Michael Ferriell Zbyszyński is a musician, researcher and teacher in the field of contemporary electroacoustic music. Currently, he is Research Associate in the Department of Computing at Goldsmiths University of London, working on the RAPID-MIX project.
Dr. Zbyszyński plays flute, saxophones, clarinet, Yamaha WX5 (MIDI wind controller), and things made from digitizing tablets, coffee cans and PVC. He has appeared, collaborated, or worked with Respectable Citizen, the Brass Liberation Orchestra, Mission Delirium, Roscoe Mitchell, Myra Melford, Frank Gratkowski, the Capacitor Performance Group, the Merce Cunningham Dance Company (the American premier of John Cage´s Ocean 1-95), Frances-Marie Uitti, and David Wessel, as a soloist with the Berkeley Symphony Orchestra, Composers Inc., UC Berkeley Symphony, Cultural Labyrinth, Berkeley New Music Project, and Common Sense Composer´s Collective, and at the Other Minds Festival, the Oregon Bach Festival, the Montréal Jazz Festival, the Center for New Music and Audio Technologies, Cal Arts, UC Santa Barbara, UC San Diego, University of Washington, Reed College, Portland State University, and The Western Front Lodge (Vancouver). His 2006 piece News Cycle #2, created in collaboration with video artist Anthony Discenza, was jointly commissioned by the Getty Center and the Montalvo Arts Center, where they were in residence in 2008. In 2004, Zbyszyński finished a permanent sound installation at Edgemar in Santa Monica, CA, in collaboration with Hugh Livingston. He has recorded and mixed sound for diverse artists, including Debashish Bhattachaya, Amelia Cuni, Fred Frith, DJ Spooky, and Bertram Turetzky. He his work has been included in Make Magazine, the ARTSHIP Record Label and the Rhizome Artbase.
Dr. Zbyszyński has been a software developer at Avid, SoundHound, Cycling ’74, and Keith McMillen Instruments, and was Assistant Director of Music Composition and Pedagogy at the University of California, Berkeley’s Center for New Music and Audio Technologies (CNMAT). He has taught at San Francisco State University, University of San Francisco, Mills College, California College of the Arts, Berklee College of Music and Northeasten University, and was a Faculty Fellow in Music Technology at the University of California, Irvine. He has has consulted on performances by the San Francisco Contemporary Music Players and the Berkeley Symphony Orchestra. In 2000, Dr. Zbyszyński earned his PhD in music composition from the University of California, Berkeley, having earned his MA in 1996. His doctoral dissertation, Labirynt for saxophone and orchestra, draws on minimalist, spectral, and sonorist musical styles; his primary advisor was Jorge Liderman. In 1998 he was awarded a Fulbright Grant to study at the Akademia Muzyczna w Krakówie, Poland with Zbigniew Bujarski. While in Poland, he composed the string orchestra piece Beneath a Liquid Paper Sky, which was premiered by the Penderecki Festival Orchestra, under the baton of Pawel Przytocki, at the Teatr Wielki in Warsaw. This concert was part of the 40th anniversary celebration of the Polish-American Fulbright Commission, and subsequently aired on TV Polonia 1. In 1992, he received a BA in music from New York University, where he studied composition with Louis Karchin and improvisation with Joe Lovano. He participated in the Composers’ Symposium at the 1996 Oregon Bach Festival (studies with John Harbison and Robert Kyr) and the 1998 Académie d’été at Paris’s Institut de Recherche et Coordination Acoustique/Musique (IRCAM: studies with Philippe Manoury, Kaija Saariaho, and Salvatore Sciarrino).
He sometimes refers to himself in the third person.