D. Edward Davis (b. 1980) is a composer of electronic and acoustic music. His work often engages with the sounds of the environment, exploring processes, patterns, and systems inspired by nature.
Recent performers of his work include F-PLUS, earspace ensemble, Polyorchard, [Switch~ Ensemble], trombonist William Lang, flutist Philip Snyder, violinist Erik Carlson, Verdant Vibes, the New Mexico Contemporary Ensemble, The Witches duo, Occasional Symphony, No Exit New Music Ensemble, Musica Nova, Callithumpian Consort, Yvonne Lam and Lisa Kaplan of Eighth Blackbird, the Williams College Percussion Ensemble, Soundry Ensemble, Red Hedgehog Trio, yMusic, the Duke New Music Ensemble, Da Capo Chamber Players, the Wet Ink Ensemble, and violinist Mari Kimura.
His compositions are featured on the Spectropol Records compilation Possible Worlds, Vol. 2, and on recent recordings by The Witches (Behind the Curtain), Red Hedgehog Trio (10 x 10), David Thornton (Parallel Realities), Eric Honour (Phantasm: Music for Saxophone and Computer), and Erik Carlson (Music for Violin). As a performer, he is featured on the 2017 Irritable Hedgehog recording of Jürg Frey’s Buch der Räume und Zeiten and on Manfred Werder’s 2003 released by Edition Wandelweiser.
Davis’s work has been presented at the Third Practice Electroacoustic Music Festival in Richmond, VA (2017), the EcoSono Environmental Music and Sound Art Festival in Anchorage, AK (2017), SlowSD – Festival of Slow Music in San Diego (2017), the Clark Art Institute in Williamstown, MA (2016), the New Music Gathering in Baltimore (2016), the Something Said Only Once festival in Flagstaff, AZ (2015), the Brooklyn Acoustic Ecology Festival (2015), the ITEA Midwest Regional Tuba-Euphonium Conference in Bowling Green, OH (2015), the Under the Radar Festival in Omaha (2014), and SoundWalk in Long Beach, CA (2013). He has participated in the Experimental Listening & Music Sessions (Boston, 2016, 2017, 2018), the Bang on a Can Summer Music Festival (North Adams, MA, 2016), the New York City Electroacoustic Music Festival (NYC, 2014), the EcoSono Institute (Anchorage, AK, 2013), the nief-norf Summer Festival and Research Summit (Greenville, SC, 2012, 2013, and 2014) and the Summer Institute for Contemporary Performance Practice / SICPP (Boston, MA, 2012 and 2014), and was selected as a Composer Fellow for the 2012 Other Minds Festival in San Francisco. He has attended artist residencies at the Ragdale Foundation (IL), Kimmel Harding Nelson Center (NE), and the Ucross Foundation (WY).
In 2018, Davis’s article “Environmental Dialogues: Conversations with Nature in the Music of David Dunn” appeared in Sound American (vol. 19), his song merman was published in NewMusicShelf’s Anthology of New Music, Baritone, Vol. 1, and his electroacoustic work imago hymns was published in the Spring 2018 issue of Computer Music Journal (“EcoSono Environmental Computer Music and Sound Art Compilation”, curated by Matthew Burtner.) Along with Jennie Gottschalk, he presented on “Ecology and Sonic Practice” at the Le Laboratoire ArtScience series in Cambridge, MA in May 2018. His scholarly work “The Map and the Territory: Documenting David Dunn’s Sky Drift” was published in Organised Sound (Cambridge University Press) in early 2017. He presented papers at the 2017 New Music Gathering in Bowling Green, OH and at the 2017 Sixth International Conference on Music and Minimalism in Knoxville, TN.
Davis earned a doctorate from Duke University (PhD, 2016) where he studied composition with Scott Lindroth and John Supko. He also holds degrees from Brooklyn College (Master of Music, 2006) and Northwestern University (Bachelor of Music, 2002), and his former teachers include Antoine Beuger, David Grubbs, Amnon Wolman, Amy Williams, Jay Alan Yim, and Michael Pisaro. From 2010 to 2015, he was the Director of Contemporary Music at The Perlman Music Program’s Summer Music School.