Photo by @trishastegengaphoto
Thomas Powell is a Canadian composer, improvisor, and educator. He is a 2022 recipient of the Tri-Agency Council funding (SSHRC) for research into the field of "live-composition," a practice that joins compositional aesthetics with improvisatory traditions of real-time creation. Most recently, he has had work premiered at the highScore New Music Festival in Italy and has performed in Edmonton, Alberta. He has also worked with Fidget Podcast - a BFRB and mental health group - in contributing sound design and composition to an animated short which was accepted to several mental health-focused film festivals in 2022.
Powell received his Bachelor Degree in Music from Humber College (Toronto, ON) and is now in his final year of graduate studies at the University of Alberta, studying Music Composition under Dr. Mark Hannesson and Dr. Scott Smallwood. Over the past year, there has been a shift in his aesthetic towards electronic music and its compositional process. Applying these ideas to acoustic compositional and improvisational practices is the primary area of interest for the remainder of his Master's studies.
For almost all of his musical life, Powell has been involved in education as either a private instructor, tutor, class/group instructor, or teaching assistant. Finding and developing new methods for effective student learning and practice has always been a passion of his and is one of the primary reasons for pursuing research in the field of live-composition. Over the past six years as a private and group instructor, he has experimented using these compositional techniques to teach fundamental musical concepts. "I have found they are effective in translating complex topics, like dynamics and contrast, in a simple manner without diminishing their depth or subtleties. I look forward to being able to expand these concepts in future research, and hopefully develop alternative programs for music education."