Ian Hattwick is a musician (specializing in the electronic and acoustic guitar) and researcher whose work pivots around improvisation, collaborative performance, and digital instruments. His compositions and performances are based on live sampling and digital signal processing using highly inventive, custom-built equipment.
Trained as a jazz musician and composer with a degree in Jazz Studies from the University of Southern California, Hattwick spent several years performing acoustic jazz in Los Angeles, holding down an extended residency at the Money Tree in Toluca Lake. After becoming interested in the new sounds of electronic music, his focus shifted toward contemporary music, resulting in the formation of bands Tanj and Insidium and the development of different performance systems calibrated for wide timbral ranges. Forays into electronic music—somewhat inevitably—also piqued his interest in technology, leading to his current work in analog electronics, computer music programming, and instrument building. Among his many projects are "Les Gestes," for which he worked with a team of dancers, musicians, composers, and choreographers to develop wearable digital instruments for a live music and dance performance, "Unsounding Objects," for which he created an instrument which consists of a set of playing surfaces contained within a suitcase and equipped with contact microphones and played with found objects, and "The Golden Age," an interactive video installation which allows the user to use their fingers to mix between two movies.
"I tend to view the expressive potential of technology as being one of the defining characteristics of our age," Hattwick says in his biography. "We are fortunate that there are lots of ways this can manifest itself, whether through hardware or software, or just through information processing concepts. In my own work, this can be seen in projects like 'guitamaton,' 'decay: ruin' and my work with Insidium, and my chamber music pieces."
Hattwick holds an MFA from the Integrated Composition, Improvisation, and Technology program at UC Irvine, and is currently a PhD researcher at the Input Device and Music Interaction Laboratory at McGill University, where he studies the development of mapping strategies and digital musical instruments for collaborative performance.