germany.  In 2004, Robin founded the duo Suna no onna with cellist Laura Cetilia.  The duo is committed to the performance of new and experimental music, and their repertoire includes microtonal pieces as well as long-form experimental works.  Robin also performs with her sister, Cassia Streb, as the duo Park Lane.  The two have perfomed together in Victoria, Vancouver, Los Angeles and New York. Robin’s experience as a performer also extends to the recording studio where she has recorded with pop artists across the genre spectrum, from country, rock, folk, to a cd of Paul McCartney songs arranged for string quartet.

Born and raised on the east side of Los Angeles, Laura Cetilia leads the life of an orchestral and chamber musician, concert presenter, electronic musician, and cello teacher. Upon graduating with distinction from the School of Music at Indiana University, Laura accepted a position with the Graduate String Quartet at Wichita State University, where she received her master’s degree in cello performance. She has since traveled extensively, performing with her electroacoustic group Mem1 at venues such as Issue Project Room, Roulette (NY), REDCAT / Disney Hall (LA), the Orange County Museum of Art, Electronic Church (Berlin), the Laptopia Festival (Tel-Aviv), the San Francisco Electronic Music Festival, and the Borealis Festival (Bergen). In 2007, Mem1 was awarded an artist residency at Harvestworks (NY) and has recently taken part in residencies at STEIM and Kunstenaarslogies in the Netherlands and USF Verftet in Bergen, Norway. In 2009, they created a site-specific installation for the Museums of Bat Yam (Israel); their work has been screened and installed at venues including the Sundance Film Festival, Fringe Exhibitions (Los Angeles), and the Hordaland Kunstsenter (Bergen). In addition to her electroacoustic work with Mem1, Laura also performs experimental chamber music with violist Robin Streb in their duo, Suna No Onna. Together they have premiered works in Los Angeles and New York by composers such as Andre Cormier and Jurg Frey. Laura is currently a Media Lab Teaching Artist and Associate Resident Musician at Community MusicWorks, a non-profit organization that provides free after-school music education programs for children in urban neighborhoods of Providence, Rhode Island.