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David Crowell

David Crowell

Early-Career Musician, Spring Term

In his new work for the Argus String Quartet, “Ecotonal,” Crowell is interested in traversing a broad range of emotionally expressive harmonies through the use of varied tuning strategies. The overall structure of the new work will include multiple sections, each with a different fundamental, and will move freely between equal temperament, quarter tone (intuitive microtonal) and various just intonation lattices. The material for “Ecotonal” will be mercurial, contrasting bursts of polyrhythmic activity with meditative sections inspired by pure intervals. The work will also include electronics derived from a Prophet 6 synthesizer, enriching the sound world of the work and providing a tuning reference point for the performers.

Composer, instrumentalist, producer, and multimedia artist David Crowell has been praised for compositional work that is “notable for its crystalline sonic beauty” (Boston Globe) and which “pulses with small, ecstatic fibrillations” (New York Times). His music has been performed internationally at festivals and venues including the Museum of Modern Art (New York City), Lucerne Festival Spotlights Series, Library of Congress, MATA Festival, Bang on a Can Summer Marathon, Phillips Collection, Dumbarton Oaks, London Jazz Festival, Mizzou New Music Festival, Cleveland International Classical Guitar Festival, Da Camera Society, Walled City Festival, Crossing Brooklyn Ferry Festival (Brooklyn Academy of Music), Cortona Sessions for New Music, American Music Festival, Tribeca New Music Festival, Festival for New American Music, and National Sawdust; by commissioning ensembles such as the JACK Quartet, Alarm Will Sound, New Morse Code, NOW Ensemble; and by longtime collaborators Sandbox Percussion. He has released music on New Amsterdam, Innova, National Sawdust Tracks, Coviello Classics, and Skirl. His ensemble, Empyrean Atlas, has been featured numerous times on WNYC's New Sounds, including a live performance and interview with John Schafer. From 2007 to 2016, he toured internationally on woodwinds as a member of the Philip Glass Ensemble.