Owen Davis (b.1989) is a composer, percussionist, improvisor, and curator based in Flagstaff, AZ. He is an active improvisor and new music performer in Chicago often collaborating or composing for projects and concerts. He holds degrees in percussion music education (Northern Arizona University studying with Steven Hemphill) and a master’s degree in Music Composition at (DePaul University).
As a composer, Owen has received commissions from soloists, various chamber ensembles, and university and high school programs including the Chamber Cartel, the College of Southern Idaho, and Chicago Wild Sounds. In 2015, Ensemle 20+, DePaul University’s contemporary ensemble, premiered his work for solo bass clarinet and large ensemble, MEAT SPEAK. Atlanta-based Chamber Cartel premiered State of the Art. In 2012, Owen organized a production of his large scale work, CHESS PIECE (2012), which requires a 16’ x 16’ installation and 32 performers. In 2015, Owen began his n-series (noise) series which features premieres all over North America including professor Jonathan Bergeron (Arizona), Mocrep (Chicago), Irene Røsnes & Thomas Caminto (Chicago), the Northern Arizona University Percussion Ensemble, Timepoint Ensemble (Canada), Nick Meryhew (NYC/Chicago), and Isaac Stevenson (Darmstadt 2016).
Owen was a composer and percussionist Artist in Residence for the 2016 spring semester at Northern Arizona University where he presented a series of workshops, lectures, and performances centered around the creation and performance of new and improvised music. In 2015 Owen founded and currently curates the Interference Series, a improvised/avant/experimental performance series which presents three times a month in Flagstaff, AZ. In 2014 Owen was one of the founding members of the Chicago-based new music ensemble, Mocrep, with which he currently performs as a percussionist as well as serves as a co-curator. In 2013, Owen served as the Interim Executive Director of Chaparral Arts. Inc, a non-profit performing arts organization based in Prescott, AZ. In 2012, with the members of Erasable Color, in partnership with the Coconino Center for the Arts, Owen served as a curator, performer, and lecturer in a series of events in celebration of John Cage’s Centennial that included a lecture on Cage’s music, a film screening, and two full-length concerts featuring Northern Arizona University faculty as well as instrumental and dancer guest artists from across the southwest.
Owen will lead a composition workshop and teach music of the 21st century in the 2016 Curry Summer Music Camp at NAU where he taught percussion to middle school and high school students in 2013. He has served as a counselor and musician with the Blue Lake Fine Arts Camp (Michigan) for the summers of 2008 and 2010, one of which included an international tour with performances in France, Germany, Belgium, and Austria. He was a member of the Flagstaff Symphony Orchestra percussion section from 2009-2012, a performer and composer for the SOUNDS New Music Concert Series in Flagstaff since 2009-2012, and has performed with the Flagstaff New Music Ensemble – a NAU faculty ensemble. Owen created a six-week long composition project with the 5th grade class at Sechrist Elementary in Flagstaff to develop the expressive form of creativity and high-level critical thinking in the students through the means of group composition and improvisation. Owen also created, and was the director of, a summer composition workshop in 2013/14 as part of the Chaparral MusicFest.
Owen has studied composition with Bruce Reiprich, Seung-Won Oh, Christopher W. Jones, and Kurt Westerberg and attended masterclasses or group lessons from Ken Ueno, Erin Gee, and Mathias Spahlinger.