D. Andrew Stewart – Biography

D. Andrew Stewart has been working in the field of music composition since 1994. Stewart is a composer, trained pianist, clarinettist and music theorist, as well as digital musical instrumentalist (t-stick, méta-instrument, rulers, HPD-15 HandSonic, JazzMutant Lemur). In addition, he is currently a postdoctoral researcher at matralab Hexagram, at Concordia University, Montreal.

His educational background includes his time at the Institute of Sonology in The Hague, Holland. While in The Netherlands, he completed graduate studies in composition with Louis Andriessen and Martijn Padding and also trained in electroacousitcs with Gilius van Bergeijk, Clarence Barlow and Paul Berg. Andrew then moved to France, where he developed his SonicJumper gestural controller with the assistance of Emmanuel Fléty and Suguru Goto (IRCAM, Paris, France) and continued working as a composer and performer. Andrew also holds degrees in music from Wilfrid Laurier University (B.Mus, advisor: Glenn Buhr), The University of British Columbia (M.Mus, advisor: Keith Hamel) and McGill University (D.Mus, advisors: John Rea and Sean Ferguson).

Andrew Stewart’s music has been featured in countries such as: The Netherlands, The United States, Germany, France, Mexico, Austria, Italy and his home-country of Canada. Out of his more memorable experiences, the composer remarks upon the 2008 premiere of his Everybody to the power of one – performed by the composer – for a new digital musical instrument called the t-stick. Andrew has given numerous repeat performances (e.g., 2009 Guthman Musical Instrument Competition, 2009 International Computer Music Conference and the 28th Annual CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems). Andrew Stewart’s other remarkable experiences have been his 2004 tour with the L’Orchestre National d’Harmonie des Jeunes performing his TROMBONE in southern France and conducting his Natural Distortions for the American College Band Directors National Association, in 1997. These two experiences involved working with young musicians – projects that paralleled Andrew’s activities in music education with the Dutch artists’ collective Concerten Tot en Met, which he co-founded during a stay in The Netherlands (1996-1999). In 2004, Andrew was rewarded with excellent performances of his on tour, during a cross-Canada tour with L’Ensemble contemporain de Montréal, as part of their Génération project. His music has also been played by: the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra, Esprit Orchestra, Penderecki Quartet, Canadian Composers’ Orchestra, Toronto New Music Concerts, musikFabrik, orkest de ereprijs, het Malle Symen Quartet, Ensamble 3 and ROSA Ensemble. Andrew Stewart’s residencies include: the Casalmaggiore International Festival, Italy; the composers’ course in Radziejowicach, Poland (ISCM); the Tanglewood Music Center’s summer session; R. Murray Schafer’s AND WOLF SHALL INHERIT THE MOON, in which he participated annually for ten years.

Andrew’s current research centres on the application of new technology both in the context of the classroom and the concert hall. His interests can be classified into three primary areas:

1. Combining acoustic instrument and electronic music composition. The goal is to create music for live musicians, who are accompanied by a computer that makes musical decisions in real-time. In these cases, traditional aspects of melody, harmony and rhythm are redeployed in relation to frequency, spectra and behavioural characteristics of the wide open sound world of electronics.

2. Interdisciplinary research that integrates music composition, performance and technology, addressing such issues as: real-time software systems design and implementation; digital instrument / controller design; human-computer interaction; gestural-controlled audio systems; gesture / sound mapping strategies.

3. Developing class curricula and course design methodologies that focus on student learning. Andrew encourages independent learning in an effort to give students the ability to teach themselves. The skill to teach oneself is highly desirable, especially in the mercurial ever-changing domain of technology. The aim is to nurture self-reliant and adaptable students, while at the same time giving them the capability of applying an appropriate methodology for learning in order to get ahead.

Andrew Stewart has contributed to these fields through his demonstrations at:  the International Conference on New Interfaces for Musical Expression, International Computer Music Conference / International Computer Music Association, Electroacoustic Music Studies Network, ACM SIGCHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems, International Music-Gesture Conference, Society for Music Theory, Guthman Musical Instrument Competition and the Congrès de l’Association francophone pour le savoir.


About dndrew

Orchestral, chamber and interactive music composer Digital musical instrumentalist Real-time software systems designer Computer music educator
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