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Samuel Burt

Samuel Burt


Artist Information

Baltimore City
Artistic Category


MSAC Individual Artist Award (IAA)

Artist Statement

As a composer, I seek above all else to create music with specificity and boldness. Each work should have its own discernible logic — if only subtly felt. The rules that govern it must provide a feeling of cohesiveness while still allowing astonishing variety. Unless the music performs a commercial purpose, it should invite the audience to explore a new idea. As an improviser, I believe in the virtue of adaptability. Composing in the moment especially with other people, requires both a surrender of ego and an assertion of will with confidence. It is important to be open to playing with everyone, learning with respect, and knowing when to be silent and learn and when to contribute.

Artist Bio

Work and Education     Samuel Burt is a composer in Baltimore, Maryland and professor at Goucher College and Johns Hopkins. His activities include conventional and conceptual composition, improvisation, and electronic music. M.M. Composition and M.M. Computer Music,  Peabody Institute and B.Mus, University of Georgia. He studied with Lewis Nielson and Christopher Theofanidis. 

Curation and Performance     A board member of the High Zero Foundation. Curator of the High Zero Festival, Red Room series, and Worlds in Collusion at Artscape. Performed or composed with After Now, Mobtown Modern, Geodesic Gnome, Second Nature, and Death in the Maze.

Composition and Electronic Music     He composes orchestral, chamber, and solo music. Burt’s electronic music focuses on interactivity, guided indeterminacy, and non-linear control systems. Primarily working in Pure Data. Commissioned by John Berndt to create created Rhythm Prism software. He has created novel effects, spectral manipulation, granulation, pitch-tracking, and more.

Daxophone Construction     He builds, plays, and sells daxophones, a friction idiophone, originally designed by Hans Reichel. He also plays clarinets, a pioneer of the “spectral gargle” technique.