Steven Kemper

Highland Park,
United States

Steven Kemper is a composer, music technologist, and instrument designer. As a composer, Steven creates music for acoustic instruments, instruments and computers, musical robots, dance, and video. His compositions have been performed by the American Modern Ensemble, Boston Modern Orchestra Project, NOW ensemble, and the Grupo Sax-Ensemble. They have also been presented at numerous festivals worldwide, including ICMC, NIME, SEAMUS, SIGCHI, SMC, 12 Nights, Florida Electroacoustic Music Festival, Third Practice Festival, Pixilerations, American Composers Alliance Festival of American Music, and the Seoul International Computer Music Festival. Steven has received awards for his music from the Ammerman Center for Arts and Technology, Meet the Composer, the Danish Arts Council, and the International Computer Music Association. His first solo album of electroacoustic music, Mythical Spaces, was released by Ravello Records in 2018 and received positive reviews in Gramophone Magazine, Sonograma Magazine, Computer Music Journal, and the NewMusicBuff blog.

Steven’s interest in music technology centers on the development of technologies that enhance the connectivity between computer-based music and the physical world. Research areas include musical robotics, instrument design, human-computer interaction, gesture and music, and musical expression. Steven is a co-founder of Expressive Machines Musical Instruments, a collective dedicated to creating and composing music for robotic instruments. He also co-developed the RAKS (Remote electroAcoustic Kinesthetic Sensing) System, a wireless sensor interface designed specifically for belly dancers with composer and dancer Aurie Hsu. Additionally, Steven is a co-founder of LA Listens, an organization that explores the interrelationships between the sensory, social, and ecological aspects of streets in Los Angeles. Steven’s research has been presented at NIME, ICMC, and MOCO, and published in Leonardo, Leonardo Music Journal, Organised Sound, Emille: The Journal of the Korean Electro-Acoustic Music Society, and Noise & Silence.  Steven received a Ph.D. in Composition and Computer Technologies from the University of Virginia and is currently Associate Professor of Music Technology and Composition at the Mason Gross School of the Arts at Rutgers University in New Jersey.


Journal Articles:
General Articles

Can Musical Machines Be Expressive? Views from the Enlightenment and Today

October 2019
Articles and Notes

Enacting Sonic-Cyborg Performance through the Hybrid Body in Teka-Mori and Why Should Our Bodies End at the Skin?

December 2019