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Preston Beebe


Artistic Statement

I have always been interested in nature and natural formations. Watching plants grow into prosperous nutrition we can ingest to create energy. How energy in turn creates motion. I am fascinated by sound and the microscopic features that make it living and have a personality, a trajectory, adapting or rejecting elements like an living organism. This influences me to continue to discover new ways to interact with sound.

I feel we are living in a particularly unique time period where technologies have developed to a point where possibilities are limitless. By utilizing technology, imagining and exploring new possibilities beyond what is known, I find my inner approach to cultivate new sounds and ways in which to express them.



Preston Beebe is a composer and percussionist who uses technology at the forefront of his work. His artistic approach involves audio feature extraction, organic processes, microscopic and invisible elements and how they interact in space and time. Spanning chamber, live-electronic, acousmatic, art installation, improvisation, and site-specific performances, his work has been performed in France, Spain, England, Greece, Canada, and the USA.

Preston was the recipient of the 2012-2014 CIRMMT Award to develop a digital percussion instrument using audio feature extraction and to compose a series of works for it. From 2014-2015, he attended CURSUS 1 at IRCAM, and composed a work for baritone saxophone & electronics, performed in the Centre G. Pompidou in Paris.

Preston holds a masters in music composition from McGill University; bachelors in music composition, electronic music, and percussion performance from the University of South Florida. He has studied composition with Philippe Leroux, Hèctor Parra, Chihchun Chi-sun Lee; percussion with Robert McCormick; lessons and workshops with Brian Ferneyhough, Chaya Czernowin, Yan Maresz, Trevor Wishart, and Augusta Read Thomas.

As a percussionist, Preston can be heard performing with the McCormick Percussion Group on the albums, Music For Keyboard Percussions and Concerti For Strings With Percussion Orchestra, distributed through Naxos. With his percussion duo 4eyes – mountain and his piano & percussion duo Whim through Kohlenstoff Records. In April of 2011, Preston released an album of his acousmatic music entitled, Glisten.

intakes – for baritone saxophone & electronics

intakes is based on the state of being contaminated by unknowingly breathing in harmful particles. Often one does not know they are sick until it has already taken hold. If a malady results, what follows is a process of recovery which can result in an altered state, creating scars, physically or mentally. How do we react to these intakes? Does our body reject it or does it transform into a sickness? The piece is about dealing with these instabilities and how one reacts to intakes.

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Tourmaline – for 6 percussionists & electronics

Tourmaline is a crystal boron silicate mineral compounded with elements such as aluminum, iron, magnesium, sodium, lithium, or potassium. It is classified as a semi-precious stone and the gem comes in a wide variety of colors. Tourmaline is an exploration of gesture and texture, in which at moments the gesture becomes the texture and the texture becomes the gesture. It consists of physical gestures, such as pulling a rubber band back and releasing, stretching, accelerating and braking.

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transmission, interrupted

transmission, interrupted is a piece for cello and electronics that was composed during the winter of 2012. Throughout the piece, the cellist records into a buffer, which is then manipulated and spatialized over the course of the piece. This piece is a comprovisation, in that the cellist follows the score and triggers the electronics accordingly, yet there are certain moments where the performer is able to take liberties.

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