VU Symposium 2016 Participants


Ted Apel is a sound artist whose sculptures and installations focus on the audio transducing element as the source of visual and sonic material. His sound installations were prizewinners at the Bourges Electroacoustic Music Competition, received an honorary mention at the 2001 Prix Ars Electronica, received grand prize in the 2004 Idaho Triennial, and was a first prize winner in the 2013 FETA prize for sound art. He received his M.A. in electroacoustic music at Dartmouth College and his Ph.D. in computer music at the University of California, San Diego. He is currently a Clinical Assistant Professor at the College of Innovation and Design at Boise State University.

All music is sound.  But is/can/should all sound be music?  Using this question to frame his work, Nathan M. Asman is a musician, composer, music technologist, and instrument designer. Focusing on the intersection of popular and academic music, he strives to unite the two musical styles utilizing the endless musical and artistic opportunities afforded him by the world of music technology and computer-based music.  Nathan received his M.Mus. in Intermedia Music Technology (2013) from the University of Oregon and his B.A. in Music (2008) from Denison University.  He is now pursuing his D.M.A. in Data-Driven Instruments at the University of Oregon.

Lynn Baker is an active performer and clinician, and co-founder of the Front Range Soundpainters.  He also performs with The Lynn Baker Quartet, the free-improvisation trio Rhythmic_Void, and collaborates with the noise/groove/improvisation electronic music trio Gemstone Debris.  Lynn is a member of the International Association of Schools of Jazz and the International Society for Improvised Music.  His clinician appearances at colleges, universities, high schools, conferences, and festivals have taken him across the world.  He is an Origin Records recording artist with two releases Azure Intention, and LectroCoustic.

Scott Barton is an Assistant Professor of Music at Worcester Polytechnic Institute who composes, performs, and produces (electro)(acoustic) music.  His interests include rhythm, auditory and temporal perception, musical robotics, and audio production.  He founded and directs the Music, Perception and Robotics lab at WPI; has collaborated with the Kubovy Perception Lab at U.Va. on psychological experiments involving rhythm perception; and co-founded Expressive Machines Musical Instruments (EMMI), a collective that designs and builds robotic musical instruments.  His music has been performed throughout the world including at SMC, ICMC SEAMUS, CMMR and NIME.

Carey Campbell is Associate Professor of Music and Music Area Program Coordinator at Weber State University, where he teaches courses in music history, world music, and music appreciation. Carey holds a PhD and MA in Musicology from the University of Minnesota, an MM in Horn Performance from the University of Texas at El Paso, and a BME from Mars Hill College. He originally hails from Roanoke, Virginia.  Carey’s research interests include Eighteenth-Century Music performance practice, intertexuality in Popular Music, and the sociology of music.

Clay Chaplin is a composer, programmer and audio engineer from Los Angeles who explores experimental music through audio-visual improvisation, sound synthesis coding, field recording and custom built electronics. Clay’s works have been performed at the Studio for Electro-Instrumental Music (STEIM), the Deutsche Gesellschaft fur Elektroakustiche Musik (DEGEM), the New Interfaces for Musical Expression (NIME) conferences, the EarZoom Sonic Arts Festival (IRZU), the San Francisco Electronic Music Festival and many similar festivals and venues. Clay is currently the Director of Electronic and Computer Music at CalArts where he teaches music composition in the Experimental Sound Practices program.

Daniel Corral is a composer and multi-instrumentalist born and raised in Eagle River, Alaska. Now living in Los Angeles, his music has been commissioned and presented around the world. His unique creative voice includes accordion orchestras, puppet operas, handmade music boxes, microtonal electronics, sound installations, chamber music, and inter-disciplinary collaborations. Corral is also the primary composer for Timur and the Dime Museum, who recently gave the New York premiere of his piece Collapse. Residencies include APPEX, Bali; Marin Headlands Center for the Arts; and I-Park Foundation. He received an MFA from Calarts, where he studied with James Tenney and Anne LeBaron; and a BM from UPS. For more info, visit

Percussionist, composer, and improviser, Ron Coulter has performed internationally with the Glenn Miller Orchestra, L2Ork, Chicago Chamber Orchestra, Tatsuya Nakatani, Michael Zerang, Gino Robair, Sean Jones, Al Martino, Eric Mandat, Jim Staley, Improvisation Unit, Bolokada Condé, Youngstown Percussion Collective, Wyoming Symphony, Music from China, Tone Road Ramblers, and many others.  He is co-founder of the Percussion Art Ensemble, REDVIXA, duende entendre, Marble Hammer, and founded the Southern Illinois Improvisation Series.  Additional interests include noise, intermedia, interdisciplinary collaboration, and organizing Fluxusconcerts.  Ron has composed more than 280 works for various media and can be heard on more than forty recordings.

