Kevin Swenson – Bio

I am a composer and multi-instrumentalist from Yuba City, California. My work spans a diverse range of acoustic, electro-acoustic, and electronic music – I have composed for everything from Buchla synthesizers to symphony orchestras. My musical influences are similarly diverse, including the Carter Family, Stockhausen, and Sun Ra. In all of my works, I aim to radiate a spirit of sincere authenticity. George Orwell put it best in his essay Why I Write: “One would never undertake such a thing if one were not driven by some demon whom one can neither resist nor understand.” For me, the “demon” is my drive to cultivate an ever more personal, compelling and sincere compositional voice.

I have completed commissions for the Cazenovia Counterpoint Festival in Cazenovia, New York, for University of the Pacific’s 28/78 New Music Ensemble with Stocktones Vocal Ensemble (Lux Aeterna) and for the Yuba Community College Band (John Brown at Harper’s Ferry).  In addition to these more formal commission projects I am an experienced collaborator having completed pieces for Violist Krista Swenson (Illusions of Separation) and Violinist Sabrina Boggs (Electric Dreamscape no. 1).

Besides my work as a composer I am  an experienced performer on the trumpet, taking up freelance gigs whenever they happen to come along. I have studied the trumpet with Michael Meeks and Leonard Ott. I am also a competent performer on the piano and guitar, and a vocalist, regularly performing folk, hymns,  country and rock music from a list of over 100 songs.  I briefly studied piano with Professor Frank Wiens at University of the Pacific.

Alongside composition and performance I am an experienced recording engineer and producer. As a student at University of the Pacific I worked as an Owen Hall Recording Studio engineer under the instruction of Professor Jeff Crawford. I have recorded a wide range of ensembles and styles including classical chamber ensembles, singer-songwriters and rock-bands. I served as an engineer and arrangement consultant for the album Rose Gold, released in 2018 by Pacific’s student run record label Pac-Ave Records.

In May of 2021 I received my Masters in Music Composition from Syracuse University. At Syracuse I studied composition with Dr. Natalie Draper, Dr. Nicolas Scherzinger, and Dr. Texu Kim. In addition to my studies I  worked as a full time teaching assistant in Music Theory. In May of 2019 I received my Bachelor of Music degree in Composition from University of the Pacific with the highest honors (Summa Cum Laude). At Pacific I studied composition with Dr. Robert Coburn, Dr. Francois Rose and Dr. Andrew Conklin.

This website serves as a portal to my sonic explorations and professional developments.

Thanks for stopping by,

Kevin Swenson


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