Baltimore-based composer David Smooke, marking the release of his solo album ‘Nutshell Studies of Unexplained Death’ (New Focus Recordings), will perform compositions for toy piano and electronics as well as improvisations with Ken Ueno (voice) and Matt Ingalls (clarinets, contrabass garden hose).
Composer DAVID SMOOKE (b. 1969) currently resides in Baltimore, Maryland, where he teaches music theory, rock music history, and composition, and is the Chair of the Music Theory Department at the Peabody Conservatory of Johns Hopkins University. The Washington Post claims that “Smooke has some of the most uninhibited brain cells around” and describes his music as “superb […] a kaleidoscopic sonic universe where anything could happen”; the Baltimore Sun adds that it is “a highly creative, absorbing experience.” His honors include those from the Maryland State Arts Council, BMI, the National Association of Composers USA, the MacDowell Colony, the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts, and Yellow Barn. He has composed commissions for groups and individuals including the International Contemporary Ensemble (ICE), Volti Choir, Rhymes With Opera, the Great Noise Ensemble, and the Peabody Wind Ensemble. He received an M.M. degree from the Peabody Conservatory, a B.A. magna cum laude from the University of Pennsylvania, and a Ph.D. from the University of Chicago, where he received the Century Fellowship, the highest fellowship offered by the Humanities Division. His composition teachers have included Shulamit Ran, David Rakowski, Robert Hall Lewis, and Richard Wernick. In addition to his composition activities, David performs improvisations on toy piano with the support of Schoenhut toy pianos, and has written extensively for NewMusicBox, the online magazine of New Music U.S.A.