Daniel T Lewis

composer, percussionist, educator


Hi, I'm Dan. I write weird music inspired by strange, quiet, dark, and inscrutable things. I play jazz on the drums, I play new music on the vibes, and I play experimental music on whatever I can get my hands on. I've been playing and writing music since 1990, and I have a couple of degrees from a couple of places. I teach lessons on drums and percussion, and in theory and composition.

I have a YouTube channel called dtlewismusic, where I record video essays and performances of my music and others'. I play in an ensemble called Rested Field, and you can google lots of our videos of weird and beautiful improvisatory stuff.

If you're interested in learning what inspires my music, head on over to YouTube for my video essay "The Horror of Music."

I currently live in Chicago, but I work with people from all over, and I'm always eager to work on new, weird, community-focused projects. I excel at remote teaching, too. Please reach out, I'd love to hear from you!


artist statement

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amplified percussion & effects pedals

invisible, alone - a ritual to summon something that comes simultaneously from beyond and from within.

2020 (in progress)

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amplified violin, freeze pedal, and gravel box

at great range, a gray effaced recollection. a familiar tune, half-remembered.

2019 for Lilit Hartunian

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voice, plastic cup, and sheets of paper

"I joy not in no earlthy blisse" - from a poem by Sir Edward Dyer. Originally for baritone, but can be performed in any range.

2018 for Josh Scheid

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bass clarinet, small appliances, and electronics

2016 for Chuck Furlong

duos & trios
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soprano & double bass

misinterpreting, covering over, omitting. there is a message struggling to get out.

2018 - 2020 commissioned by Departure Duo

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string trio

an environment of abstraction, reoriented and effaced by vertical structures

2016 commissioned by Sound Energy String Trio

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bass clarinet & marimba

the sift left of resolve sustained too long

2014 for Transient Canvas

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bass clarinet, marimba, viola

exploring the affect of a vanishing presence

2013 for Transient Canvas

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alto flute, viola, double bass

titled after the Kay Ryan poem "Reverse Drama"

2012 for Ludovico Ensemble

sm ensemble
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percussion quartet

...they begin beating it with a hose to find out what it really means

2015 for Boston Percussion Group

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2012 (rev.2014) commissioned by ALEA III

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percussion septet



you can reach me on twitter @dtlewismusic, or by email: dtlewismusic (at) gmail (dot) com

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