Elliott Grabill is a composer of classical and electronic music, based out of Baltimore. His compositions have been described as imaginative, hauntingly beautiful, journey-like, and with an American style. His work often features microtones, piano sounds, MIDI controllers, gritty harmonies, and long, hypnotic sections. Also a math professor, his works are often informed by ideas of symmetry, structure, patterns, and randomness.
He is the recipient of the Dark in the Song Prize, and the third place winner of the Peabody Conservatory Prix d’Eté. His works have been performed by Pique Collective, Dark in the Song, the Washington Men’s Camerata, the Meridian Arts Ensemble, Quartetto Apeiron, Hila Zamir, Melissa Lander, Shawn Earle, Andrew Im, Tae Ho Hwang, Michele Jacot, and Andrea Cheeseman. Venues and festivals that have hosted performances of his work include Artisphere, the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, the Athens International Film and Video Festival, the International Computer Music Conference, the SEAMUS Conference, the New York City Electronic Music Festival, the National Student Electronic Music Event, and the Toronto International Electroacoustic Symposium. His work has been performed across the United States, as well as Canada, the UK, and Serbia.
Elliott studied music and math at the University of Virginia, and taught public school math upon graduating college. During summer vacations, he composed several evocative, confessional works for piano including Kings Highway / Stillwell Ave and Katharos. He also began developing a voice in electronic music, with his first fixed media work, Un Jardin completely derived from recordings of piano overtones.
His most extensive work to date, Pluto for clarinet and live electronics, was written mostly in the fall of 2015, but revised throughout his time at Peabody. An ethereal work inspired by the NASA New Horizons mission, the piece embarks on a mission of color, space dust, solar wind, gravitational rhythm, and tonal harmony. The work requires a second musician to operate an array of digital processing techniques using a MIDI control device. The final movement, “Gravity,” won third place in Peabody’s composition Prix d’Èté.
Teachers include G. Bradley Bodine, Steven Coxe, Matthew Burtner, Kirk Nurock, Judah Adashi, Amy Beth Kirsten, Jason Eckardt, Michael Hersch, and every musician who has taught him how to write for their instruments.