Maxwell Tfirn is composer and performer based in Newport News, Virginia, where he holds the position Director of Creative Studies at Christopher Newport University. He holds a Ph.D. and M.A. from the University of Virginia, an MA in Music Composition from Wesleyan University, and a BM in Music Education as well as a performance certificate in percussion from the University of Florida. His current research focuses on real-time, recursive compositions for live performances. He also performs live improvised noise music using digital and analog electronics. Outside of his music, Maxwell creates digital glitch photography that uses audio concepts and synthesis as a means of image manipulation in Supercollider. Maxwell has had works performed at ICMC, SEAMUS, Electro Acoustic Barn Dance, Society of Composers, FEAST Festival, Technosonics, N_SEME, and Subtropics Music festival and was a featured composer for Share and more. His music has also been performed by Jack Quartet, Loadbang, MehanPerkins, Dither, Ekmeles, The New Thread Quartet, percussionists I-Jen Fang, pianist Seung-Hye Kim and Kenneth Broadway. He has studied with Judith Shatin, Anthony Braxton, Ted Coffey, Matthew Burtner, Paula Matthusen, James Sain and Ronald Kuivila.
As a composer, I try to portray an idea or metaphor with rich timbres and sounds in both acoustic and electronic works. Metaphor or inspiration serves as a compositional process and not an instruction to the listener about how to listen or what they should get out of the composition. I want my music to give the audience or listener an experience that they can make personal and reflect upon. The most important compositional value for me is giving the listener sounds that they cannot necessarily attach to past experience or emotions. I want a self-guided emotional experience brought on by the gestures and atmosphere created in the composition. In every work I try to give the listener new and interesting timbres that can be heard for an extended period of time without loosing interest.
You can visit my webpage at maxwelltfirn.com, soundcloud.com/mtfirn, soundcloud.com/empathy-box