Antonio D’Amato is intoxicated by music. He graduated at conservatory in Piano, Harpsichord, Music for multimedia, Music Pedagogy and Electronic music. He also studied composition for eight years, bassoon for three years, baroque organ and audio engineering. In 2010 he was Ondes Martenot student in Strasbourg and Paris, and later Sonology student at ESMUC in Barcelona. Some of his instrumental works are published by Forton Music, U.K. His first electronic composition was selected for a performance during the ICMC 2012 Conference. In summer 2015 he was trainee at ExperimentalStudio des SWR in Freiburg. His works have been performed in Australia, Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Greece, Italy, Mexico, Slovenia, Sweden, Taiwan and USA.

Miguel Chuaqui

Joseph Davancens is a composer, bassist and producer based in Santa Cruz, California. His musical thought explores the tension between hard-edged algorithmic abstraction and fluidic gesture. Always interested in broadening his palette of instrumental textures, his work has increasingly focused on continuous parameter spaces and their relationship to traditional modes of sound production. His works have been performed by the Borromeo String Quartet, Ensemble Pamplemousse and the Gnarwhallaby Quartet.  In addition to his activities as a composer, Davancens has performed internationally with the ambient/post-rock band Tycho on bass guitar and keyboards. He has produced three albums with Doombird, a collaborative project between Davancens and songwriter Kris Anaya. In the early 2000s, Davancens attended Manhattan School of Music, where he earned a bachelor’s degree in jazz performance. He is currently working towards a doctorate in composition from the University of California, Santa Cruz, where he studies with Ben Leeds Carson, Larry Polansky and Paul Nauert.

Carlo Dean is a composer, performer and music educator living in San Francisco. Carlo designed and implements the music program at La Scuola Internazionale di San Francisco, where he has had the opportunity to lead the children in performance for several notable audiences, including the Prime Minister of Italy Matteo Renzi. Carlo has 60 weekly private students outside of the school, composes music for local musicians and ensembles, and regularly collaborates with filmmakers, animators and dancers.  Carlo is a multi-instrumentalist, who performs frequently on guitar, piano, mandola, mandolin and ukulele and spent several seasons as the principal mandolist for the San Francisco Mandolin Orchestra.  Carlo holds an MFA from California Institute of the Arts and studied composition with Stephen Mosko, James Tenney, Art Jarvinen and Larry Lipkis.

Kevin Farrell is a New York City bassist and composer.

Chris Foss is a Los Angeles based bassoonist, multi-instrumentalist, and sound maker. Chris has found the world around the bassoon to hold much space for exploration and uses technology and improvisation as an entry point to realize a want for new possibilities. He has enjoyed a range of performance experiences from improvised durational installations in shower stalls of the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion with artist Carole Kim to the eerie ambiance and blood curdling screeches of Jani Christou’s concert theater. He is thankful to have worked with the Dog Star Orchestra, wild Up, Future Music Lab, New Century Players, and more.

David Gedosh is a composer on the faculty of Rose State College, where he directs the Music Engineering and Industry program.  His works include acousmatic music, electroacoustic music with live performance, interactive computer music, video, and dance, and have been performed throughout North America and in South America, and Europe.  He has received awards from ASCAP, Bourges International Institute for Electroacoustic Music (IMEB), Fresh Minds Festival, and the Greater Denton Arts Council.

