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Artist: Shawn TrailHe/Him/His

Artistic Discipline: Film, Music, New Media, Visual
Location: Cheney, WA

Shawn Trail is a human rights activist and advocate for access and inclusion in its myriad of forms. His background includes being a multi-percussionist, composer, sound designer, studio music producer, audio engineer, tonmeister, recording historian/preservationist, digital artist and applied audio computer scientist working at the intersection of tradition and innovation. As a performer Trail has toured internationally performing on stages ranging from Lincoln Center, Webster Hall, Burlington Jazz Fest, Place de Arts Montréal to Copenhagen’s Tivoli Koncertsal; alongside artists ranging from Meshell Ndegeocello, Budos Band, Built to Spill, Red Baraat to Pharoah Sanders. In the studio Trail has worked with Bernard Purdie, multi-platinum producer Peter Denenberg, Jaga Jazzist, was a contributor to the soundtrack of Emmy nominated film Favela Rising, has collaborated with Andrew Scheps on a synthesis design project, and more. Currently Trail is Lecturer of “Music Technology, Audio Engineering, & Entrepreneurship” at Eastern Washington University. He holds a Doctorate of Philosophy in Interdisciplinary Studies with a concentration in Computer Science applied to Music from the University of Victoria [Supervisors: computer music pioneers Peter Driessen (E.E.), Andrew Schloss (Mus.), and George Tzanetakis (C.S.)]. His research focuses on non-invasive gesture sensing, physical modeling, machine learning and acoustic actuation for pitched percussion. He has published his work at NIME, ICMC, SMC, and IEEE; was twice artist-in-residence at STEIM in Amsterdam, NL and was the Robotics and Interface Technician for multi-Grammy winning artist Pat Metheny’s Orchestrion Project. He has conducted research internationally: Sonic Interaction Design as a Fulbright Fellow in Copenhagen, DK at Medialogy (advisors = Stefania Serafin, Sofia Dahl, Dan Overholt, Steven Gelineck, Niels Botcher, Smilen Dimitrov and Bob Sturm), and traditional xylophone, percussion and Afro-pop at the University of Ghana (studies w/ John Collins, Willie Anku, Christopher Amatephy, Francis Kofi Akotuah, SK Kakraba Lobi, and Aaron Bebe Sukura). Trail holds a Master of Music degree in Studio Composition from SUNY Purchase College Conservatory of Music where he studied with Du Yun, Suzanne Ferrin, Joe Ferry, Dave Gluck, Ted Piltzecker and Peter Denenberg. His Bachelor of Arts is in Music Technology and Percussion Performance from Bellarmine University in Louisville, Ky (mentoring with composer Richard Burchard and marimba apprentice to Valerie Naranjo). He has been a percussion accompanist for NYU, the Louisville Ballet, and Nafisa Sheriff. His work has been featured in the New York Times, CNN, HBO, Songlines World Music Magazine, Vice, The Fader and more. Trail has collaborated with artists Tony Barba (Bon Iver, Spank Rock, Escort) Phil Moffa (Lost Souls of Saturn, Dead Prez, Vinyl Life), Watter (Slint, Grails, Mono, Rachels, Tortoise), Basil Bromley (Dif Juz, The Children), and Dana Reason (Mark Dresser, Lori Goldston, Mike Gamble). He has played in bands: Brooklyn Qawwali Party, The Barbarian Horde, Development, Southwoods, txted and maintains Lost Audio, a digital arts R&D lab and recording studio.

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