Sam Pluta is a composer, electronics performer, and sound artist. Though his work has a wide breadth, his central focus is on using the computer as a performance instrument capable of sharing the stage with groups ranging from new music ensembles to world-class improvisers. By creating musical systems of shared agency, Pluta’s vibrant sonic universe focuses on the visceral interaction of instrumental performers with reactive computerized sound worlds.
As a composer of instrumental music, Pluta has written works for Wet Ink Ensemble, the New York Philharmonic, International Contemporary Ensemble, Yarn/Wire, Spektral Quartet, and other groups. His compositions range from solo instrumental works to pieces for ensemble with electronics to compositions for large ensemble.
Pluta is the Technical Director for the Wet Ink Ensemble, a group for whom he is a member composer as well as principal electronics performer. As a performer of chamber music, in addition to his own works, Pluta has performed and premiered works by Peter Ablinger, Karlheinz Stockhausen, Charmaine Lee, Katharina Rosenberger, George Lewis, Alvin Lucier, Chiyoko Szlavnics, Kate Soper, Eric Wubbels and others.
As an improviser, Pluta has collaborated with some of the finest creative musicians in the world, including Peter Evans, Evan Parker, Ikue Mori, Craig Taborn, Ingrid Laubrock, Ben Lamar Gay, and Anne La Berge. Pluta is a member of multiple improvisation-based ensembles, including the jazz influenced Peter Evans Ensemble, the free improvisation-based Rocket Science, and the analog synth/laptop duo exclusiveOr (with Jeff Snyder). With these various groups he has toured Europe and America and performed at major festivals and venues, such as the Lucerne Festival in Switzerland, the Moers and Donaueshingen Festivals in Germany, Bimhuis in Amsterdam, and The Vortex in London.
Pluta studied composition and electronic music at Columbia University, where he received his DMA in 2012. He received Master’s degrees from the University of Birmingham in the UK and the University of Texas at Austin, and completed his undergraduate work at Santa Clara University. His principal teachers include Brad Garton, George Lewis, Tristan Murail, Fabien Levy, Scott Wilson, Jonty Harrison, Russell Pinkston, Kevin Puts, and Lynn Shurtleff. Previous to joining the Computer Music faculty at Peabody Institute, Pluta taught composition and computer music at the University of Chicago, Bennington College, Manhattan School of Music, and The Walden School.