The 2018 SEAMUS Award will be presented to Scott A. Wyatt at the SEAMUS National Conference banquet. Wyatt is Professor Emeritus of Music Composition at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, where he taught and championed electronic/computer music for more than four decades, serving as Director of the Experimental Music Studios until 2016. During his time as director, Wyatt commissioned more than 85 compositions by students and faculty, recording them on 5 vinyl records and 10 compact discs released by the University of Illinois Experimental Music Studios.
Wyatt’s electroacoustic music, research, and creative interests have remained focused on innovative microphone techniques, clean engineering, multi-component sound design for both concrete and synthesis, and the development and application of positional three-dimensional audio imaging for multi-channel audio. He has composed works for voice, chorus, acoustic instruments, orchestra, electronically synthesized sound, computer-generated sound, and for a variety of performance realms including modern dance, documentary film, television, video, computer animation, and large laser and video projection presentations. His compositions are recorded on 26 commercial recordings including CAPSTONE, CENTAUR, GMEB Cultures Electroniques Series, Library of Congress, MARK, OFFICE, Music from SEAMUS, UBRES, and VERIATZA recordings. While Wyatt has remained dedicated to the concert art music world, he also worked quietly in the field of commercial music having written and recorded music for numerous national and regional advertising campaigns over 40 years.
Among other honors that he has received, Wyatt was one of the winners of the International Society for Contemporary Music National Composers Competition of 1978, the National Flute Association’s 1979 Composition Competition, the 1979 Concorso Internazionale Luigi Russolo Composition Competition in Italy, the 1984 International Confederation of Electro-Acoustic Music GRAND PRIZE at the 12th annual International Electro-Acoustic Music Competition in Bourges, France, and a finalist in the 1989 Bourges Competition. He has received numerous awards from the University of Illinois, including the University Scholar Award, College of Fine and Applied Arts Outstanding Faculty Award, and was appointed as an Associate in the University of Illinois Center for Advanced Study. In 2008, he received a Creative Research Award for the collaborative composition/performance of Risky Business: a tribute to Nikola Tesla, composition for electroacoustic music with live Continuum performance and two eight-foot-tall 900,000 Volt Tesla Coils.
Wyatt has been an active participant in the Society for Electro-Acoustic Music in the United States (SEAMUS) for more than 30 years. Wyatt served as president of SEAMUS from 1989 until 1996, and he remained on its Board of Directors, while also continuing to serve as the director, engineer, and producer of the Music from SEAMUS compact disc recording series (25 compact disc recordings) until May 2016.
The SEAMUS Award acknowledges the important contributions of its recipients to the field of electro-acoustic music. The recipient is selected by the Board of Directors of SEAMUS. The prize was first awarded in 1987 and a list of previous recipients can be found here.