Benjamin Nelson / sound forms


Long form reductionism, stasis and small motion.
Anti-development: Infinite gray between black and white.

Benjamin Nelson was born in Maryland. Classically trained as a cellist, Nelson’s focus quickly shifted to electronic music, which he studied along with composition and theory at Northestern University (BS, 2008) in Boston. During this time Nelson was active in a variety of projects in the areas of noise, industrial, and metal while also beginning to develop a series highly reduced and durational works which would become his main musical focus.

Inspired by composers such as Maryanne Amacher, Phill Niblock, La Monte Young and Eliane Radigue a series of pieces and performances began centered around the ideas of slow moving sheets of sound exploring microshifts in spectrum and phase as well as hearing fatigue and room resonance with the aim of integrating electronics, acoustic sound, and environment. These pieces were increasingly inspired by imaginary physical objects and recent work has sought to take these focuses further branching into categories of slow moving compositions as well as completely static installation/performances meant to reflect hypothetical objects, spaces, and the ambient changes in their surroundings (light, temperature, angle, etc). With a focus on stasis and concrete structure rather than compositional process a series of new installation based pieces is currently in development incorporating sculptural elements and embedded speakers, as well as a series of parallel visual works investigating industrial materials.

Nelson has toured throughout the US and Europe as both a solo performer and a member of various bands and ensembles. Collaborators have included Verdensteatret, Keith Fullerton Whitman, Brendan Murray, Eli Keszler, Katarina Miljkovic, Reuben Son, Patrick Emm, and others. He has also been an active member of the Non-Event concert series, having served as co-curator and assistant director after also running a mail-order distributor and concert series under the Sound Pool moniker.

Benjamin currently lives and works in Oslo, Norway.

CV available by request.