R i c k
N a n c e


Rick Nance is an electroacoustic artist as well as a free improvisational trumpet and guitar player. Widely recognized as "also participated" for quite a while. He composes with timbre, gesture, physical space and spectral space. His studio compositions are primarily intended for multi-channel, diffused fixed-media contexts and could most easily defined as Acousmatic music. He also works in mixed instrumental and other fixed-media pieces. Some works are used in large-scale improvisational settings and in dance, interactive live mixed-media performance and gallery installations.

Focus in research is informed by Ecological Psychology, perception and the ecological equilibrium with the composer, the studio environment, and the possibilities that are offered by enlarging the grain of investigation by including the acousmatic instrumentalist.

Nance studied with Charles Norman Mason, Michael Angell, Andrew Lewis and Jonty Harrison, and completed his PhD with John Young.


Hello. Thanks for your interest. I hope you find the music worth your time. If you have a minute, send a note (rick@uab.edu). My apologies for the first person bio here, but talking about myself in the 3rd person is getting tiring.

This is the long version.

Listening is my central practice and acousmatic composition is one logical result. I am interested in many aspects of sound art, but music is, of course, the primary one. Field recording is another. Some of my work is arguably (and has been argued to be) 'not music,' depending on the definitions of music one prefers. But like Cage said, you don't have to call it music if the term offends you.

I am from all over the southeastern United States, but lived more than half my life in Birmingham, Alabama. My early training was in ukelele, piano, trumpet, cycle racing, classical guitar, skateboarding, printing, graphic design, irrigation and a short stint as an apprentice goldsmith.

In addition to my BA in music, I earned a BSc in psychology, which guided my interest in behavioural biology as a possible path to a coherent aesthetic theory. Much of what I learned of biological and ecological psychology helps shape my ideas on form which heavily influenced my PhD research.

I was introduced to free improvisation by Trans Museq. My first public gig was organized by Wally Shoup, playing with Glenn Engstrand and Keith Collins.

And just a quick personal lament: Both Keith and Glen were wonderful at what they did and joy to work with. Neither seems to be playing these days and that's a shame. Wally is still kicking ass in Seattle, WA and thereabouts.

I did a residency at The Birmingham Electro-Acoustic Sound Theatre (BEAST) in 1997, then went on to pursue independant research in acousmatics and free improv at my own studios in Alabama.

Eventually I landed about 20 miles east of Cable Bay in Bangor, Wales, to study with Andrew Lewis. There I made The Transatlantic Half-Pipe and continued development on This is Not a Model. I was eventually offered a place at De Montfort University to complete my PhD with John Young.

As a free improvisational trumpet player and guitarist, I've performed (and listened) with Trans Museq, Davey Williams, LaDonna Smith, Craig Hultgren, Susan Heffner, PhantomLimb,Liquid Brick, and the South Leicestershire Improvisors Ensemble with Lee Allatson, Virginia Anderson, Chris Hobbs, Trevor Lines, Bruce Coates, and Peter Wyeth. As a composer, I've written scores for modern dance, animation, video and multi-speaker diffusion.

I lecture at De Montfort University and the Leicester International Pathways College.