Edmund Campion (b. 1957) spent his formative years at Columbia University and IRCAM (Institut de Recherche et Coordination Acoustique/Musique) in Paris. Between 1989 and 1994, he was a student of Gèrard Grisey. At IRCAM, he composed Losing Touch for vibraphone and electronics (1995) followed by several commissions including the full-scale ballet Playback, Nat-Sel for piano and computer, and Corail for improvising saxophone and computer. In 2012, as the Composer in Residence with the Santa Rosa Symphony, Campion composed The Last Internal Combustion Engine, a Concerto Grosso with Kronos Quartet and electronics. Joshua Kosman of the San Francisco Chronicle called the piece “a vivid and richly imagined concerto.”
An exceptionally wide variety of music projects, collaborations, and compositions includes the instrumental works Auditory Fiction (2011), commissioned by Société Générale for Radio France; Small Wonder (The Butterfly Effect) (2012), commissioned by the Serge Koussevitzky Foundation for the San Francisco Contemporary Music Players; Auditory Fiction II, written for the ECO Ensemble for the 2014 Venice Music Biennale; Wavelike and Diverse, commissioned by Les Percussion des Strasbourg and released on their 50th anniversary CD collection. As a 2016 Guggenheim Fellow, Mr. Campion immersed himself in ancient Korean instruments and composed Audible Numbers for the Contemporary Gugak Orchestra in Seoul. The piece has been performed several times in South Korea and on tour internationally. In 2021, Campion was a featured composer at the Festival Électrocution with the Ensemble Sillages in France.
Campion has collaborated with internationally recognized visual artists and choreographers, most notably the digital artist Claudia Hart with the VR/AR Alice Unchained series, and with the audiovisual artist Kurt Hentschläger for the 2012 Ensemble Intercontemporain co-commission Cluster X. In 2020, digital works by Claudia Hart with Edmund Campion's music were added to the collections of the Whitney Museum of American Art.
In 2012, Campion was awarded the Goddard Lieberson Fellowship given by the American Academy of Arts and Letters to a “composer of exceptional gift”. Other prizes from a long list of accolades include the American Rome Prize and the Lili Boulanger Prize. The American Composers Orchestra released Practice for orchestra and electronics on the Orchestra Underground; Tech and Techno CD and a monograph CD of the works of Edmund Campion by the San Francisco Contemporary Music Players, with David Milnes, is available on Albany records.
Campion is currently Professor of Music Composition and Director at the Center for New Music and Audio Technologies (CNMAT) at the University of California, Berkeley.
© Marco Delugo