Michael Boyd is a composer, scholar, and experimental improviser who currently serves as Assistant Professor of Music at Chatham University in Pittsburgh, PA, and holds graduate degrees from the University of Maryland (DMA, composition) and SUNY Stony Brook (MA, music theory). He performs with the Bay Players Experimental Music Collective, a group of composers/performers dedicated to boundary-pushing music created during the second half of the twentieth-century and beyond - in this ensemble, he plays trombone, electric bass, computer, and found objects. An active road and mountain biker, Boyd works on bicycle infrastructure and advocacy issues at Chatham and in his community, and was named Bike Pittsburgh's 2011 Advocate of the Year.
I believe that every individual possesses significant innate creativity, but, for various reasons, rarely access this valuable personal resource. As a composer, one of my foremost concerns is countering this societal trend by helping individuals connect with and use their inner creativity. One way in which I address this issue is by (re)integrating performers into the creative portion of the music making process through graphic notation which immediately sheds many conventions of Western art music including the primacy of pitch and a roughly one-to-one correspondence between score input and sonic output. In addition to enabling non-specialists and musicians with lesser technical facility to offer viable or “accurate” performances, graphic scores provide greater creative agency to performers essentially resulting in an equal partnership between composer and performer(s). This configuration, paired with my interest in other experimental practices such as the incorporation of visual and theatrical elements, performance-based installation, live electronics and performance art, confronts many musical conventions and thus engages audience members in new ways, often presenting an experience that is both engaging and challenging.
invasion/symbiosis (IV) (2013/in progress) electro-acoustic sound and optional video
Replication [CBCL] (2013) for solo contrabass clarinet
Bob's Party (2013) for instrumental and/or vocal quartet
invasion/symbiosis (III) (2012) electro-acoustic sound
invasion/symbiosis (II) (2012) for (optional) trombone and electro-acoustic sound
the ongoing process (2011-12) for laptop duo
this inversion is expected to persist (2011) a pre-concert performance installation
invasion/symbiosis (I) (2010) for trombone and electro-acoustic sound
isolation/feedback [SAX] (2010) for saxophone quartet
cooperation/convolution (2009) for medium to large instrumental ensemble
Reconstruction (2009) for solo performer with found object and live electronics
isolation/feedback [TBN] (2009) for trombone quartet
Twelve Actions (2008-09) for solo performer
Breaking that awkward silence (2008) an elevator installation for solo performer
isolation/feedback (2007-08) for string quartet
Friday May 18 (2007, with S. Lilly) a multimedia event for three or more performers
Assemblage (2007) for solo performer with found objects and live electronics
Bathroom 1900 (2006) a collaborative, site-specific work with three dancers
Bit of nostalgia... (2005-06) for one or two percussionists and live electronics performer
Becoming...everything else (2004) an installation for three or more performers
Hand Leg Suit (2003) for mixed instrumental ensemble
Carnival (2003) stereophonic computer-generated sound
invasion/symbiosis (III) on SEAMUS Electroacoustic Miniatures 2012: Re-Caged 2013
Bit of nostalgia... on Axiom: Society of Composers Inc. CD Series, Navona Records 2011
Selected Composition Performance Venues
Society for Electro-Acoustic Music in the United States National Conferences (2011, 2010, 2007)
Society of Composers, Inc. National Conferences (2013, 2010, 2009)
Society of Composers, Inc. Regional Conferences (2013, 2009, 2007)
College Music Society National Conference (2008)
Sonic Circuits Festival of Experimental Music (2013, 2010)
Studio 300 Digital Art and Music Festival (2011)
Electroacoustic Barn Dance (2011)
American University (2009)
Studio Z (2009)
Bang on a Can Marathon (2009)
12 Nights of Electronic Music and Art: Beauty, Horror and Silence (2009)
Juventas Music Inc. (2009)
Gettysburg College (2012)
Appalachian State University (2008)
Art Enables (2008, 2007)
University of Maryland Baltimore County (2008, 2007, 2005)
Electronic Music Midwest (2007)
Towson University (2007)
Flashpoint Gallery (2004)
Journal Articles and Book Chapters
“‘Weird Al’ Yankovic,” forthcoming Grove Dictionary of American Music, 2013.
“American Composers Alliance (entry update),” forthcoming Grove Music Online, 2013.
“Robert Erickson (minor entry update),” forthcoming Grove Music Online, 2013.
“Jackson Mac Low (entry update),” forthcoming Grove Music Online, 2013.
“The Evolution of Form in the Music of Roger Reynolds (II),” Tempo, April 2012 (66:260): 34-49.
"The Evolution of Form in the Music of Roger Reynolds (I)," Tempo, January 2012 (66:259): 36-48.
“The Roger Reynolds Collection at the Library of Congress,” Notes: The Quarterly Journal of the Music Library Association, March 2008 (64:3): 435-57.
“Perception/Form: Thomas DeLio’s Though for solo piano.” In Essays on the Music and Theoretical Writings of Thomas DeLio, Contemporary American Composer, ed. Thomas Licata. Lewiston, NY: Edwin Mellen Press, 2008, 165-85.
“Book Review: Catherine Strong’s Grunge: Music and Memory,” Popular Music and Society, May 2013 (36:2): 289-92.
“Book and CD Review: Source: Music of the Avant-garde, 1966-1973 and Source Records 1-6, 1968-1971, Computer Music Journal, Spring 2013 (37:1) 73-75.
“DVD Review: SPACE/SOUND: Multichannel Electroacoustic Music,” Computer Music Journal, Winter 2011 (35:4): 103-05.
“Book Review: John Luther Adams’s The Place Where You Go to Listen: In Search of an Ecology of Music,” Computer Music Journal, Summer 2011 (35:2): 92-95.
“Event Review: SEAMUS 2010,” Computer Music Journal, Winter 2010 (34:4): 74-75.
“CD Review: Amnon Wolman’s The Marilyn Series,” Computer Music Journal, Spring 2010 (34:1): 111-12.
“CD Review: Matthew Ostrowski’s vertebra,” Computer Music Journal, Fall 2009 (33:3): 68-69.
“Book Review: Dr. Dre: A Biography, John Borgmeyer and Holly Lang,” Popular Music and Society, February 2009 (32:1): 134-37.
“CD Review: Dexter Morrill’s Music for Stanford,” Computer Music Journal, Fall 2008 (32:3): 108-10.
“Event Review: SEAMUS 2007,” American Music, Winter 2007 (25:4): 521-23.
“Book Review: Cybersounds: Essays on Virtual Music Culture, ed. Michael Ayers,” Popular Music and Society, May 2007 (30:2): 289-92.
“CD Review: Neuma’s Electro Acoustic Music VII,” Computer Music Journal, Spring 2007 (31:1): 98-100.
“Book Review: A Rock Reader, ed. Richard King,” Popular Music and Society, February 2007 (30:1): 117-19.
“CD Review: Roger Reynolds’s all known all white and Process and Passion,” Computer Music Journal, Summer 2006 (30:2): 99-102.
Refereed Lecture and Conference Paper Venues
American Musicological Society Allegheny Chapter Meetings (2011, 2010, 2008)
Society of Composers, Inc. National Conference (2009)
College Music Society National Conference (2008)
Society for American Music and Music Library Association Joint National Conference (2007)
Society of Composers, Inc. Regional Conferences (2007, 2006)
American Musicological Society Capital Chapter Meetings (2006, 2005)
McGill University Music Graduate Students’ Society Symposium (2006)
Play!: Contemporary Composition, Technology and Listening (2005)