Emily Hay is a flutist and vocalist specializing in avant garde, experimental and improvised music. She is known for her work with ensembles based on the ‘left coast’ of California, including Hay Fever, U Totem, Motor Totemist Guild, Go: Organic Orchestra, Otherparts, Jeff Kaiser Okodektet, Mooncake and has toured and performed throughout No. America and Europe.  Hay is a featured recording artist on Cuneiform Records, ReR Records, Dragnet Records, Public Eyesore, amongst others.  Link to Emily Hay website:

The Hay-Liebig Duo presents spontaneous music based upon structured improvisation and incorporating electronic soundscapes, primal wordplay, enigmatic drones, harsh grooves and soaring, impromptu tone poems featuring the stream of consciousness lyrics and primal vocals of Emily Hay whom one reviewer described as sounding “something like a cross between a brain damaged three month old infant and an exotic bird” as “she utters and yelps…whispers and yeeps…gargles and heaves…”

Intuitive artist, improviser, and cellist Robert Jedrzejewski (1976) is a Doctoral candidate at the Fryderyk Chopin University of Music in Warsaw, Poland. He holds degrees in performance, composition, and pedagogy from the Krakow Academy of Music and is a Fellow of the Polish Ministry of Culture. His diverse projects and compositions are regularly performed all over Europe, in Canada, and in the USA. He is co-founder of SALULU: duo of improvising composers, organiser of MUSIC IN A NEW KEY – Conference in Warsaw, Poland, and member of ISIM – International Society for Improvised Music and Ring fur Gruppenimprovisation.

Steuart Liebig began his musical career performing as a bassist with Les McCann and Julius Hemphill, later founded the groups BLOC, Quartetto Stig and The Mentones and is known for his compositions and impressive discography, having performed and recorded with Alex Cline, Jeff Gauthier, Anna Homler and an array of other well known Los Angeles experimental and jazz musicians.

Hannah Johnson McLaughlin is a Master’s Student in Musicology at Brigham Young University.  She is also an active performer, composer, and instructor in experimental music and performance genres.  Her main instrument is voice.  Last winter, she served as the instructor of the BYU Group for Experimental Music (GEM), an ensemble for young people of any major to explore their musical talents.  She is currently working on her thesis, which discusses Pauline Oliveros’s musical communities.  This is Hannah’s first of what she hopes to be many symposium presentations.

Noriko Kishi

Benjamin J M Klein works as composer and tubaist. He has presented work in a variety of venues in the United States and abroad including: the New Audiences and Innovative Performance 2014 Workshop, the Society of Electro-Acoustic Music of the United States 2014 conference, the International Society of Improvised Music 2014 Conference, and in collaboration with various artists in Amsterdam, London, Sydney, Wellington, and Tokyo as a Thomas J. Watson Fellow. Originally from Sheboygan, Wisconsin, Benjamin has received degrees in music from Wesleyan University (MA), and Lawrence University (BMus). He is currently a doctoral candidate at the University of Minnesota.

“Los Angeles’ new music Luminary, infinitely variable, infinitely fascinating” – Los Angeles Times.  Amy Knoles has spent her career attempting to redefine the intersection of music composition, multimedia art, and technology. Her work often draws on a variety of source material from throughout history, language and  culture.  Amy has worked with the Kronos Quartet, Rachel Rosenthal, Ensemble Modern of Frankfurt with Frank Zappa, LA Phil, LA Master Chorale, Bang On A Can; Boulez, Cage, Carter, Feldman, Knowles, Gordon, Andriessen, Kagel, Wourinen, Wolfe, Subotnick, Reich, Machover, Flea, Z, Lang, and many others.  “Frightening beauty, fascinating, complex” – N.P.R.

Thomas Levine ( is a neodada artist interested in sleep.

Ben Levinson is a writer, musician, and performer living in Los Angeles, California. Through his work he considers social atmospheres as frames, the affective capability of tradition and style, and the possibility of enacting malleable ‘selves’ which constantly expand and contract. His active projects include California’s Bellow, Man & The Smells, Kids., and sinecure, as well as work with NatePop and Harri Gould. He has performed with Michael Pisaro and in Vinny Golia’s band Graviton, and has played as a supporting act for Deerhoof, David Liebe Hart, and Ulrich Krieger. Ben Levinson is a graduate of Music and Humanities from the California Institute of the Arts.

