LaDonna Smith
violin viola voice    





LaDonna Smith, violinist and violist is dedicated to the international new music scene since 1978..
active performer,
educator, editor, and producer  of the improvisor, she has been an avid warrior, promoting the improvisational arts, and keeping the music alive in the Southern Eastern United States. From touring the world, producing and hosting  concerts and performance, the Birmingham Improv Festival, the improvisor festival of 2010, a month long festival held simultaneously in five different cities across the U.S.A, celebrating the 30 year anniversary of the international journal of free improvisation, she has hosted  performers from Sweden, Germany, Belgium, the Netherlands, Italy, France, England, Russia and Ukraine, as well as Japan and Australia for concerts, workshops, and residencies in Alabama, as well as a host of regional and national participants in music, theatre, and dance.

As a performer, LaDonna has created a style of improvisation that is uniquely personal. Alternating classical and extended techniques,
she explores her instrument, painting scenarios and sound pictures as she plays. She has performed at practically every major improvisation festival and many of the New Music Festivals. She has toured North America & Europe on numerous occasions, playing solo or in collaboration with others, including Misha Feigin, Sergey Letov, Evan Parker, Roger Turner, John Russell, Gunter Christman, John Oswald, and many others. . Her travels have taken her to the former USSR, Siberia, China, Japan, and India.  
Her longest musical relationship remains steadfast with
Alabama guitarist, Davey Williams. Together, they have toured North America and Europe many times as Trans Duo. As musical partners, they maintain their own recording label, TransMuseq, and also co-edited  
the improvisor, the international journal of free improvisation, printed eleven editions & published on the web for 30 years.


LaDonna Smith has conducted numerous workshops on free improvisation throughout the U.S. and Canada
to schoolchildren and college students, and teaches violin at her studio in Birmingham, Alabama. As Director of the Birmingham Suzuki Violin Association, she took 24 students and 14 adults to Japan to participate in the 42nd National Suzuki Concert in Tokyo. The Suzuki Violinists also performed their own concerts in Nagano, and a Sister City International Friendship Concert in Hitachi. As faculty on the Central Pennsylvania Suzuki Institute for ten years, she conducted experiments with string students
and improvisation, fostering a learning atmosphere of openness, experimentation, and creativity.

She served on the active board of the International Society of Improvised Music  (I.S.I.M) for three years.


Music Publications include: the improvisor, the international journal of free improvisation I-XI
The American Suzuki Journal Summer 1998,
Ability Development (U.K.) Journal of the  Suzuki Association of Great Britain,
International Talent Education Association Journal (Japan),
Heresies #10; Women in Music,
(score & article);

LaDonna Smith
poetry is published in the following Surrealist literary publications: 
Glass Veal I
Glass Veal II,  
Arsenal,  Beef Sphinx,  Free Spirits, Exposcao Internacional Surrealismo & Pintura Fantastica, Dungannon, The Dirt Furnace  The Hourglass,
Surrealist Sound Objects
include The Radio Plays, Song of Aeropteryx (Hal Rammell),  &
Millineum Mind Capsule  produced by Glenn Engstrand - Music, Artwork, & ...interactive CD-rom.

Interviews & features in various music publications include Muckrucker, Living Music, WIRE, and CODA.



