Sam Pluta electronics
When people ask what I do, I usually answer either that I am a composer or an electronic musician. In fact, I am both. I split my creative time between writing notes on the page and improvising on the laptop. I have been lucky to compose for some of the finest performers in New York City, including Wet Ink Ensemble, Yarn/Wire, Timetable Percussion, MIVOS Quartet, ICE, Dave Eggars, and So Percussion.
I am the Technical Director for Wet Ink Ensemble, an amazing New York group dedicated to playing new music by young composers. Wet Ink has commissioned and premeired nearly 100 works in its 12 year history, including sixteen premieres in our 2010-2011 season alone. Recently we have begun touring, and have projects next season at the Sacramento Festival of New American Music, UC Davis, Santa Clara University, and Duke University.
I recently recorded and released an album of duos, entitled sum and difference with trumpeter Peter Evans and violinist Jim Altieri. This album uses my custom live-processing software that I have been working on for the past 8 years, and I can't imagine having made it with any other performers. These guys are just amazing to work with in the electro-acoustic setting. A comment I often get is, "Well, I can't really hear the instruments!" A closer listen reveals that you can always hear the instruments, they just sound so electronic that it is hard to differentiate them from the laptop sounds.
Performing over the last year with the Peter Evans Quintet has done wonders for my improv skills. These guys are just incredible performers, and our combination of jazz, noise, and electronics is, as far as I can tell, fairly unique and special. Our album Ghosts has just been released on More is More Records
Sadly my awesome improv quartet GBL is beginning to disperse around the country. These guys are not only amazing musicians, but also some of my best friends, so hopefully we will be playing together again soon. Our album, Drone Level Orange was one of the first albums released on Carrier Records. It is still one of my favorite projects. My duo with Jeff Synder, exclusiveOr, who make music on vintage 1960's and 70's synths, including one of the original Buchla 100/200's. Our self-titled album was released on quiet design records in Austin, TX. Also on that label is the language of, a killer compilation including works by Alex Mincek, Alex Ness, Clara Latham, Jeff Snyder, Kate Soper, Eric Wubbels, Jim Altieri, and myself.
I've studied music in a lot of great places. I am currently a DMA student at Columbia University. I received my Masters degree at the University of Texas at Austin and then got another at BEAST in the UK. I did my undergrad work at Santa Clara University in California. Probably the best education of all, though, has been teaching for the last 10 years at The Walden School, which is my favorite place in the world. They recently named me the John Plude Chair of Computer Musicianship, which is very exciting. If you like my stuff and want to contact me, please email me at spluta at gmail dot com.
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