Eliot Britton (b.1983) bridges sounds worlds. From the imperceptible rhythms of the natural environment to the towering, digitally amplified tones of virtually constructed sound design, his musical language uses the tools and techniques of the 21st century to build and share networks of music and meaning.
Britton’s fiercely virtuosic and award-winning aesthetic brings together performers and technology, finding new modes of expression and collaboration. From drum machines to orchestras to augmented reality and machine learning, Britton is forever seeking innovative ways of connecting and expressing Canada’s contemporary soundscape.
As an Anglophone Metis from Manitoba, Britton is passionate about collaborating on narrative expanding indigenous music and projects. A graduate of the University of Manitoba and McGill, Britton is now a teacher, researcher, and composer at the University of Toronto. There he is the Director of the newly rebuilt Electronic Music Studios (UTEMS) and splits his time between the Composition and Music Technology areas.
Britton is currently the composer in residence at Red Sky Performance, as well as co-director of Cluster New Music + Integrated Arts Festival. His work at UofT seeks to expand the framework for research creation, opening new spaces for diversity in the creative applications of music technology. Briton is Currently working on several projects including the upcoming “More Than a Dance, We Are A Movement” project with Red Sky Performance, as well as recent commissions for New Music Concerts and Amadeus Choir.
– by his colleague Kristen Antunez
Which ‘hood are you in?
College and Spadina, on the edge of Kensington Market, Chinatown. This is a perfect location for me because it is near UofT, and has great food options.
What do you do?
I’m a composer, researcher, professor at the Faculty of Music at the University of Toronto. Currently, composer in residence for Red Sky Performance. I’m also artistic co-director of Cluster New Music + Integrated Arts in Manitoba. My job usually involves the creative applications of technology. Making music, building sound worlds, creating technological frameworks for collaboration, mixing styles, synthetic organic and traditional instrumental sounds.
My background allows for free mixing of experimental, pop and instrumental techniques so I’m always blending materials and approaches, looking for new relationships. I usually end up making virtual things sound real, and real things sound virtually unreal. The transitions between organic and synthetic sounds are what I’m really excited about.
What are you currently working on?
I was just interviewed for the upcoming premiere of the dance film “More than Dance We Are a Movement” in celebration of Red Sky Performance’s 20th anniversary. The film will be available to stream April 14-20 and tickets can be purchased through Harbourfront Centre. I’m looking forward to that.
Lately I’ve been working with digital microscopes and machine learning systems that dig deeply into large sounds. Since most people are at home I’m always thinking of unique and exciting ways of experiencing content in a home environment, whether through a cell phone, virtual reality, headphones or an online video. I just finished a commission for New Music Concerts here in Toronto, and am working on a project for Amadeus choir.
I’m also working on staying healthy and alive during the pandemic!
Where can we find your work?
ADIZOKAN with Red Sky
More than a Dance we are a Movement:
Hyperscale Landscape with the CMC