J. Anthony Allen has worn the hats of composer, producer, songwriter, engineer, sound designer, DJ, remix artist, multi-media artist, performer, inventor, and entrepreneur. Allen is a versatile creator whose diverse project experience ranges from works written for the Minnesota Orchestra to pieces developed for film, TV, and radio. An innovator in the field of electronic performance, Allen has performed on a set of "glove" controllers, which he has designed, built, and programmed by himself. When he's not working as a solo artist, Allen is a serial collaborator. His primary collaborative vehicle is the group Ballet Mech, for which Allen is one of three producers.
J. Anthony Allen teaches at McNally Smith College of Music in St. Paul, MN., and at Slam Academy, a project dedicated to getting music technology in the hands of anyone interested in it. Additionally, Allen is one of a small handful of Ableton Live Certified Trainers in the United States. He has a PhD in music composition, 2 Master's degrees in music composition and electronic music, and a bachelors degree in guitar performance. Through his academic travels, Dr. Allen has received numerous awards along the way.
Two major internal forces have fueled Allen's professional development: a hunger for the provocatively progressive and a commitment to the contextually relevant. His pursuits have been grounded in the idea that advances in composition must explore the unknown, but always with an acute respect for music as a social creature, one that cannot thrive in isolation. He strives to keep the lines of artistic communication open and engaging, and the expansion of his musical portfolio has been a result of an ongoing dialog, drawing on new developments in all music communities.
Born and raised in Michigan, Allen has worked with many forms of interactive media including audio, video, installation and dance. Mr. Allen's work has been experienced all over the world, and has been called "a study in ominous sound and motion,"(Baltimore Sun) "An aural hallucinogen," (Minnesota Public Radio) and "A beautiful and engaging use of technology. " (Cogapp: The Art and Science Blog). In 2003 Allen joined the team of the Spark Festival of Electronic Music and Art where he was the assistant director and lead producer through 2009.
(If you run into him on the street, he goes by J. – as in, Jay.)
His music can be found on the Hackademica, SEAMUS, and Panacea3 labels.