Kevin Michael Kay (b. 1995) is inspired by the ways in which our universe manifests sound, and through his art, he explores how sound behaves physically in our world. His work is often processual, focusing on how material evolves through time. He aims to immerse listeners in contained soundworlds using harmonic languages that are organized not necessarily by pitch, but more-so by frequency, utilizing the mathematical properties of sound. Due to his fascination with sound’s physical and psychoacoustic qualities, Kevin hopes that audiences are able to perceive the physicality of sound itself, translated through artistic means.
Festivals that have performed Kevin’s music include: IRCAM’s ManiFeste Academy (with soloists from Ensemble Intercontemporain), Les Ecoles d’Art Américaines de Fontainebleau, New Music on the Point, the Yarn/Wire Institute, the NYC Electroacoustic Music Festival (NYCEMF), the Electroacoustic Barn Dance (EABD), the National Student Electronic Music Event (NSEME), the Valencia International Performance Academy and Festival (VIPA), and the Charlotte New Music Festival. Furthermore, Kevin has been named the winner of the Cortona Prize 2020. Kevin’s music has been performed by PinkNoise Ensemble, Ghost Ensemble, The City of Tomorrow, MotoContrario Ensemble, Spektral Quartet, Imani Winds, and the Brouwer Trio, among others. As a clarinetist, he performs his own pieces for clarinet and electronics.
Kevin is currently a PhD student at Stony Brook University where he studies with Margaret Schedel. He holds an M.A. from the University of Chicago where he studied with Sam Pluta, and a B.S. in physics and music from William and Mary where his primary mentor was Sophia Serghi.