Kevin Kay

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Kevin Kay (b. 1995) is a Berlin-based composer interested in the physicality of sound. He is furthermore interested in expressing the physical nature of our reality abstractly through music. Working in just intonation, his music is concerned with the structuring and understanding of rational tonal structures through framework based on the physical, mathematical, and psychoacoustic properties of sound. Accordingly, his work is informed by the sensation and perception of sound as a physical phenomenon. Through an obsession with patterns and numbers in music, such mathematically oriented harmonic spaces often become entangled with temporal processes.

Kevin’s music has been performed by ensembles and musicians such as Ensemble Linea, Spektral Quartet, Imani Winds, soloists from Ensemble intercontemporain, Divertimento Ensemble, Density512, PinkNoise Ensemble, Ghost Ensemble, The City of Tomorrow, MotoContrario Ensemble, and the Brouwer Trio, among others. As a clarinetist, he performs his own solo works. Festivals and academies that have performed his music include: impuls Academy (2023), CIEL Academy (2023) the Cortona Sessions for New Music (2023, 2022, 2020 Cortona Prize winner), the International Workshop for Young Composers (2020), IRCAM’s ManiFeste Academy (2018-19), Les Ecoles d’Art Américaines de Fontainebleau (2018), New Music on the Point (2017), the Yarn/Wire Institute (2017), the NYC Electroacoustic Music Festival (2017), the Valencia International Performing Arts Summer Festival (2016), and the Charlotte New Music Festival (2016). Kevin has been in residence at Arts Letters and Numbers (2023) and the Hambidge Center for the Arts (2022).

Currently, Kevin is a recipient of the Respekt & Wertschätzung Scholarship by the DAAD-Stiftung to pursue composition and artistic research at the Universität der Künste Berlin with Marc Sabat. He is furthermore a PhD candidate at Stony Brook University, and holds an M.A. in the humanities from the University of Chicago and a B.S. in physics and music from the College of William and Mary. He has studied with Margaret Schedel, Sam Pluta, and Sophia Serghi, among others.

Website:
Ordered by year. Most recent works appears first

Chamber Ensemble (5 - 9 instruments)


Flux cycles for Bass Flute, Harp, Accordion, Piano, Double Bass, and Percussion (2023)
Below our ears for septet (2020)
Duality ii for ensemble and electronics (2019)
Quiver for wind quintet (2018)

Solo Instrument


Coalescing solo cello (2022)
On the queering of fragile notes for solo piano (2022)
Thoughts on imperceptibility for solo cello (2020)
EnSNARE for snare drum and electronics (2018)

Ensemble (10 - 19 instruments)


Worldlines worldlines, for 14 instruments (2020)

Chamber Group ( 2 - 4 instruments )


Dx/dt for 4 violins or 4 violas or 4 cellos or 4 double basses (2020)
Damped for violin and cello (2019)
Reaching for string quartet and electronics (2018)

Pierrot Ensemble (fl, cl, vln, vlc, piano)


Duality ii for ensemble and electronics (2019)

Concert Band


Thixotropic for wind ensemble (2019)

Woodwind Quintet


Quiver for wind quintet (2018)

String Quartet


Reaching for string quartet and electronics (2018)
Below our ears for septet (2020)
Coalescing solo cello (2022)
Damped for violin and cello (2019)
Duality ii for ensemble and electronics (2019)
Dx/dt for 4 violins or 4 violas or 4 cellos or 4 double basses (2020)
EnSNARE for snare drum and electronics (2018)
Flux cycles for Bass Flute, Harp, Accordion, Piano, Double Bass, and Percussion (2023)
On the queering of fragile notes for solo piano (2022)
Quiver for wind quintet (2018)
Reaching for string quartet and electronics (2018)
Thixotropic for wind ensemble (2019)
Thoughts on imperceptibility for solo cello (2020)
Worldlines worldlines, for 14 instruments (2020)