Steven Naylor composes electroacoustic and instrumental concert music; performs (piano, electronics, seljefløyte) in improvisation-focused ensembles; and creates scores and sound designs for theatre, film, and broadcast media.
His works have been performed internationally, with several nominated for East Coast Music Awards, including his solo disc of acousmatic electroacoustic works, Lieux imaginaires, released on empreintes DIGITALes.
Steven’s early experiences in Canadian popular music include co-founding the celebrated recording bands Lougarou (later Garolou) in Québec, and RAM in Nova Scotia, exploring music stretching from francophone folklore to jazz-rock fusion.
Building on that diversity, he next embraced the eclectic demands of music for film, television, radio, and theatre, composing and producing dozens of scores, themes, and sound tracks over the next 20 years—and laying the foundation for a deep interest in electroacoustic music.
His media scoring credits include award-winning installations in Canada’s National Parks; television and radio series themes; films for The Nature of Things; and segments for Sesame Street. His original scores and sound designs for theatre productions have collectively reached live audiences of over six million, in 15 countries.
In 1990, as a counterbalance to the solitary precision of the studio, Steven co-founded Nova Scotia’s Upstream—an ensemble and organisation rooted in improvised music.
He spent more than a decade composing for and performing with the ensemble, in configurations that included collaborations with Symphony Nova Scotia, and with major international guest artists.
Steven produced Upstream’s first CD, and served periodically on its Board of Directors, and as a co-Artistic Director. He also performed with The Paul Cram Orchestra at major jazz festivals, including Jazz em Agosto in Portugal, where the group recorded its second CD, Live in Lisbon.
He has been regularly involved with teaching and support activities related to electroacoustic music, including: co-production of the Oscillations Festival (2003-2012); a term as President of Canada’s national electroacoustic music association, the Canadian Electroacoustic Community; and teaching at both Dalhousie University and Acadia University.
Steven continues to pursue a diverse range of artistic activities, including:
- Founder and artistic director of subText, a flexible ensemble focused on improvisation with instrumental and electroacoustic resources.
- Independent composer of instrumental, mixed-media, and electroacoustic works (associate composer, Canadian Music Centre).
- Adjunct Professor and affiliated researcher in the Acadia University School of Music.
- Author of articles on digital arts, technology and society, published in Organised Sound (Cambridge University Press); the proceedings of the Electroacoustic Music Studies Network Conference; and eContact!.
Steven completed the PhD in Musical Composition at the University of Birmingham, UK, supervised by Jonty Harrison. He is married to Pamela Ritchie, an award-winning visual artist and Professor Emerita at NSCAD University in Halifax. They have two daughters, and live near Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada.
For other information on Steven’s background, please see his 2010 interview with Kevin Austin in eContact 14.3 (Canadian Electroacoustic Community).