Sam Dunscombe is a Tone Ingénue working at the crossroads of experimental music, audio engineering, and spectralism. Sam has a keen interest in the ways that music allows for novel experiences of time, which has led to explorations in sound synthesis, just-intonation, improvisation, the performance of complex-notated repertoire, field recording, studio engineering, computer programming, and live electronic performance.

Sam was awarded a Doctor of Musical Arts from UC San Diego in 2018 with a thesis exploring Horatiu Radulescu’s clarinet works. Sam has worked as the archivist to Radulescu’s estate since 2018, and has performed his works around the world (including conducting the opening night concert of MaerzMusik 2019). In June 2022, she released Horatiu Radulescu: Plasmatic Works Vol. 1 on Mode Records. Focussing on Radulescu’s early spectral music for winds and electronics, this album is the first in a three part series.

With generous funding from Musikfonds and the Berlin Senate, Sam is currently developing works of “Mass Plasma Synthesis,” exploring new methods for spectral sound synthesis. Studies in this methodology can be heard on Bandcamp, and the results of this work have been presented internationally.

As a performer of notated repertoire Sam has worked with composers including Cat Lamb, Anthony Pateras, Taku Sugimoto, Iancu Dumitrescu and Ana Maria Avram, Richard Barret, and others. As an improviser, Sam has performed with artists including Jim O’Rourke, Toshimaru Nakamura, Seijiro Murayama, Madoka Kouno, Oren Ambarchi, to name just a few. And as a sound technician, Sam has developed systems for sound synthesis, diffusion, and recording to be used for works by Jacob Ullmann, Anthea Caddy, and Michiko Ogawa, as well as her own music.

Sam is an avid field recordist: Outside Ludlow / Desert Disco (LP, Black Truffle, 2021) combines field recordings with audio taken from scraps of 1/4″ tape found tangled around a cactus in the Mojave Desert. A second album, Two Forests / Oceanic (LP, Black Truffle, 2023), uses field recordings and rational tuning practice to reimagine the music used for psychedelic-assisted psychotherapy sessions. Alongside these hybrid works, Sam is also engaged in more traditional acoustic ecology practice, in particular an ongoing ultra-large-scale field recording work “California Grid.”

Sam is a member of several musical groups, including Berlin’s Harmonic Space Orchestra, the Australian performer-composer trio Golden Fur (together with James Rushford and Judith Hamann), Oren Ambarchi’s Carpe Diem, and duo projects with Michiko Ogawa, Rebecca Lane, Julia Reidy, and others.

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In mid-2023, after a protracted period of health problems, I was diagnosed with aggressive Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma and began immuno-chemo-therapy. I achieved complete remission in December 2023. Thank you to all those who showed kindness and support during this time, I am excited to return to my musical life in 2024!

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