Shawn Bell

Shawn Bell is a composer, educator and interactive media artist, dedicated to creativity and multidisciplinary collaboration. He is interested in constructionist approaches to new media education. In particular, he is interested in how interactive technologies and complex systems theory enhance and expand the creative process in the traditional arts, computation arts and game design.

As a guitarist, Mr. Bell has performed solo, in small ensembles, and in collaboration with dancers, theatre troupes and the Concordia Electroacoustic Composers’ Group.

As a guitar teacher, Mr. Bell began composing pieces targeting the specific technical and musical needs of his students. By 1989, a number of his pieces had been selected by The Royal Conservatory of Music for its Graded Guitar Curriculum; many of which are still included in recent editions.

Among Mr. Bell’s instrumental compositions, “Currents I” and “Currents II” have been featured on William Beauvais’ CD “Traces” (1995), Steve Thachuk’s CD “Classical Guitar Currents” (2003), arranged for electric guitar with processing by Sundar Subramanian (2005), performed at national and international festivals and heard on North American and European radio.

Mr. Bell’s compositions have been used in film and television. He composed the electroacoustic sound track for Michael Crochetiere’s film, “Subterranean Passage” which premiered at The Toronto International Film Festival (1999).

In addition to traditional composition, Mr. Bell has designed and developed “NetWorks”, both a body of musical work as well as an interactive, music-generating algorithm based on scale-free networks (2010–):

He also developed “~zomes”, a bit-level sound synthesizer based on artifical life models for which he received a grant from Le Centre interuniversitaire des arts médiatique (2008).

Shawn Bell’s interest in metacreation dates back to “Voices From The Edge of Chaos” (1998), a CD of emergent, self–organizing computer music based on cellular automata and asynchronous genetic networks. He received a FACTOR international distribution grant and was subsequently awarded a residency at Lovebytes Labs in Sheffield, England, to produce a piece for “Digital Space” a CD and CD ROM of “innovative new work using digital sound and multimedia (1999)”

Mr. Bell has taught the creative arts from kindergarten to college. He co-designed, and is presently the coordinator and faculty of, the Interactive Media Arts profile at Dawson College in Montreal.