Michael Edgerton


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Personal profile

Artistic work

Michael Edward Edgerton is an active composer with performances around the world. His compositions have received international prizes and recognition including the important German award, the Kompositionspreis der Landeshauptstadt Stuttgart for his composition the Tempo Mental Rap, a series of six variations for guitar based upon a Steve Vai transcription of a Frank Zappa rap. Michael’s compositions utilize a broad range of musical influences such as European avant-garde, American experimentalism, progressive rock and world music. Since the mid-90s Michael’s compositions have been informed by scientific models and metaphors. Initially stemming from his studies with voice science and dynamical systems, he’s built a body of work that explores the integration of nonlinear concepts applied to sound production and compositional constraints. While the methods and systems he develops are often influenced by science, it is his intuition – his ear that gives birth to the music.
Michael Edgerton is at the forefront of vocal exploration and has influenced an entire generation through his book, The 21st Century Voice (Rowman & Littlefield, 2nd edition, 2015), which proposes methods for investigating singing within the framework of voice science. As composer, researcher and performer, he has presented new developments in the search for the technical and expressive limits of voice. Notably, he has systematically investigated extra-normal singing using the tools of voice science and psychoacoustics. Michael has published scholarly articles on music composition, the extra-normal voice and nonlinear phenomenon.
His works have been performed around the world by ensembles including 441 Hz Chamber Choir, AuditivVokal Dresden, Berliner Cappella, Bremer Schlagzeugensemble, C Asean Consonant Ensemble, China-Asean Youth Orchestra, Damkören vid Musikhögskolan i Malmö, Ekmeles Ensemble, Ensemble Ars Nova, Ensemble: Either/Or, Ensemble L’Itinéraire, Ensemble Proxima Centauri, Ensemble Vortex,  Evergreen Experimental Music Ensemble, Gageego, Guangxi Symphony Orchestra, Kairos String Quartet, Landesjugendchor Saar, Loadbang, Merle Noir, New Music Coop’s Combo Ensemble, St John’s Vocal Exploration Gatherings, Southwestern University (China), Stockholm Saxophone Quartet, Quartet New Generation, UC Berkeley Chamber Chorus, Via Nova Choir (Munich), VocalX Choir, Works-in-Progress Ensemble, Za’ba Voices (Malaysia) and by soloists Pavlos Antoniadis, Philippe Arnaudet, Matthias Bauer, Felicita Brusoni, Jeffrey Burns, Bertrand Chavarria-Aldrete, Moritz Ernst, Andreas Fröhling, Mauricio Galeano, Rada Hadjikostova, Jan Heinke, Matt Hinchliffe, Hu liu, Joshua Hyde, Mattias Johansson, Chatschatur Kanajan, Timo Kinnunen, Almut Kühne, Jonas Larsson, Mats Möller, Theo Nabicht, Stefan Östersjö, Angela Rademacher-Wingerath, Simon Strasser, Rebekka Uhlig, Gary Verkade, Argenta Walther, among others.
Michael was awarded his Doctorate in Composition from the University of Illinois, where he studied principally with William Brooks. Michael is currently working as Professor of Music at Lund University/the Malmö Academy of Music where he directs the Artistic Research Program in Music.
michael_edward_edgerton_70_1_sonata_for_piano_page_37from 1 sonata (#70, 2004) by M. Edgerton


Michael is engaged with research. In 1995, Michael was asked by Barney Childs and Philip Rehfeldt to contribute a book on modern vocal techniques to the New Instrumentation Series. Since his approach has been to focus on the mechanics of voice production, Michael applied for and received a three-year Postdoctoral Fellowship from the National Center for Voice and Speech to study voice science and participate on research projects that included: reinforced harmonics, chant, ingressive airflow phonation, vocal violence. In 2005, THE 21St CENTURY VOICE was published by Scarecrow Press, with the second edition being released ten years later with Rowman & Littlefield. The book proposes continued exploration of vocal production based within the framework of voice science. Michael has also published scholarly articles on music composition, the extra-normal voice, nonlinear phenomenon and multidimensional scaling in sound production. His creative and scholarly outputs has significant impact as evidenced by citations in books, articles and dissertations/theses.

UKÄ subject classification

  • Music
  • Biophysics


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