Daniel Swilley Headshot

Adjunct Instructor of Music

BM, Valdosta State University; MM, Georgia State University

Daniel Swilley (b. 1980) is a German-American composer of acoustic and electro-acoustic music based in Champaign, IL.  He holds degrees in composition from University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign (DMA), Georgia State University (MM), and Valdosta State University (BM).  While at UIUC (2007-2011), Swilley served as the Operations Assistant for the Experimental Music Studios.  Since 2011, he has taught courses in composition, electroacoustic music, and music theory as an Adjunct Instructor of Music at Illinois Wesleyan University.  Swilley’s composition teachers have included Tayloe Harding, Mei-Fang Lin, Heinrich Taube, Stephen Taylor, Sever Tipei, Robert Scott Thompson, and Scott Wyatt.

Recurring focal points for Swilley’s work are notions concerning intersections of art, science, mathematics, algorithmic process, and perspective.  Illustrating this, recent commissions include: Cicadoidea Perspective for clarinet and electroacoustic music (clarinetist Yi-Wen Chen), based on the life cycle/events of cicadas; Paranoiac-Critical Variations for orchestra (University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign Symphony Orchestra), concerned with the musical interpretation of Dali’s paranoiac-critical method as well as six of Dali’s paranoiac-critical works; Increment for clarinet and percussion (Devil May Care Duo), structured using several iterations of a mathematical scheme; and Alchemy of Angels for chamber orchestra (University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign New Music Ensemble), based on the gestural shapes present in Dali’s work The Angel of Alchemy (1974).  Swilley’s works and research have been presented at festivals and conferences such as June in Buffalo, SEAMUS, Toronto Electroacoustic Symposium, Understanding Visual Music Symposium, NoiseFloor, New York City Electroacoustic Music Festival, Electronic Music Midwest, Studio 300, Audiograft, Electroacoustic Juke Joint, College Music Society, and Society of Composer’s Inc.  Swilley’s recordings include: In Celebration of the 50th Anniversary of the University of Illinois Experimental Music Studios (1958-2008) (Absolute Zero), and Measures of Change (Pathfinder.) Upcoming releases include albums by the Devil May Care Duo (Increment) and pianist Ian Gindes (Cold Spy Fantasy).

Swilley is a member of BMI, College Music Society, Society for Electro-Acoustic Music in the United States, and Society of Composers Inc.