Anthony Caulkins - composer, musician, & music technologist


33 Articles

Songs for a New Era

Songs For a New Era is my most recent project. For the past seven years, or so, I have worked hard at academic composition, so I figured that it was time for a change. This project is an electronic rock show that integrates improvisation, songwriting, and interactive computer technologies.



GLIT is an industrial hip-hop duo, featuring Richard Savery and Anthony Caulkins. After completing their degrees at UC Irvine, Richard and Anthony began experimenting with integrating the sounds of noisehop into their own performance practices of jazz and heavy metal. Through this they have developed a dance based style of music with a dark and noisy soundscape.

The Real Pretenders


The Real Pretenders is a dark indie duo featuring Anna Savery and Anthony Caulkins. Through this collaboration, we explore the acoustic worlds of beauty and ugliness using original and cover songs.

Coyote The Mist

A new set recordings from my experimental rock/jazz group, Coyote The Mist.

Featuring, guitar, accordion, Roland Juno-60, and computer

E-Motions (what about gesture?)

My MFA thesis project involving an exploration of the idea of musical gesture as a computational tool.

Andrew Anderson – Piano
Anthony Caulkins – Guitar
Michele Cheng – Piano
Oliver Dobrian – Drums
Elizabeth Erickson – Live Electronics
Molly Jones – Soprano Saxophone
Anna Savery – Violin/Live Visuals
Richard Savery – Baritone Saxophone/Flute/Bass Clarinet
Borey Shin – Synthesizer/Accordion
Jordan Watson – Guitar

Simon Harrison
Sky Schmidt

Benjamin Scheff – Sound Design
Darrin Wade – Lighting Design

Program notes

Flares –  a rock-based exploration of the contrasting relationship between aggressive rock gestures, containing a high degree of rhythmic energy but remaining relatively dynamically static, with softer lyrical gestures, containing great dynamic variation. Throughout this work, these types of gestures interact, combine, and contrast in various ways.

Hold It – a work exploring different types of gestural material written in a multi-voice counterpoint. The counterpoint of this pieces extends outside of the musical realm into dance whose gestural material is added to the contrapuntal texture of the work. With the two-voice piano part and two dancers, the complete structure of this work is a ‘four-voice’ texture of gestural interaction.

Marble – a piece that explores the notion of breath as gesture. Each of the long tones held by the musicians undergoes a great deal of dynamic and textural contrast, creating slow moving harmonic changes throughout the duration of the work. Interactive lighting behind the performers serves to illustrate the gestural contour of the long tones, as well as the harmonic relationships among musical voices.

E-Motions – a four-part improvisation, combining guitar, computer, and two dancers, all interacting with each other in a perpetual feedback loop. The improvisation of this piece is based on a predetermined collection of gestures which each performer explores in their own way, while being constantly informed by other performers on stage. This is the most extreme piece on the program, in terms of open boundaries on the gestural exploration.  The test is to see if general gestural information can be used to create a satisfying artistic experience.

Another Blank – nothing but a blues tune. This is an etude in substituting gesture for harmony. Another Blank is an experiment in using gestural information to illustrate a well known and important African American musical form. The specific gestures employed in this piece are informed by the expressive content that makes the blues such an evocative language, such as bends, moans, walking bass lines against syncopated rhythms, etc.

E-Scape – explores a similar idea to Another Blank in that it presents a basic chord progression in the form of a gestural progression. The material for this work was inspired by images of downtown Los Angeles, which is projected onto the performers while they play. The combination of the “gesture chord progression” and the changing imagery is designed to test the ability of musical gesture to express similar ideas as more traditional harmony in music.

A Bit Here and There – much like Flares, A Bit Here and There is another rock based exploration of open gestural improvisations contrasted by heavy rock grooves, built on asymmetrical rhythmic patterns, which change in proportion over the course of the piece. Throughout this work, there are various ensemble textures derived from subsets of the whole group, that are explored in order to bring out different combinations of gestural material.

Movie Screening – Nine-Story Mountain

Event Details Nine-StoryMountain1

Who: Directed by Augusta Thomson 
What: movie screening 
Where: Tibet House US gallery, NYC 
When: Friday, August 15, 2014 At 07:00 PM  
How: General:$15 with 10% discount to THUS members. 
Details: Friday, August 15; 7-9PM 

About the Event

Nine-Story Mountain charts the path of three western researchers, from Lhasa to Mount Kailash, Tibet, on a journey to explore pilgrimage practices across the Tibetan plateau. Together, they set out to unearth the secrets of a mountain and landscape that have magnetized millions of people for centuries.

As some of the few westerners to make it into Tibet following a partial ban on foreign entry in summer 2012 they travel alone through an empty landscape, a landscape witness to changes most people will never have the chance to see. Armed with only a Canon Rebel 500D, an H2ZOOM, and an incredible Tibetan guide, they capture the stories of Tibetan nomads and teahouse owners, of Tibetan pilgrims, Hindu pilgrims, Chinese pilgrims, and a scattering of Western pilgrims. They capture the stories of Kailash, stories they believe can teach the world about what it means to coexist.

This is a story about a journey to reach Mount Kailash, the ‘nine-story’ mountain.

For more information, visit:


Friday, August 15; 7-9PM
General:$15 with 10% discount to THUS members.


click here to register



WORT Broadcast of Song for Sax

Tune in at 7:08am to 89.9 WORT FM, in Madison, to hear Erika Andersen perform Song for Sax!

Hear the performance along with interviews from Erika Andersen and Daria Tennikova:


June 19, 2014 Playlist for “Anything Goes” with Rich Samuels on WORT

Saturday, 14 June 2014 | Rich Samuels
  • 5:09 am: Zina Schiff (violin) and the MAV Symphony Orchestra conducted by Aviana Eisenberg perform the Violin Concerto in D Minor by Jean Sibelius.
  • 5:43 am: Pianist Olga Kern performs Reminiscences de Don Juan by Franz Liszt after themes from Mozart’s opera “Don Giovanni”.
  • 6:08 am: The Philadelphia Orchestra conducted by Leopold Stokowski performs Franz Schubert’s Symphony in B Minor (“Unfinished”) recorded in 1924.
  • 6:38 am: The Philadelphia Orchestra conducted by Leopold Stokowski performs Danse Macabre by Camille Saint-Saëns recorded in 1925.
  • 6:46 am: Pianist Ingrid Fliter performs Andante Spianato nd Grand Polinaise Op. 22 by Frédéric Chopin.
  • 7:08 am: Composer Daria Tennikova and saxophonist Erika Andersen discus and perform “Poema” with the UW Madison Symphony Orchestra conducted by Kyle Knox; and Erika Anderson performs “Song for Sax” by Anthony Caulkins.
  • 7:37 am: Axel Strauss and Naha Greenholz (violins), Jean-Michel Fonteneau (cello) and Jeffrey Sykes (piano) of the Bach Dancing and Dynamite Society of Wisconsin perform Movements 1, 4 and 5 of Suite for Two Violins, Cello and Piano Left Hand by Eric Wolfgang Korngold.
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