Education

2018 — PhD, Computer Music and Multimedia, Brown University, Providence

2015 — MA, German Studies, Brown University, Providence

2014 — MA, Computer Music and Multimedia, Brown University, Providence

2011 — MA, Political Theory, Goethe-Universität, Frankfurt am Main

2007 — BA, Philosophy (Minor: Critical Theory), Northwestern University, Evanston

Positions

2018 — Instructor, School of Arts, Media and Engineering, Arizona State University

2017 — Faculty Associate, School of Arts, Media and Engineering, Arizona State University

Publications

2019 — S. Thorn, “A Computational System for Violin: Synthesis and Dissolution in Windowless,” Leonardo Music Journal (29), forthcoming

2019 — S. Thorn, “Transference: A Hybrid Computational System for Improvised Violin Performance,” Proceedings of the 2019 ACM International Conference on Tangible, Embedded and Embodied Interaction, Tempe

2018 — S. Thorn, “Alto.glove: New Techniques for Augmented Violin," Proceedings of the 2018 Conference on New Interfaces for Musical Expression, Blacksburg

2014 — C. Menke, “The Aesthetic Possibility of the Work of Art,” Translated by Seth Thorn, Qui Parle: Critical Humanities and Social Sciences (23:1)

Workshops

2019 — B. Metchley et al., “Composing Ecosystemically in Responsive Environments with Gestural Media, Objects, and Textures,” Proceedings of the 2019 ACM International Conference on Tangible, Embedded and Embodied Interaction, Tempe

Awards

2018 — Finalist (withdrew), Matera Intermedia Festival, Matera, Italy

2018 — Presentation, Guthman Musical Instrument Competition, Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta

2018 — Residency, Playa Foundation Art + Science Residency, Summer Lake, Oregon

2018 — Residency, Hewnoaks Artist Colony, Lovell, Maine

2017 — Residency, I-Park Foundation, East Haddam, Connecticut

2016 — Grant, Brown Arts Initiative, Brown University, Providence

2016 — Fellowship, Open Graduate Education, Brown University, Providence

2014 — Grant, International Graduate Colloquium Fund, Brown University, Providence

2013 — Grant, Creative Arts Council, Brown University, Providence

2013 — Grant, Open Graduate Education, Brown University, Providence

2013 — Grant, Mellon Foundation, Brown University, Providence

2013 — Grant, Watson Institute, Brown University, Providence

2011 — Fellowship, Tisch Foundation, Brown University, Providence

2007 — Research Fellowship, Fulbright Foundation, Frankfurt am Main

2007 — Research Fellowship, German Academic Exchange Service, Frankfurt am Main

2007 — Award, Distinguished Thesis in Philosophy, Northwestern University, Evanston

2007 — Award, Geza von Molnar Essay Award, Northwestern University, Evanston

2005 — Fellowship, The Chautauqua Institution, New York

2004 — Fellowship, The International Summer Music Academy of The Juilliard School, Leipzig

2002 — Fellowship, Sewanee Summer Music Festival, Sewanee

2002 — Finalist, Phoenix Symphony Guild Concerto Competition, Arizona State University, Tempe

2001 — Fellowship, Brevard Music Center, Brevard

2000 — Grand Prize, Virtuoso Violas Competition, Arizona State University, Tempe

Invited Talks

2018 — Oral Presentation, Conference on New Interfaces for Musical Expression, Blacksburg

2018 — Artist Talk, Digital Culture Speaker Series, Arizona State University, Tempe

2018 — Artist Talk, SPLICE Festival, Western Michigan University, Kalamazoo

2012 — Discussant, Brown-in-Berlin Pilot Program, Staatskapelle, Berlin

Invited Performances

2018 — New York City Electroacoustic Music Festival, New York

2018 — New Interfaces for Musical Expression Conference, An Evening with Onyx Ashanti, Blacksburg

2018 — International Computer Music Conference (invited), Seoul

2018 — SPLICE Festival, Western Michigan University, Kalamazoo

2017 — New York City Electroacoustic Music Festival (invited), New York

2017 — New Interfaces for Musical Expression (invited), Copenhagen

2014 — International Computer Music Conference (invited), Athens

2013 — International Computer Music Conference, Perth

2013 — New Interfaces for Musical Expression (invited), Seoul

Biography

Dr. Seth Thorn is an American composer-performer specializing in violin, viola, computational media, and philosophy. The interface he developed, alto.glove, has been presented at premier conferences and musical festivals, including the International Conference on New Interfaces for Musical Expression, the Conference of the Society for Electroacoustic Music in the United States, and the New York City Electroacoustic Musical Festival. Alto.glove has been recognized at the prestigious Guthman Competition for New Musical Instruments at the Georgia Institute of Technology and by the Matera Intermedia Festival in Matera, Italy. A recent performance with the glove is being recognized in the 2019 edition of the premier annual journal of new music published by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Leonardo Music Journal. Seth is a fellow in music composition and sound art at the iPark Foundation in East Haddam, Connecticut. 

