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B i o g r a p h y

Pittsburgh based non-binary composer/performer/artist Devon Osamu Tipp (they/them) creates unorthodox musical environments from ostensibly incompatible realms. Tipp’s music draws influence from their Japanese roots, experiences as a jeweler and painter, improvisations with plants, and their studies of gagaku and hogaku in Japan and the US. Their work focuses on rhythmic and timbral transmutation of cyclical materials, ranging from the orchestral, to string basses prepared with honey stirrers, to concerti for traditional Japanese instruments. Their compositions have been performed in the US, Europe, Australia, China and Japan. In their sparetime, they enjoy painting, cooking, and playing with their two cats.


Tipp’s awards include the 2015-16 Listhus Ses Skammdegi AIR Award (Iceland), Rarescale’s 10th Anniversary Composition Competition (student category UK 2013), and first prize in the 2010 Jerome G. Sala Memorial Wind Competition. They have received commissions from ensembles such as Kamratōn (Pittsburgh, PA), the Thin Edge New Music Collective (Toronto Canada), and the Oh My Ears! Festival (Phoenix, AZ). They have been an artist in residence at Leveld Kunstnartun (Ål, Norway), Listhús AiR (Olafsfjördur, Iceland), and La Pantographe (Moutier, Switzerland). They have also participated in the Sävellyspaja Summer Masterclass (Finland), Imani Woodwinds Chamber Music Festival, soundSCAPE Festival (Italy), Bowdoin International Music Festival, Valencia International Performance Academy (Spain), Atlantic Music Festival, and has performed at festivals such as 24 Hour Drone at the Hudson Basilica, the International Shakuhachi Festival Prague, and the Oh My Ears! Festival in Phoenix Arizona. They have performed with the Harry Partch Ensemble at Montclair State University, at the Institute for Medieval Japanese Music at Columbia University, and the University of Pittsburgh Gamelan Ensemble.

Ever in search of new sounds, Tipp has collaborated with microtonal specialists Kjell Tore Innervik (quartertone percussion), Daniel Paulsen (quartertone percussion), Veli Kujala (quartertone accordion), Rarescale’s Carla Rees (Kingma System flutes), and Tolgahan Cogulu (microtonal guitar). They have also collaborated with Reigakusha Ensemble’s Hitomi Nakamura, pianist Kate Halsall, clarinetist/composer Gleb Kanasevich, shô player/composer Chatori Shimizu, violin duo String Noise,  composer Victoria Cheah, TAK Ensemble, oboist Sabine Kaselow, oboist Alison Lowell, Canada's Thin Edge New Music Collective, the Sudbury Guitar Trio, Finland's MikroEnsemble, the Cochlea Duo, members of Pittsburgh based ensemble Kamraton, Pittsburgh based film maker and multi-media aritist David Bernabo, and members of Avanti! Chamber Orchestra.

As an improvisor, Tipp has collaborated with Stringnoise DuoPaul Miller, David Bernabo, composer Brian Riordan, composer Lu-han Li, composer/trombonist Jason Belcher, composer/pianist Mark Micchelli, composer/vocalist Mai Khôi, composer and multi-instrumentalist Jay Rauch, visual artist Qixin Zhang, and others. Tipp has also collaborated with San Francisco based artist Judy Shintani, Astrophysicist Carles Badenes and Particle Physicist Sergey Frolov. Their flute repertoire is published by Tetractys Publishing

They received their Bachelor’s in Music from Montclair State University in bassoon performance and composition. They studied composition with Mathew Rosenblum, Marcos Balter, Eric Moe, Amy Williams, Elizabeth Brown, and Dean Drummond. They are a shakuhachi student of Ralph Samuelson and Elizabeth Brown.

For information regarding Tipp's paintings, please visit

Photo by Alison Sacriponte.


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