Elliott Grabill’s instrumental and electroacoustic compositions have been described as colorful, imaginative, hauntingly beautiful, journey-like, with an American style. Elliott also performs as an electroacoustic musician and improviser, facilitating controllers and live coding. He is based out of Baltimore.
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 / will be performed by 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, the Athens Film Festival, the ICMC, SEAMUS, 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 at the University of Virginia, but chose to teach 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 composing “Un Jardin” completely from recordings of piano overtones.
From 2015-2017, Elliott obtained his master’s degree in composition at the Peabody Conservatory. 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 vast array of digital processing techniques using a MIDI control device. The final movement, “Gravity,” won third place in Peabody’s composition Prix d’Èté.
Additional works written during Elliott’s Peabody period include When I Have Fears, for baritone and orchestra, Darl, for clarinet and live electronics, Acousmatica, for fixed media, Responses, for clarinet sextet, Alarm, for flute and live electronics, Escape, for bassoon quartet, Endurance, for Pierrot quintet, Ocean Mermaid, for MIDI controller, and Lake Pontchartrain, for string sextet. Elliott is currently writing a concert length piece for the Pique Collective that includes electronics.
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.