David Ibbett: 2020 Guest Composer


Liquid Argon  – an improvisation by David Ibbett recorded in the Icarus Experiment hall

Particle of Doubt with Beth Sterling, soprano

It’s Always Sunny on the 4850 with Janet MacKay-Galbraith, flute

MicroBooNE with Beth Sterling, soprano

David’s virtual presentation, Neutrino Music: A Composer’s Journey is now available on YouTube. Special thanks to Multiverse, Bonnie Fleming and Beth Sterling.


Beginning in 2020, David was the first guest composer at Fermilab

David Ibbett, Ph.D. is a composer, educator and musical advocate for science. Based in Boston, he directs the Multiverse Concert Series, a project that combines music and science in live performance. His lifelong passion for science began with his father, Dr. Roger Ibbett, who is a research chemist in Nottingham, UK.

David composes electrosymphonic music: a fusion of classical and electronic styles that interweaves influences from songs, symphonies, pop, rock and electronica. Musical strands are met with inspiration from the work of scientists: sonified data, musical metaphors for scientific concepts, and experimental sound and images from contemporary research.

In all projects, David seeks a deep collaboration with musicians, scientists, artists and performers. He has worked with with physicists (Dr. Mathew Kleban, NYU), biologists (Dr. Paul Garrity, Brandeis), engineers (Dr. Irmgard Bischofberger, MIT), sociologists (Dr. Clara Han, Johns Hopkins) and oceanographers (Dr. Sarah Davies, BU). For these concerts, David has composed a series of works for piano and electronics, including Phenomena of Growth (2017), Floods and Tears (2018), and Cellular Dance [2019] a full length ballet with cell biologist Dr. Alexey Veraksa of UMass Boston.

In 2020, he will release Octave of Light: an album celebrating advances in exoplanet science inspired by the work of Roy Gould, Harvard Center for Astrophysics.

David studied at Clare College Cambridge with Giles Swayne, the Guildhall School of Music & Drama with Julian Anderson, and completed his Ph.D. at the University of Birmingham (UK) with Jonty Harrison and Scott Wilson. His passion for electronic music began in 2008 when he undertook a residency at the Aldeburgh Music Festival with Jonathan Harvey – an inspirational teacher and pioneer in the field. In 2014 he moved from London to Boston, USA, where he lives with his wife Sarah and son Lawrence.

In tandem with his composing, David mentors young composers at Ibbett Music, is Composition Coordinator at Yamaha Music School of Boston, and a Visiting Professor at Worcester Polytechnic Institute. His students have performed at Yamaha’s NJOC, the BBC Proms, and placed first in the MMTA composition competition in State and Regional levels.

(bio courtesy of davidibbett.com)

You can follow along with David’s blog as he embarks on his musical exploration of Fermilab, and check out the music created on his visit to ICARUS.