Nicolas Collins

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Nicolas Collins (born March 26, 1954 in New York City) is a composer of mostly electronic music and former student of Alvin Lucier.[1] He received a B.A. and M.A. from Wesleyan University.[2] Subsequently, he was a Watson Fellow.

Nicolas Collins was "a pioneer in the use of microcomputers in live performance, and has made extensive use of 'home-made' electronic circuitry, radio, found sound material, and transformed musical instruments."[3] He has presented over 300 concerts and installations in Europe, Japan, and the United States as a solo artist and as a member of various ensembles.[4][5] He is a member of The Impossible Music Group with David Weinstein, David Shea, Ted Greenwald, and Tim Spelios.

Collins is a prominent curator of performance and installation art, and has been a curator, policy adviser, and board member for numerous cultural organizations.[6] For example, in the early 1990s he was both artistic Co-Director at STEIM (Studio for Electro Instrumental Music), located in Amsterdam and a German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) composer-in-residence in Berlin.[7] Collins is currently Editor-in-Chief of the Leonardo Music Journal, a peer-reviewed academic journal published by the MIT Press.[8] He is also the chair of the sound department of the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.[9][10][11]

In 2006 Collins' book Handmade Electronic Music: The Art of Hardware Hacking was published by Routledge. An expanded, updated edition was published in 2009.[12] He was a major influence on the establishment of the Musical Electronics Library in New Zealand.[13]


  • 1982 - Going Out With Slow Smoke (Lovely Music)
  • 1984 - Let The State Make The Selection (Lovely Music)
  • 1985 - Devil's Music (Lovely Music)
  • 1989 - 100 of the World's Most Beautiful Melodies (Trace Elements)
  • 1992 - It Was a Dark and Stormy Night (Trace Elements)
  • 1999 - A Host, Of Golden Daffodils (Plate Lunch)
  • 1999 - Sound Without Picture (Periplum)
  • 2005 - Pea Soup (Appelstaartje)


See also[edit]

  • Bart Hopkin, another author with a focus on somewhat identical topics


External links[edit]