Christopher Mandel (who performs as Cloudless Rain) primarily focuses on the use of experimental improvised music for spiritual development and expression. After studying music and philosophy in college, he received a Master of Theology, writing his thesis on spirituality in avant-garde jazz.  In the mid 2000s, Chris shifted from acoustic trumpet to audio processing and then computer music.  He now uses Pure Data to explore generative and semi-generative techniques.  Currently his primary instrument is Siren, which he built to incorporate randomly generated melody with real-time direction from the human performer. His website is

ON STRUCTURE is an experimental performance duo featuring composer/performers/ DIY artists Natacha Diels and Jessie Marino. The California based duo uses composed electronic sounds to brew transferable art pieces which ravage the traditional roles of the performer, audience and space itself. Their highly virtuosic performances organize robot-inspired choreographic motions and modified instrumental objects into tightly constructed musical forms, knitting together sonic and visual elements while tipping their hats to the realm of the absurd.  ON STRUCTURE has toured extensively in the US and in Europe. Their videos have been featured in theWhat’s Next Festival (Belgium) as well as on the international tour of On Silence: an Homage to John Cage. They have been featured composer/performers at the SPOR Festival DK,  MATA Festival NYC as well as the weekly music technology forum DorkBot NYC. They are joined by composer/performer Bryan Jacobs in this performance of THE PORTAL. — — —

Celeste Oram (b. 1990) is a New Zealand composer who was born in Manhattan, learned to walk and talk in London, and grew up in Auckland. Her works have been performed, recorded, and broadcast by ensembles including the Callithumpian Consort (Boston), wasteLAnd (Los Angeles), the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra, Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra, the Song Company (Sydney), and the Melbourne Metropolitan Sinfonietta. She was the Auckland Philharmonia’s ‘Rising Star’ young composer-in-residence for 2013-14; her commissioned orchestral work was selected as a finalist in the 2014 SOUNZ Contemporary Award for excellence in New Zealand contemporary composition.  Video scores are a recent avenue of work, with performances at SICPP at the New England Conservatory, the soundSCAPE Festival in Maccagno, Italy, and at the Melbourne Fringe Festival.  As a writer, Celeste has contributed feature music programmes to Radio New Zealand Concert, and articles to Tempo (Cambridge University Press), The Pantograph Punch, and Minarets Poetry Journal.  Celeste is currently pursuing a PhD in music composition at the University of California San Diego.

Sean Peuquet is an independent composer, digital artist, scholar, programmer, and music hardware developer based in Denver. He presents his work regularly at acronym heavy venues like SEAMUS, ICMC, NYCEMF, SCI, TIES, and EMM. From 2012 to 2014 he held the position of Visiting Professor of Digital Arts at Stetson University while completing his PhD in Music Composition at the University of Florida. He received his MA from Dartmouth College and holds a BA from the University of Virginia. His current research interests include generative music, self-reflexive listening practices, and new paths for art as a socio-cultural determinant.

Jesse Quebbeman-Turley is a drummer-composer based in LA. He currently attends CalArts. Jesse plays with the bands Similar Fashion, Bright Whistles, FunCoffin and others. Jesse is a co-founder of the Avant Garawge concert series in Provo, Utah, as well the Deseret Experimental Opera Company. Jesse loves sweet potatoes and loopy gifs.

Jacob Richards is a drummer-composer and creative programmer living in LA. He is a master’s student at CalArts. He plays with the bands Linosphere, Devilskreek, and Shunkan, among others. Prior to CalArts, he worked in scientific programming at Jet Propulsion Laboratory and at the University of California, Berkeley.”

Jake Rosenzweig is a bassist/composer/improviser based in Los Angeles. Performing in numerous musical capacities, his music is often hypnotic and humorously surreal. Born in New York City and raised in Salt Lake City, Jake holds degrees from the University of Utah and the California Institute of the Arts. As a soloist, he has developed a unique playing style and repertoire for contrabass, utilizing idiomatic sounds and gestures as foundation for musical language. Recent work includes Digital Cellfhood: a music video exploring the eternity/malleability of identity online, and Music for Bass Quartet: ambient non-events for four upright basses. Potential future-work includes volume-sensitive lightbulbs, projectors, and the aesthetic qualities of zaniness.

