Nicholas Brooke creates music across disciplines, from collages of recordings with live theater, to home-built instrumentariums inspired by gamelan. He has received Guggenheim, Rockefeller, and New Music USA fellowships and premieres at the Lincoln Center Festival, Spoleto, and MASS MOCA.
Brooke mixes musical sampling, lip-synching, and theatre into a genre all its own. In his works, vocalists and actors are trained to mimic sampled collages of sound effects, pop songs, and musical ephemera, blurring the line between recording and live performance. His work Tone Test received its premiere at Lincoln Center Festival in 2004. Brooke’s instrumental works have been performed by Talujon, Bang-on-a-Can All Stars, the Paul Dresher Ensemble, the Nash Ensemble of London, Orchestra 2001, Dan Druckman, Speculum Musicae, Sekar Anu, and New York’s Gamelan Son of Lion.
His work has been performed across the United States and in Europe and featured at the Lincoln Center Festival, the Ecstatic Music Festival, the Spoleto Festival, and the MATA Series. Brooke has received awards and residencies from the Guggenheim Foundation, ASCAP, the Rockefeller Foundation, Djerassi, and the MacDowell Colony. During a two-year fellowship to Central Java, he studied gamelan and collaborated on musical projects with Javanese composers, dancers, and visual artists. He holds degrees in music composition and philosophy from Oberlin College and a PhD from Princeton University. Brooke has taught at Bennington since 2004.