Kevin Michael Olson is a performer and composer of music spanning the full spectrum from traditional classical pieces to cutting-edge electro-acoustic works. His compositions have been described as thought-provoking and evocative of the primal nature of man. He is currently actively composing and serves in an Adjunct Faculty position at Colorado State University, where he teaches Music and Technology. He also serves as the director of electroacoustic music for the Colorado-based ensemble and advocacy group Hyperprism Music.
His award-winning scores have been performed at such venues as the Annual Conference of the Society for Electro-Acoustic Music in the United States, the College Music Society Annual Conference, and the North American Saxophone Alliance Biennial Conference. Several works have been performed locally and at national conferences by artists such as award-winning tenor saxophonist, Peter Sommer. Olson was given the Spark Award for Electronic Music and was twice named a Composer Fellow for the University of Colorado’s New Opera Workshop. His compositions in both of these areas have been featured on Colorado Public Radio.
Olson earned his Master of Music degree in composition from the University of Colorado, where he studied under John Drumheller and Carter Pann. He also holds bachelor degrees in music composition and electrical engineering, as well as a Master’s degree in computer engineering. His work in engineering rewarded him with several patents in the field of computer graphics, while developing computer chips for systems such as the Xbox 360, Xbox One, and PlayStation 4.
Olson is interested in using technology to explore and extend the artistry of music, rather than as a device in its own right. He has written computer and iPad apps and developed hardware to support the interaction of electronics with acoustic instruments. Several of his works utilize methods where the technology adapts to the live performer's artistic vision, instead of allowing the technology to dictate the performance. He loves the wonder and satisfaction of creating works that challenge the listener to experience music in a new way.