Morris Rosenzweig was born October 1, 1952 in New Orleans, where he grew up among the tailors, merchants, and strong-willed women of an extended family which has lived in southern Louisiana since the mid 1890s.  His works have been widely presented throughout the United States and Europe, as well as in Japan, Argentina, Mexico and Israel. Among the noted groups who have brought these works to life are the New York New Music Ensemble, Speculum Musicae, Piano and Percussion-Stuttgart, the Leonardo Trio, the Abramyan Quartet, EARPLAY, the New Orleans Symphony, and the Utah Symphony. He has had the pleasure of collaborating with an array of distinguished soloists including Lawrence Dutton, William Purvis, Curtis Macomber, Chris Finckel, Steven Gosling, Lois Martin, and Daniel Druckman.  Six CDs of his recorded compositions are available on the Albany and New World labels.  Mr. Rosenzweig has received honors from the Guggenheim Foundation, the Rockefeller Foundation, an Academy Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, commissions from the Koussevitzky Foundation in the Library of Congress, the Bogliasco Study Center, the Argosy Foundation, two commissions and the Fromm Foundation at Harvard University, and support from the Alice M. Ditson Fund.  Presently Distinguished Professor of Music at the University of Utah, he has formerly held positions at Queens College and New York University. Mr. Rosenzweig is director of The Louis Moreau Institute for New Music Performance, New Orleans; director of The Maurice Abravanel Visiting Composers Series, and artistic director of the Canyonlands Ensemble.  He was educated at the Eastman School of Music, the University of Pennsylvania, and Columbia University.

A native of Massachusetts, Benjamin Safran is a PhD student in music composition at Temple University where he has studied with Maurice Wright, Matthew Greenbaum, and Alexander deVaron. He previously earned a BA in music at Haverford College where he studied with  Ingrid Arauco and Curt Cacioppo. His music has been performed by amateur and professional ensembles and musicians throughout the United States. Among his research interests are issues of social justice in contemporary classical music, which manifests in works such as this one.

Formed in the summer of 2009, The Salt Lake Electric Ensemble grew out of the desire of group director Matt Starling to explore minimalist principles in contemporary electronic music.  Recognizing the importance of Terry Riley’s 1964 masterwork “In C”,  the idea of an ensemble of laptop players was born.  From early rehearsals comprising only two or three members, the ensemble has steadily expanded and evolved into different formations with each new project. The group unites the talents of local visual/multimedia artists, electronic composers, and rock musicians.  Fusing the sophisticated tools of modern music software with traditional acoustic instruments, SLEE approaches classic scores from the twentieth century with the goal of providing a fresh new perspective through the musical application of current and vintage music technologies.

Ryan Seward is a percussionist, improviser, composer, and sound artist based in Denver, CO. His improvisational work centers around approaching the drum as a site of resonance and employing various techniques and preparations to achieve an extensive timbral palette. Hecurates the record label, emic rite, to document his own work and the work of other living experimental improvisers, composers, and sound artists, especially those of the American Mountain West.

Matt Smiley is a bassist, composer, and educator based in Fort Collins, CO who has performed in a variety of musical settings over the past 15 years. He has performed with such jazz luminaries as Greg Osby and Terrell Stafford, has worked with composer Alvin Lucier, and for the past five years has assisted Dr. Paul Elwood with University of Northern Colorado’s Open Space Music Festival.”

Born in Zhangzhou, a small city in southeast China, Sophia Shen is a composer, sound artist, pipa performer/ improviser and pianist who believes in the subjective, evocative, conceptual and ineffable nature of music and sound. She makes intangible connections with performers and listeners by creating music that evokes memory and imagination. She is interested in bridging the divide between cultures by using instruments to dissemble and synthesize new sounds. Sophia is currently based in Oakland and pursuing her MA in Composition at Mills College where she is also studying electronic music and improvisation. She received a BA degree in Music with High Distinction and a BA degree in German from the University of Virginia.

Emma Sherman is from Wayzata, Minnesota. She is a University of Utah graduate as of May 2016 with a Bachelor’s degree in Music Theory.

