Robert Spalding Newcomb is an artist people consistently find difficult to categorize, especially in a music scene as diverse and challenging as the one in his hometown, Ann Arbor, MI. A composer, multi-instrumentalist, computer programmer, theorist, writer, and poet, who combines elements of numerous musical disciplines and cultural domains into a performance style that is truly a unique matrix of energies. Creative explorations focus on the study of musical and linguistic structure, complex systems, cognition, transcendent states, and improvisational performance.
Newcomb has immersed himself in a wide range of musical exploration including traditional folk and blues traditions of the British Isles and the US, classical guitar technique, jazz theory, improvisation, composition, digital audio, computer music programming, advanced artificial intelligence and machine learning, and Indian Classical Music.
He has toured India (2005) as a guest of the US Embassy. He has published his compositional theories and described his unique music software in the Cambridge University Press (UK) journal, 'Organised Sound' (1998). He has produced eleven self-published albums of original music (1986-2017), nine as solo artist. He has designed and implemented complex computer systems for the New York Stock Exchange, Chemical Bank, and Manufacturers Hanover Trust/Prodigy in New York City (1983-1989). His computer music has been featured in electronic music festivals and conferences worldwide (1993-1999). He has been commissioned to compose music for dance, yoga and carillon.
From 1998-2007, he held the position of Director of Information Technology at the University of Michigan School of Music, Theatre & Dance, and then served as Program Manager for Business Information and Network Security. From 2008-2013, he worked with the U-M Information & Technology Services as a Senior Business Systems Analyst, and from 2013-2016, he served as Associate Director, Digital Media Commons in the UM Library. Since 2017, he has been Associate Director of Media & Studio Arts at the UM Duderstadt Center.
Disparate, yet chaotically linked highlights of experiences with music, technology and language are listed on the remaining Bio pages.