Nathan Wheeler is a composer, improviser, choreographer, media artist, and educator based in the United States. Their work focuses on hybridizing the contemporary, the traditional, and the imaginary to synthesize stunning new approaches to art making and community building.
Using custom code, synthesis, live instruments, and aural imagination, Wheeler crafts a vast array of sounds — ambient soundscapes, dense distorted textures, infectious beats, and lush orchestrations — that encourage introspection and emotional presence. Wheeler often writes poetic texts as scores for guided improvisation. They hand-build electronic interfaces to merge body and instrument, and build circuits to tap into unseen forces and activate audiences. They further augment live performances with their video, choreography, and collaborations with other artists.
Wheeler has opened for William Basinsky, Tim Hecker, Josephine Foster, and many other noteworthy performers. Their works and collaborations have been shown at venues around the world, including The Metropolitan Museum of Art, MoMA PS1, Museum of the Moving Image, and various Off-Broadway theaters in New York, as well as museums and venues in Berlin, Taiwan, Indonesia, Vienna, San Francisco, Houston, and Denver. Additionally, they are Composer-in-Residence for Bitedown Dance Company in Brooklyn, NY.
Wheeler grew up in the mountains of Colorado, and played trombone, percussion, and various musical computer software. They received a BM in Music Composition from the University of Colorado at Boulder where they studied with Michael Theodore, John Drumheller and Carter Pann, and an MFA in Electronic Music and Recording Media from Mills College in Oakland, California, where they studied with Maggie Payne, Roscoe Mitchell, Fred Frith, and John Bischoff. They studied Javanese Gamelan on a Darmasiswa scholarship in Yogyakarta, Balinese Gamelan in the US with master Pak Made Lasmawan, and American gamelan with Daniel Schmidt. In their spare time they enjoy making and altering clothing, trail running, meditation, and board games with friends.