Andrew C. Smith is a composer and keyboardist living in Santa Cruz, Calif. His work often involves language, just intonation tuning systems, repetition, and computer-generated material. He runs the concert producer and record label Indexical with David Kant and Beau Sievers, and is currently studying for a D.M.A. in composition at UC Santa Cruz.

Born in Akron, Ohio, Dr. Dennis K. Sullivan II is a percussionist, educator, performance artist, and composer based in Brooklyn NY.  As an artist, Dennis puts forth a nonpareil product rooted in the intersection of music, theater, and analog electronics. It is his intent to create a product devoid of genre classification that will appeal to audiences of all levels.  As a percussionist focusing on new and contemporary music, Dennis is a founding member of the percussion duo, Radical 2, a classification-defying duo that explores the use of theatric, vocal, percussive and prototype electronic mediums.  Dennis is also a founding member of the theatrically driven saxophone/voice/percussion trio, Thump & Wail. He is as well very active as a solo artist in the US and Europe, commissioning new works for his unique hybrid of percussion, theater, and electronics as well as actively performing his own compositions.  As a composer, Dennis’s work has been heard in the US, Germany, and the Netherlands. These unique percussion compositions, like most of his work, explore the inclusion of the human voice via narration, singing, and extended technique. Many of these works also explore the interaction between live performance and fixed media. In July of 2014, Dennis spent two weeks in residence composing at the Steim electro acoustic music facility in Amsterdam.

Pedro Vazquez is a composer and musician who is currently studying Music Composition at the University of Utah. Originally from Argentina, he grew up in a family of musicians where he learned music from his older brother and other family members. Most of his initial education in music was self taught and it wasn’t until his middle twenties that he started a formal education in music. He is interested in a wide range of music styles and genres, and has a big interest in discovering new musical grounds through experimental and the combination of different styles.

Byron Westbrook is an artist and musician based in Brooklyn, NY. He works with dynamics of perception, often in the form of multi-channel audio performances or as installation work using video or lighting. His work has been shown internationally at venues such as ICA London, ISSUE Project Room, Fridman Gallery (New York), Disjecta (Portland, OR), Human Resources (Los Angeles), Instants Chavirés (Paris) among others. He holds an MFA from Bard College and has been an artist in residence at Civitella Ranieri Foundation, Clocktower Gallery, Diapason Gallery for Sound. He has audio releases on Sedimental, Los Discos Enfantasmes, Root Strata and is currently visiting faculty at Pratt Institute.

Michael Winter My work often explores simple processes where dynamic systems, situations, and settings are defined through minimal graphic- and text-based scores that can be realized in a variety of ways. To me, everything we experience is computable. Given this digital philosophy, I acknowledge even my most open works as algorithmic; and, while not always apparent on the surface of any given piece, the considerations of computability and epistemology are integral to my practice. I often reconcile epistemological limits with artistic practicality by considering and addressing the limits of computation from a musical and experiential vantage point and by collaborating with other artists, mathematicians, and scientists in order to integrate objects, ideas, and texts from various domains as structural elements in my pieces.  I have performed across the Americas and Europe at venues ranging in size from small basements to large museums to outdoor public spaces (some examples of more well known venues are REDCAT, Los Angeles; the University of Lille, France; the Ostrava Festival of New Music, Czech Republic; the CEAIT Festival, Los Angeles; the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles; and Museo de Arte Contemporáneo de Santiago, Chile). In 2008, I co-founded and currently co-direct the wulf., a Los Angeles-based organization dedicated to experimental performance and art. As a laboratory and hub for exploring new ideas, the wulf. has become an experiment in alternative communities and economies.  Similarly, my work subverts discriminatory conventions and hierarchies by exploring alternative forms of presentation and interaction. I currently live in Los Angeles in the same place where the wulf. primarily organizes and hosts events.

Zhaoyu Zhang is a composer trying to incorporate experimental elements into his compositions by using simple and creative way that produce high quality sounds. Born in Mainland of China, he grew up in Inner Mongolia, where the rich cultural heritage of the Han-Mongolian border region influences much of his music.  Having received undergraduate degree in composition and theory from Central Conservatory of Music in China, Zhaoyu is currently a doctoral degree student in music composition division at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, where he received his master degree and works as teaching assistant of computer music project.