Quinn Collins (b. 1983) is a composer of rhythmically engaging acoustic and electroacoustic music who combines rigorous formal schemes and processes with rock energy, occupying a space where brains and adrenaline collide. Also active as an improvisor, he is a member of the mind-melting, tongue-in-cheek analog synthesizer duo llama/lama with Paul Schuette; is a turntable/electronics performer in The Miz’ries, a digital hardcore trio with Jeff Snyder and Leila Adu; and plays bass guitar in the multimedia large ensemble Erik Ruin’s Ominous Cloud Ensemble, accompanying Ruin’s projections with a rotating cast of musicians from a wide variety of stylistic disciplines.
As a high school student, he was blessed with William Duckworth’s mentorship. He then earned a B.M. in composition in 2005 at the University of Cincinnati's College-Conservatory of Music, studying with Ellen Ruth Harrison, Darrell Handel, Frederic Rzewski, Christopher Bailey, and (primarily) Michael Fiday and completed his M.M. in composition at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign in 2009, studying with Zack Browning, Erik Lund, and Scott Wyatt. Collins holds an M.F.A. from Princeton University, where he is currently a PhD candidate and has been a student of Louis Andriessen, Donnacha Dennehy, Paul Lansky, Steve Mackey, Dan Trueman, Dmitri Tymoczko, and Barbara White. A former Frank E. Taplin doctoral fellow, Collins’ dissertation-in-progress consists of a five movement percussion quartet written for Mobius Percussion entitled Precious and Intelligent Metal, a 40-minute tone poem on the work of Richard Brautigan, and an analysis of Sonic Youth’s Sister. He is currently adjunct faculty at The College of New Jersey and Swarthmore College, teaching introductory courses in electronic music, and University of the Arts, focusing on synthesis. At West Chester University, he is the Staff Director of the Center for Music Technology. In the past he has taught theory, composition, and music technology at institutions such as the University of Illinois, Princeton University, and Rutgers-Camden.
Collins’ music has been a fellow at festivals and residencies including MusicX, the Young Composers Meeting, the Bang on a Can Summer Institute, Sentieri Selvaggi’s masterclass with David Lang, and the Atlantic Center for the Arts with Paul Dresher as Master Artist, the New Music Gathering, and the Electroacoustic Barndance. His music has been performed at venues such as Bard College, where the percussion ensemble recently presented a portrait concert of his music, Princeton University, Arraymusic, Unruly Sounds Festival, Center for New Music, DiMenna Center, West Chester University, Mise-En Place, Firehouse Space, Chamber Music America at Bryant Park, The Cell, Symphony Space; William Paterson University, Sydney Conservatorium, Fast Forward Austin, Le Poisson Rouge, University of Illinois, University of Cincinnati, and Bimhuis, and by ensembles and soloists including Kyklos, Mobius Percussion, William Lang, The Living Earth Show, Ensemble Mise-En, Riley Lee, Dither, Orkest de Ereprijs, Isabelle O’Connell, The Guidonian Hand, loadbang, Ogni Suono, Andrew Kozar, Roberta Michel, David Degge, Jason Treuting, Newspeak, Cadillac Moon Ensemble, the Manhattan Saxophone Quartet, and Sō Percussion. Collins’ music has been released on Belts & Whistles, Teal Creek Music, and Underwolf Records. He is currently based in Philadelphia.