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Samuel Burt

Samuel Burt

Artist Work

Humbaba's Trod
Non-Classical Music - Experimental

Artist Information

Baltimore City
Artistic Category


MSAC Individual Artist Award (IAA)

Artist Bio

Samuel Burt is a composer in Baltimore. He's composed works for orchestra, small groups, piano, and electronic music. He is an improviser on clarinet, bass clarinet, and daxophone. He is a professor at Towson and Johns Hopkins Universities.

Burt obtained degrees in music composition from the Peabody lnstitute and university of Georgia. He studied with Lewis Nielson, Leonard Ball, Geoffrey Wright, and Christopher Theofanidis.

Burt's music encompasses many styles. Experimentalism has taken him to constructing new instruments that require a fundamentally different performance practice. Two such instruments are the daxophone--amplified bowed wood and the trombloon-- a trombone played with a balloon mouthpiece. His collaborations with other improvisers explore the frontiers of new sounds, in-the-moment composition, and music textures that avoid the conventions of harmony and melody. some of his music consists of carefully notated scores which evoke a great sense of playful, rhythmic freedom and adventurous harmony. His electronic music explores algorithmic composition and live sound manipulation.

For ten years, he's been a co-curator of the High Zero Festival' and the Red Room series' performing with international improvisers. He's played hundreds of concerts in improvised and composed music settings. He's been a member or a guest participant of the following ensembles: Mobtown Modern, Geodesic Gnome, Microkingdom, Second Nature, and Death in the Maze. Burt has been running the monthly volunteers' collective improvisation workshop since 20l5, acting as a welcoming bridge for newcomers to meet veteran Players.

He's constructed over 20 daxophones, a wooden instrument designed by Hans Reichel. He's built software on commission for installation and performance. Burt received an MSAC lndividuat Artist Award (2018), the Prix d'Éte, third prize (2005), an honorable mention in the Macht competition, the Otto Ortman Prize (2004), and a Peabody Career Development Grant (2005).