Christopher Burns is a composer and improviser developing innovative approaches to musical architecture. His work emphasizes trajectory, layering and intercutting a variety of audible processes to create intricate forms. The experience of density is also crucial to his music: his compositions often incorporate materials which pass by too quickly to be grasped in their entirety, and present complex braids of simultaneous lines and textures. Many of his recent projects also embrace animation and motion capture, integrating performance, sound, and visuals into a unified experience.
Christopher's work as a music technology researcher shapes his work in both instrumental chamber music and electroacoustic sound. He writes improvisation software incorporating a variety of unusual user interfaces for musical performance, and exploring the application and control of feedback for complex and unpredictable sonic behavior. In the instrumental domain, he uses algorithmic procedures to create distinctive pitch and rhythmic structures and elaborate them through time. Christopher is also an avid archaeologist of electroacoustic music, creating and performing new digital realizations of classic music by composers including John Cage, György Ligeti, Alvin Lucier, Conlon Nancarrow, and Karlheinz Stockhausen.
A committed educator, Christopher teaches music composition and technology at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. Previously, he served as the Technical Director of the Center for Computer Research in Music and Acoustics (CCRMA) at Stanford University, after completing a doctorate in composition there in 2003. He has studied composition with Brian Ferneyhough, Jonathan Harvey, Jonathan Berger, Michael Tenzer, and Jan Radzynski.
Christopher is also active as a concert producer. He co-founded and produced the strictly Ballroom contemporary music series at Stanford University from 2000 to 2004, and has contributed to the sfSoundGroup ensemble in the San Francisco Bay Area since 2003. Since 2006, he has served as the artistic director of the Unruly Music festival in Milwaukee.