Jon Forshee is a composer of vibrant, innovative music for a diversity of acoustic and electro-acoustic ensembles, with many works focused on collaborations and emerging media. His compositions have been premiered throughout the United States, Europe, and in China, and are also frequently broadcast on radio and on the web. Forshee’s current research areas deeply inform his creative practice, and center around early Western contrapuntal techniques, Classical Chinese melodic ornamentation, and transcriptions of Yoruban chant from West Africa and beyond.
Sound-synthesis procedures also figure prominently in Forshee’s compositions, with many compositions engaging computer-generated sound as an interactive, instrumental force in its own right.
Recent works include APOKATASTASIS, for ensemble with computer-generated sound, funded by the CU President’s Fund for the Humanities, and TRANSFIGURED VERSE, for harp and computer-generated sound, written expressly for harpist Tasha Smith Godinez, to be premiered at Buenos Aires Harp Week 2021. In 2019, Forshee’s first portrait CD, Verses from the Aethersphere, was released by Open Space Publications, and features a selection of acoustic works inspired by ancient “musica speculativa” philosophies, found in musical cultures throughout the world.
Forshee’s articles and texts on a variety of musical subjects, ranging from early speculative studies in music to contemporary musical aesthetics and analysis, appear in The Computer Music Journal, Just: Listen, Perspectives of New Music, Open Space Magazine, and in other places online and in print. While many articles are formatted for scholarly research, many texts use unique typography and page layouts, and are overtly expressive of artistic and musical concerns. Jon is also a co-editor and contributor to the inimitable OPEN SPACE MAGAZINE (Benjamin Boretz, editor) and, with poet Dorota Czerner and composer Dean Rosenthal, of the OPEN SPACE WEBMAG.
Forshee studied composition with Anthony Davis at UCSD (University of California, San Diego), where he completed the Ph.D. in Composition with the dissertation “How Music Travels: the Opera Blood, Hunger, Child” under Davis’ direction. Forshee earned his Master’s in Composition at the Eastman School of Music, and completed the Bachelor of Music at Bowling Green State University. Jon has also lived in Paris, where he attended the courses at the Centre de Creation Musicale Iannis Xenakis.
Dr. Forshee is Visiting Assistant Professor of Music Composition at the University of Colorado Colorado Springs for the 2020-2022 academic years, where he teaches courses in composition, theory, and computer music.
Here is a formal biography, ~200 words: