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Ruby Fulton

Moscow, ID            

Composer and musician Ruby Fulton (b.1981) writes music which invites listeners to explore non-musical ideas through sound. Her musical portfolio includes explorations of mental illness, Buddhism, philosophy, psychedelic research, addiction, and chess strategy; and profiles of iconic popular figures like the artist Jean-Michel Basquiat and musicians Syd Barrett and Whitney Houston.

Fulton is a multi-instrumentalist, performing on and writing for strings, horns, and synths. Much of her work falls into the category of concert music, written for ensembles ranging from duos and trios to full orchestras, choirs, and wind ensembles. Fulton also writes music that she performs herself, using loops and samples to become a one-person orchestra. Whatever musical genre or instruments Fulton chooses, her music reflects the rhythms and pulses of daily life, and the world around her. Her music has been performed by the Boulder Philharmonic, the Cabrillo Festival Orchestra, the American Composers Orchestra, the Holland Symfonia, Volti, and Newspeak; and programmed on the Bang on a Can Marathon, the Guadeamus New Music Festival, and the SONiC Festival.

In addition to composing, Fulton works as co-artistic director of the experimental vocal collective Rhymes With Opera, a 5-piece vocal/composer ensemble now in their 11th season. She plays in the synth pop duo Nudie Suits. She teaches composition and music theory at the University of Idaho Lionel Hampton School of Music. She holds a doctorate from the Peabody Conservatory of Music, with additional degrees from the San Francisco Conservatory of Music and Boston University. She has taught undergraduate and graduate composition and music theory at the Shenandoah Conservatory, the Peabody Conservatory, Johns Hopkins University, and Towson University.

Road Ranger Cowboy

Road Ranger Cowboy is an imaginary take on the larger-than-life perspective of a cowboy
whom I encountered in real life at a truck stop in Waterloo, Iowa. I invented the character of the Road Ranger Cowboy, researched the effect which severe narcissism has on the processes in the brain, and tried to translate the filtering system of narcissism into music. Live recording by the 2008 Cabrillo Festival Orchestra with Vladamir Kulenovic, conductor.

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1 in 10,000

1 in 10,000, for Wind Ensemble and Electronics, is about the famous Idaho star garnet. Featuring interviews with geologists Emily Forsberg and Mickey Gunter; Bill Mabbutt and Mogley Samter from Gem State Crystals; Rachel, a National Forest Service employee from the Emerald Creek Mining area; and the most dedicated rock hound I know, my dad, Brian Fulton. Live recording by the 2018 University of Idaho Wind Ensemble with Al Gemberling, conductor.

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Deadlock I., Concerto for Beatboxer and Orchestra (excerpt)

Deadlock is a concerto custom-made for Baltimore beatboxer Shodekeh, an artist of vocal percussion. Many thanks to Wilbert Brown of the Fells Point Chess Club in Baltimore for writing the chess game which provides the underlying structure of the music. I composed the first movement while in residency at the Hermitage Artist Retreat in Englewood, Florida. Live recording of the 2012 Boulder Philharmonic, with Michael Butterman, conductor.

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NewMusicBox Articles

Articles August 26 2015 | By Ruby Fulton
Sonic Uprising: Songs for Freddie Gray

Creative work in a time and place of crisis is essential to a community coping with tragedy and can become a necessary and powerful agent of change. If we truly...

Headlines August 2 2011 | By Ruby Fulton
Bang on a Can Summer Music Festival: A World of Their Own Making

Bang on a Can composer-founders Michael Gordon, David Lang, and Julia Wolfe don’t just create music. They’ve also created a utopian environment where independent-minded young composers and performers gather every...

Articles September 13 2010 | By Ruby Fulton
Gaudeamus Music Week 2010: The Winners Announced

By Ruby Fulton The winners are announced on the final day of Gaudeamus Music Week 2010.

See more of Ruby Fulton's articles on NewMusicBox.