All posts by D. Andrew Stewart

Music composition

My compositional activities centre on contemporary art music and composing instrumental music, musique concrète, acousmatique musique, music with live electronics and for innovative digital musical instruments. My expertise in classical acoustic compositional practice merges with my proficiency in electronic music, as a result. Traditional aspects of melody, harmony and rhythm are redeployed in relation to frequency, spectra and behavioural characteristics of the wide open sound world of electronics. My compositional projects of the last twenty years attest to my interest in blending acoustic instrument and electronic music composition.

Computer music and teaching

A passion for active engagement, while making music with technology, is at the heart of my teaching strategies and is one strength to which students respond favourably. My performance career as a stage musician includes performing with sensor-based devices and requires a thoughtful approach to physical gestures and expanded movements, providing concrete examples of the effort and energy I value in an active engagement with musical materials. Communicating the significance of active music-making in the technology-intensive classroom requires innovative strategies in an effort to draw students away from visual barriers (e.g., large computer screens). For example, one of the strengths of my teaching is the ability to identify links between computer-centred activities and an engagement with the physical sound world, which requires multimodal sensory interactions far beyond what is needed to manipulate a computer keyboard. I use both traditional interactive teaching strategies (e.g., allowing students to offer creative solutions to class exercises and assignments by engaging with each other orally ­ not mediated through a computer) and techniques only made possible via technology (e.g., requiring students to manipulate a complex and holistic system of control parameters with sensors in an effort to create tangible sound results).

The general themes of the subject-matter I teach include: acoustic and electroacoustic music composition; contemporary music theory; music technology, especially with respect to performing with gestural controllers; interactive computer music; computer-assisted composition; applied research in the digital audio arts; music industry and business.

Digital music instrumentalist

My performance career as a digital musical instrumentalist began in 2000 and has included performances on commercially available and newly developed digital control surfaces such as the t-stick, karlax, méta-instrument, sonic jumper, wii remotes, kinect, hand sonic, rulers, among others. Most notably, I have made strides in the development of electronic music performance practices as the co-creator of the t-stick (Malloch and Stewart, 2006). My numerous compositions and concert performances are indicative of these practices. Performances that I am proud of – and in which I showed an aptitude for improvisation include concerts with Tim Brady (electric guitar), Salvador Torre (bass flute), Terri Hron (recorder), and Ensemble In Extensio (clarinet and percussion).

Biography

D. Andrew Stewart has been working in the field of music composition since 1994. Stewart is a composer, pianist and digital musical instrumentalist.

Since 2000, he has been pursuing a career in live electronics – gesture-controlled – performance, after developing his own sensor-suit while living in Paris.

His educational background includes his time at the Institute of Sonology in The Hague, Holland. While in The Netherlands, he completed postgraduate studies in composition with Louis Andriessen and Martijn Padding and also trained in electroacousitcs with Gilius van Bergeijk, Clarence Barlow and Paul Berg. Andrew also holds degrees in music from Wilfrid Laurier University (advisor: Glenn Buhr), The University of British Columbia (advisor: Keith Hamel) and McGill University (advisors: John Rea and Sean Ferguson). Following postdoctoral research at Concordia University (advisor: Sandeep Bhagwati), Stewart moved to Lethbridge, where he currently teaches music and digital audio arts at the University of Lethbridge.

D. Andrew Stewart’s practise centres around combining acoustic instrument and digital instrument composition, and establishing performance practises for digital instruments. To a large extent, Stewart’s work has been supported by major awards, grants and research funding from organisations such as: Canada Council for the Arts; SOCAN Foundation; Le Fonds québécois de la recherche sur la société et la culture; NUFFIC Foreign Government Awards Program; Centre for Interdisciplinary Research in Music, Media and Technology; Community of Research Excellence Development Opportunities Program.

His music has been featured in countries such as: The Netherlands, The United States, Germany, France, Mexico, Norway, Austria, Italy, Korea Republic and his home country of Canada. In addition, Stewart’s music has been performed by: the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra, Esprit Orchestra, Penderecki Quartet, Canadian Composers’ Orchestra, Toronto New Music Concerts, L’Ensemble contemporain de Montréal, Bradyworks, musikFabrik, orkest de ereprijs, Harmonie O&U Beek en Donk, het Malle Symen Quartet, Ensamble 3 and ROSA Ensemble, L’Orchestre National d’Harmonie des Jeunes (France). Stewart’s residencies include: the Centro Mexicano para la Música y Artes Sonoras, Morelia, Mexico; Casalmaggiore International Festival, Italy; the composers’ course in Radziejowicach, Poland (ISCM); Composer’s Kitchen of quatuor bozzini, Montreal; the Tanglewood Music Center’s summer session; R. Murray Schafer’s And Wolf Shall Inherit the Moon, in which he participated annually over a period of ten years.

Stewart has also contributed to the field of music research through his paper contributions, performances and demonstrations at: the International Conference on New Interfaces for Musical Expression (NIME), International Computer Music Conference / International Computer Music Association (ICMC/ICMA), Electroacoustic Music Studies Network, Electronic Music Foundation, ACM SIGCHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems, Canadian University Music Society, Society for Music Theory, and the Guthman Musical Instrument Competition.