Matthew Burtner: biography

… surrounded by screens, cables and computers, the composer and child of the Arctic shore wore an aura of calm and composure, yet radiated a contained enthusiasm that portends great and greater things to come from this young musical genius of interpretation.

-National Geographic Newswatch, Michael McBride

MatthewHeadShot1_smMatthew Burtner (http://www.matthewburtner.com) is an Alaskan-born composer, sound artist and eco-acoustician whose music and research explores embodiment, ecology, polytemporality and noise. First Prize Winner of the Musica Nova International Electroacoustic Music Competition (Czech Republic), a 2011 IDEA Award Winner, and a recipient of the Howard Brown Foundation Fellowship, Burtner’s music has also received honors and awards from Bourges (France), Gaudeamus (Netherlands), Darmstadt (Germany) and The Russolo (Italy) international competitions. He is Professor of Composition and Computer Technologies (CCT) at the University of Virginia, and Director of the environmental arts non-profit organization, EcoSono (www.ecosono.org).

completely new sound patterns and sonic ideas suggesting an entirely revised organization of tones unlike anything in our musical past.

- New York New Music Connoisseur, Mark Greenfest

Burtner’s works have been performed in festivals and venues throughout the world, and commissioned by ensembles such as NOISE (USA), Integrales (Germany), Peak FreQuency (USA), MiN (Norway), Musikene (Spain), Spiza (Greece), CrossSound (Alaska), and others. His work has been supported by major grants from the National Endowment for the Arts and the National Science Foundation, and he created ecoacoustic music for a number of organizations including President Obama’s US State Department. His research in ecoacoustics has been featured by NASA’s Goddard Space Center, the American Geophysical Union, The Atlantic, Earther and the Center for Energy Studies in the Humanities (CENHS) at Rice University.

It was earth-shattering . . . literally. the entire space of Wallenberg reverberated with the waves of noise. It was bombarding yet remarkable; the loudness thrilled me, and I felt like I was in a cocoon of surrounding force.
- Augustana Observer, Daniel Reine

He is the composer of three evening-length multimedia opera/theater works — Ukiuq Tulugaq (Winter Raven), Kuik, and Auksalaq. A 2010/2011 Provost Fellow at the Center for 21st Century Studies at UWM, Burtner has also conducted long-term residencies at the Banff Centre for the Arts (Canada), Phonos Foundation/Pompeu Fabra Universidad (Spain), Musikene (Spain), Cite des Arts (France), IRCAM/Centre Pompidou (France), and the University of Missouri Kansas City (USA). He studied composition, computer music, saxophone and philosophy at St. Johns College, Tulane University (BFA), Iannis Xenakis’s UPIC-Studios, the Peabody Institute/Johns Hopkins (MM), and Stanford University/CCRMA (DMA). Among published recordings for Parma/Ravello (US), DACO (Germany), The WIRE (UK), Innova (US), Summit (US) Centaur (US), EcoSono (US) and Euridice (Norway), his music is available on several solo albums: That which is bodiless is reflected in bodies, The Ceiling Floats Away, Glacier Music, NOISE plays Burtner, Auksalaq Live at the Philips Collection, MICE World Tour, Signal Ruins, Metasaxophone Colossus and Portals of Distortion.

He works with sustains, overtones, difference tones, resonances, repetitive structures, and feedback. The music is as monolithic as an ice field and as rich as a complex urban environment.
-21st Century Music, Mark Alburger

As a technologist, Burtner develops systems for human-computer-environment interaction featured in his music. He invented the NOMADS telematic system, the MICE human-computer ensemble and orchestra, the Metasaxophone augmented instrument, and a number of ecoacoustic approaches.