Prior to his career as a digital musician, Seth studied with leading teachers of violin and viola, including William Magers of Arizona State University and Roland Vamos of Northwestern University. He has also studied with Stefan Kamasa of the Warsaw Conservatory and Charles Pickler, principal violist of the Chicago Symphony. Seth was selected to attend the International Summer Academy of the Juilliard School, where he studied chamber music with Stephen Clapp, Dean Emeritus of the Juilliard School, and participated in masterclasses with leading ensembles, including the Leipzig String Quartet.

Alongside his career as a composer-performer, Seth’s scholarship in philosophy, German studies, and political theory earned him a Fulbright research fellowship to do interdisciplinary research in music and philosophy at the Goethe-Universität in Frankfurt am Main, as well as a research grant by the Deutscher Akademischer Austauschdienst for the same project. Seth received a fellowship from the Tisch Foundation and grant and fellowship support from the Mellon Foundation while at Brown University, where he participated in a pilot program in interdisciplinary graduate study, the Brown Open Graduate Education. Because of his interdisciplinary scholarship across music performance and political theory, Seth was selected as a discussant for inceptive talks that shaped development of the Barenboim-Said Akademie in Berlin, a new program combining a broad liberal arts education with rigorous conservatory training. Discussants included members of the Barenboim-Said foundation as well as Dr. Michael Steinberg, past President of the American Academy of Berlin; Daniel Barenboim; Alisa Weilerstein; Mariam C. Said; and members of the East-West Divan Orchestra.

Seth teaches electronic and digital audio in the School of Arts, Media and Engineering (AME) at Arizona State University, recently named one of only three “exemplary transdisciplinary programs” in the National Academy of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine Report. He actively works across disciplines and departments, facilitating interdisciplinary and practiced-based research in musicianship, new media, philosophy, cognitive science, and computational media. He is currently leading a project among faculty from the School of Engineering (Dr. Suren Jayasuriya), AME (Dr. Byron Lahey), and the School of Music (Dr. Katherine McLin) that combines high-speed computational photography and algorithmic analysis with novel physical-digital prototyping and modification of violins. The project has been submitted to the HIDA Research Council. If accepted, more intensive research into modal analysis of the violin and computational approaches and applications in electroacoustic as well as traditional performance will be initiated. More broadly, the project is creating and identifying areas of shared interest among students and faculty from AME and the School of Music. The goal is to imagine how rigorous conservatory training can be combined with the knowledge enterprise of practice-based and arts-based research in physical computing, programming, and HCI.

Seth holds PhD and MA degrees in Computer Music and Multimedia from Brown University, an MA in German studies from Brown University, an MA in political theory from the Goethe-University Frankfurt am Main, and a BA from Northwestern University. He has also studied music at the Hochschule für Musik und Darstellende Kunst Frankfurt am Main.


 With Stephen Clapp, Dean Emeritus of The Juilliard School.  Gewandhaus, Leipzig.

With Stephen Clapp, Dean Emeritus of The Juilliard School. Gewandhaus, Leipzig.

 Performing on viola.  iPark Foundation , East Haddam.

Performing on viola. iPark Foundation, East Haddam.

 With Daniel Barenboim and members of the East-West Divan Orchestra.  Staatskapelle, Berlin.

With Daniel Barenboim and members of the East-West Divan Orchestra. Staatskapelle, Berlin.

 With Alisa Weilerstein, Ori Kam, and members of the East-West Divan Orchestra.  Staatskapelle, Berlin.

With Alisa Weilerstein, Ori Kam, and members of the East-West Divan Orchestra. Staatskapelle, Berlin.

 Performing on violin.  Synthesis Center, Arizona State University.

Performing on violin. Synthesis Center, Arizona State University.

 Performing on violin.  New York City Electroacoustic Music Festival.

Performing on violin. New York City Electroacoustic Music Festival.