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Hugh Livingston

Livingston, Hugh, 1969-

Hugh Livingston is a performer, composer, and artist who specializes in site-specific sound art installations. Livingston is a classically trained cellist with a degree from Yale, an MFA in contemporary music from the California Institute of the Arts, and a doctorate from UC San Diego. Leaving the world of concerts and solos behind, he now creates sound art for public and private gardens around the world. Livingston installs speaker systems in unique and unexpected places, often embedding sound in sculptural or architectural features. His work focuses on “situational music” that emphasizes the human encounter with nature. The sounds in his compositions are drawn from his travels, including bird song and running water.

In 2014, Livingston became the fourth artist-in-residence for Dumbarton Oaks with his installation at Lovers’ Lane, The Pool of ‘Bamboo Counterpoint.’ For Dumbarton Oaks, Livingston composed a series of overlapping recordings collected in the gardens and offset by piano chords and bamboo percussion. The music plays from speakers hidden in a set of clear and black acrylic tubes in the center of Lovers’ Lane Pool.

More of Livingston’s work can be viewed on his website, A permanent sound garden, Sound & Place, also recently opened in Santa Rosa, California.



Green, Jared. “Hugh Livingston’s Sonic Landscapes.” The Dirt (blog). Last modified May 20, 2014.

“Hugh Livingston: The Pool of ‘Bamboo Counterpoint’ (2014).” Dumbarton Oaks. Last modified July 15, 2014.

Livingston, Hugh. “Artist Statement.” Livingston Sound. Accessed July 31, 2014.