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Kenneth D. Stewart, Ph.D.
Composer, New Music Performer, and Educator in Durham, North Carolina
Kenneth D. Stewart (BMI) is a bit of a Renaissance man. Overall his work touches on many areas including composition, musical/theatric performance, and various technological research interests engaging with the digital humanities. Scored for a range of instrumental forces, Kenneth’s compositions often weave together live instruments, voice, physical interfaces and sound processing into works with rich, melodious textures with an underpinning of the ambient electronic avant-garde. His musical research engages concepts of instrument modification and design and his non-compositional creative work of signal processing (linear and digital) and the hacking and modifications of electronic and acoustic musical instruments and their electronic effects.
In 2008, Kenneth's work, 'Divergence' won the ASCAP Foundation's Morton Gould Young Composer Award. 'Fallen Soldier', his composition for solo cello, has been performed and featured on PRI (Public Radio International). The piece 'Thetastate' was given a studio recording by the jazz trio The Bad Plus and was released online by Duke University in conjunction with Duke Performances. Other ensembles that have recorded/performed his music include Speculum Musicae, the Duke New Music Ensemble, the Tucson Symphony Orchestra and the Wet Ink Ensemble.
An avid collaborator, some ongoing projects include research innovation in performance technology as a member of the Slippage Lab at Duke University under the choreographer Thomas DeFrantz; Resonant Interface, a stage-deployed performance interface for music and dance in collaboration with dancer/choreographer Natalia Duong and Jonathan Cain, a cellist and baroque instrumentalist.
Kenneth’s teachers include Gordon Epperson, Nancy Green, Mark Votapek and Brinton Averil Smith. He holds a Ph.D. in Music Composition from Duke University, and additional degrees from Duke, Rice University, The University of Arizona and Pima Community College.
Kenneth’s live rig currently includes an Anonymous mid-19th century Belgian cello, various modified guitars, a 1971 Fender Champ amplifier, a Mackie DLM8 Personal PA, Alto mixers, Keith McMillan controllers and Strymon effects.