Sean Reed is an American composer who lived, studied, and worked in Europe for many years (Hamburg, Dublin, and Edinburgh) before returning to his native New England in 2012.

He has composed for instrumental ensembles as well as for interactive and fixed-media electroacoustic works and multimedia collaborations.

Sean is also the author of the three Lisp programs muggulu, skinnymalink, and Arco (all in progress) which aid in the creation of instrumental and electroacoustic compositions.


1st prize in a competition by the ZKM Karlsruhe and the INMM Darmstadt for the work Bedlam with R. Darroll


1st prize for computer art for the collaborative work Noemata No. 1 with visual artist Robert Darroll


1st prize of a competition by the ZKM Karlsruhe and the Federation of German Businesses  (BDI)


Selected for the Nachwuchsforum by the German Society for Contemporary Music (GNM) and the ensemble modern

Notable Performances

Individual compositions and collaborations

#Art Science Technology Days

Presentation of the Klangdom version of More Than Is Wise within the Ambiant Creativity Project in Grenoble

DEGEM Webradio

Webradio portrait show with 11 electroacoustic compositions twice daily for 2 months

Imagining Media

Exhibition of the works Bedlam, Oracle, and turned within the IMAGINING MEDIA@ZKM anniversary exhibition


Exhibition of the audio-visual collaboration Bedlam with Robert Darroll


Two arias for baritone and trombone in the collective opera As Time Goes By at the Hanover State Opera


Performance of the dance-video-sound collaboration turned with Chris Ziegler


Screening of the audio-visual collaboration BTD x with Claudia Westermann


Premiere of the composition Inr n wdh for bass clarinet and live computer at concerts of the BDI


Premiere of Music for Three Players No. 2 by soloists of the ensemble modern in concerts of the GNM


Wistling Dixie

for 12-person instrumental ensemble

Return Through the Beautiful Sopping Mountain

for large orchestra

More Than Is Wise

for 8-channel electroacoustic playback

Interminable Delirium

for viola, cello, bass, xylophone, harpsichord, and stereo electroacoustic playback


for trombone and 8-channel electroacoustic playback

Words Like Smoke

for string trio

As time goes by...

two short arias for trombone and bass-baritone

Inr n wdh (Stone of the kind which flows)

for bass clarinet and multi-channel live-interactive computer

Music for Three Players No 2

for violin, piano, guitar, and pitch-to-MIDI controlled moving image via MAX



Audio-visual collaboration with Robert Darroll for 8-channel sound and 360-degree screen


Audio-visual collaboration with Robert Darroll using 5 panels and 5.1 sound


Live electroacoustic sound for a dance-sound-video collaboration with Chris Ziegler


6-channel sound installation for an exhibition by visual artist Natalia Stachon (6 hrs)

transgression / excès

Music for sax, accordion, and live computer for a theater project with Malte Ubenauf


Proposal for a space-sound installation with media artist Claudia Westermann


It’s wonderful stuff that Reed has come up with… varied and constantly changing, atmospheric, evocative of familiar sounds, stirring up memories.
Michael DunganThe Irish Times

Music Programming


muggulu is a Lisp program that aids in the creation of electroacoustic compositions by treating algorithmic granular synthesis functions as motives that can be developed by changing their parameters, similar to the concept of motivic development in traditional instrumental music. muggulu uses the Common Lisp Music package of Stanford University’s CCRMA. It is still in development with no plans yet for release.


skinnymalink is a collection of Lisp functions that aid in the generation of empty musical structures based on user-defined probabilities for the occurrence of specific motives, phrase length, meter, harmonic progressions or polyphonic voice-leading rules, and instrumental combinations. It produces a text file with guidelines that the composer must flesh out intuitively. skinnymalink is still in development with no plans yet for release.


Arco is a Lisp program that generates empty musical structures based on the instrumental combinations of existing works by determining the probability that a given instrumental combination in the source work follows any of its other combinations. It produces a text file with guidelines that must be fleshed out by the composer. The instrumentation of the source work must currently be entered manually. Arco is still in development with no plans for release.

Work Experience

Research Technician
Department of Music, University of Edinburgh, UK. Programming the test suite (Lisp) and writing the documentation for the music software slippery chicken by Michael Edwards (2011 – 2012).

Adjunct Lecturer
Music & Media Technologies, Trinity College Dublin, Ireland. Postgraduate courses in orchestration and the use of digital audio workstations, sequencers, and notation software (2007 – 2011).

Graduate Teaching Assistant
Department of Music, Trinity College Dublin, Ireland. Undergraduate classes in instrumental composition (2006 – 2010).


PhD in Music Composition
Trinity College Dublin, Ireland

Diplom in Music Composition and Theory
Hamburg College of Music and Theater, Germany

Bachelor of Music Education
Eastman School of Music