Nolan Hildebrand

Composer in Residence


             Nolan Hildebrand is a composer, improviser, researcher, and noise artist based in Toronto, Canada. Nolan’s music practices are centered around noise. Through noise, Nolan explores conceptual and physical extremities to create intense and engaging music. His compositions span classical ensembles and electroacoustic music, and performance in an experimental solo noise project dubbed BLACK GALAXIE.

             As a performer, Nolan has played at the Cluster Music Festival and the Winnipeg New Music Festival Pop Up Concerts with the University of Manitoba’s Xperimental Improv Ensemble, and NUMUS’ 2021-22 season (Waterloo, Ontario), ExitPoints #26 & #34, and the 4th Edmonton NoiseFest as BLACK GALAXIE. Nolan has had opportunities to work with the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra, ECM+ Ensemble, XelmYa Ensemble, Jonny Axelsson, Nick Photinos and has attended masterclasses with Donnacha Dennehy, Ana Sokolovic, and Luca Cori. His music has been performed in Canada, the United States, Germany, the United Kingdom, and Switzerland. He has presented his music and research at the CUNY Conference for Graduate Students in Music (NYC, New York), the Anestis Logothetis Centenary Symposium (Athens, Greece), the CeReNeM Composers’ Colloquia (Huddersfield, UK), and the Korean Electro Acoustic Music Society’s Annual Conference (Seoul, Korea). Nolan has been the recipient of numerous composition prizes including a SOCAN award and the TORQ Percussion Composition Competition and academic grants including the Masters SSHRC award and the Ontario Graduate Scholarship.

             Nolan completed his BMus with Dr. Gordon Fitzell at the University of Manitoba and an MMus under the supervision of Dr. Eliot Britton at the University of Toronto. He is currently pursuing a DMA at the University of Toronto with a focus on graphic notation and electroacoustic music under the guidance of Dr. Kotoka Suzuki and Dr. Eliot Britton.

Nolan Hildebrand


Performers: Andrew Bell, Nikki Huang, Hoi Tong Keung, Thomas Li, Bevis Ng, Jasmine Tsui,

 DADA BENDER is a piece of music written for six percussionists and six loudspeakers. The music in DADA BENDER was created using noisy electronic sounds derived from raw data sonifications and improvisations on a no-input mixer. Raw data sonification is the process of mapping aspects of data to produce sound signals. Sonifying raw data often creates glitchy digital noise and is sometimes referred to as data bending. No-input mixing creates sounds by routing a mixer’s outputs back into its inputs to create feedback loops. Like raw data sonifications, no-input mixing creates sound through misuse. These noisy, skronky electronic sounds were chopped, arranged, and quantized, into rhythms and gestures that were then orchestrated for the percussionists.

Noise music has always been strongly connected to Dadaism. Dadaism inherited the term anti-art from Marcel Duchamp who constantly challenged accepted definitions of art. Noise music too has constantly challenged the idea of what music is through relentless abstract forms, ugly sounds, and high amplitude. Today, the connections between noise music and Dadaism are exemplified through the godfather of noise music, Merzbow who derives his stage name from Dada artist Kurt Schwitters and his concept of Merz.