  • Raudelunas Pataphysical Revue - LP- Ron Pate & the Debonairs, Say Day-Bew, 1975
  • Trans - LP - Davey Williams, LaDonna Smith,Theodore Bowen, Timothy Reed, Jim Hearon,  
     Records, 1977
  • Armed Forces Day - LP- The Blue Denim Deals With the Arms, Say Day-Bew Records, 1978
  • Folk Music - LP- LaDonna Smith, Davey Williams & Ted Bowen , Transmuseq Records, 1978
  • 2000 Statues - LP- Eugene Chadbourne, Parachute, 1978
  • School - LP- John Zorn, Eugene Chadbourne, Parachute, 1978
  • Jewels - LP-LaDonna Smith, Anne LeBaron, Davey Williams,Transmuseq Records1979
  • Velocities - LP- LaDonna Smith Andrea Centazzo, Davey Williams, Transmuseq Records, 1979
  • Direct Waves - LP-with Davey Williams, Transmuseq, 1980
  • USA Tour - LP- Andrea Centazzo, LaDonna Smith, Davey Williams and others, Ictus, 1980
  • Alchemical Rowdies - LP- LaDonna Smith, Davey Williams, Danny Finney, Paul Watson, Pippin  
    , Transmuseq Records, 1982
  • White Earth Streak - LP- with Davey Williams,Gunter Christman, Torsten Muller, Transmuseq,1983
  • Locales for Ecstasy - LP- LaDonna Smith, Davey Williams, Cinnie Cole, Transmuseq, 1987
  • Dix Improvisations - CD- with Davey Williams, Victoriaville (Victo), 1989, compilation
  • Earbook, Vol 3 - CD- with Davey Williams, (Rastacan), 1991, compilation
  • Eye of the Storm - CD- LaDonna Smith Solo violin/viola, Transmuseq, 1992
  • Transmutating - CD- LaDonna Smith & Davey Williams, Transmuseq, 1993
  • A Confederacy of Dances Vol 2 - CD- Live Recordings of the Roulette Series (Einstein, 1994)
  • Dice (She Says) -CD- Elise Kermani compilation (Ishtar Records), 1994
  • Harbinger - CD- with Barbie Williamson, (Coyoteway Productions), 1994
  • Dice 2 (She Says) - CD- Elise Kermani compilation (Ishtar Records), 1996
  • Birmingham Improv Festival Recordings - compilation CD (Transmuseq), 1996
  • The Parachute Years - CD- John Zorn(Tzadik), 1997
  • White Earth Streak - CD- Christman, Muller, Smith, Williams 1981-83 (Unheard Music), 2000
  • Rare Earth - Yttrbium LP , mixed-electronic viola & violin, Table of the Elements, 2004
  • Yokel Yen - CD- LaDonna Smith with Misha Feigin, Transmuseq, 2004
  • Waters Ashore - CD- LaDonna Smith, Misha Feigin, Dave Liebman, Jason Foureman, Transmuseq 
  • Ambient Visage - CD- LaDonna Smith & Susan Alcorn pedalsteel guitar, Transmuseq, 2006
  • Floating Bridges - CD- LaDonna Smith & Misha Feigin,Transmuseq, 2008
  • Deviant Shakti - CD- LaDonna Smith & Michael Evans, Transmuseq, 2009
  • Postage Paid Duets, CD- David Sait with LaDonna Smith, Gino Robair, Glenn Hall, Apprise, 2009
  • Ictus Records 35th Anniversary Collection, -CD- Andrea Centazzo, LaDonna Smith, and others..
  • Halcyon Days, Centazzo, (Ictus) 2012  

    The Art of Improvisation in art, movement and music...

         LaDonna has been working with Dance beginning in 1978 by invitation of Birmingham Creative Dance Company, founded in 1965 by Laura Knox. The early work with dancers in free improvisation, compositions and collaborations began with a group called Transforms, directed by Juanita Suarez. Early performances included contact improvisation with John Oswald in Toronto, Ontario, Katie Duck in Amsterdam, and Susan Hefner (NYC). Other collaborations include the long swinging trapese pieces at Birmingham's Sloss Furnaces National Historic Site,  collaborations with Wally Shoup & Mary Horn, The Giant Puppet Workshop with Lyn Spotswood, with Deborah Mauldin in Bearing Light Butoh,  Stella Nystrom and Celeste LaBourde in "Birmingham Experiments," with Ann Law of Barking Legs in Chattanooga, and Claire Elizabeth Barratt of Cilla Vee movement arts and sculpture.

    LaDonna is also a writer and visual artist, whose poetry, drawings, and surrealist influenced ceramic sculpture
    have been published and exhibited nationally. She enjoys teaching, outdoor activities, and practicing yoga, and believes
    subconscious mind, unifying the body and spirit in play is the seed of artistic expression.