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Jacob A. Barton

Virginia Beach, VA      

Jacob A. Barton (1985-) is a composer and multi-instrumentalist whose work focuses on microtonal practice and theory. Barton grew up in Virginia Beach, VA, where Barton’s musical hunger led him to learn piano, saxophone, clarinet, bassoon, and musical saw. Barton studied composition at Rice University, where he received a BMI Student Composer Award for “Xenharmonic Variations on a Theme by Mozart”.

Barton’s passion for instrument building led serendipitously to the collaborative invention and development of the udderbot, a DIY slide glasswind instrument. Since 2005, Barton has played the udderbot in traditional bands, children’s concerts, experimental music venues, theater productions, New York City subway stations, and humanitarian clowning missions in Ecuador, Costa Rica, and Mexico.

Barton has instigated numerous “invitational art-making “events, including The Seventeen-Tone Piano ProjectThe World’s First Udderbot Recital, IMC-OMNIA, and Xenharmonic Praxis Summer Camp. In 2013 Barton compiled, edited and engraved The Sagittal Songbookfeaturing 48 vocal pieces written by 15 different composers in tunings ranging from 5-limit just intonation to the Bohlen-Pierce scale. 

From 2009 to 2014, Barton taught experimental and collective composition at the School for Designing a Society in Urbana, Illinois and at the Gesundheit Institute in Hillsboro, WV. Currently, Barton is arranging music with Divisi Strings, writing songs with Marc Sound, and pondering The Puzzlement Laboratory.

Couples Therapy

“Couples Therapy” (2015) lyrics and music by Jacob A. Barton
Jacob A. Barton, voices, udderbot fretless bass, keyboard and drum sequencing. Recorded May 2016.

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Not What It Looks Like 4

“Not What It Looks Like 4” (2015 work in progress, 4th iteration). Jacob A. Barton, multitracked voices and piano. Investigating the informal virtuosity afforded by overdubbing.

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Land Urchin

“Land Urchin” (2012) in 11-limit tonality diamond tuning, for neo-traditional string band. Music by Jacob A. Barton; lyrics by Ryan Stickney, Michael Gaiuranos and Jacob A. Barton. Jacob A. Barton, voice and udderbot; Kate Fritz, fiddle; Andrew Heathwaite, 22-tone guitar and tambourine; Paul Kotheimer, bass.

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