Curtis Bahn

HASS Associate Dean for Graduate Studies & Research and Professor, Arts

Curtis Bahn is a composer and improviser specializing in live interactive electronic performance. In addition to teaching and research, he currently serves as Associate Dean for Graduate Studies & Research and Chair of the Art_X Steering Committee.

“I'm interested in the intersections of media, world culture and technology: How can we use new technologies to invent innovative instruments and performance contexts with the subtlety and range of expression of their traditional counterparts?  How can we use these developments to embrace musical and artistic traditions, and to extend them into new forms of expression?” said Bahn.

Curtis Bahn’s music has been presented internationally at venues including Lincoln Center, India International Centre – Delhi, Sadler's Wells - London, Palais Garnier - Paris, Grand Theatre de la Ville - Luxembourg, as well as numerous festivals, academic conferences and small clubs. Bahn was the composer for a major residency project entitled “Motione,” in interactive dance and graphics with Choreographer Trisha Brown and Visual Artists Paul Kaiser, Marc Downey and Shelly Eshkar at the Arizona State University Arts Media and Engineering Program. He released a solo recording of live electronic performance on his extended string bass entitled “R!g,” available on the EMF label, a duo recording entitled “./swank” with Dan Trueman on the cycling 74 label, and a DVD with Pauline Oliveros and Tomie Hahn on the Deep Listening label. 

Currently Curtis is a formal student of the Sitar (Shagird) with virtuoso Ustad Shahid Parvez Khan, and has travelled extensively in India studying and accompanying his Guru as the Asian Cultural Council's 2012 Ralph Sameulson Fellow. He has applied his studies in Indian Classical music to contemporary electronic performance, interactive instrument and installation designs, and his performance with the "Machine Orchestra" a mixed human robotic ensemble at CalArts.


Ph.D., Music Composition - Princeton University, Princeton NJ

Research Focus
  • live interactive electronic performance
  • robotics
  • human computer interaction