David Ibbett

Assistant Professor
Affiliated Departments
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Dr. David Ibbett is a composer, educator, and musical advocate for science. He directs the Multiverse Concert Series, a project that combines music and science in live performance. Ibbett composes electrosymphonic music: a fusion of classical and electronic styles that interweaves influences from songs, symphonies, pop, rock and electronica. Musical strands are met with inspiration from the work of scientists: sonified data, musical metaphors for scientific concepts, and experimental sound and images from contemporary research.

In all projects, Ibbett seeks a deep collaboration with musicians, scientists, artists, and performers. He has worked with physicists (Dr. Matthew Kleban, NYU), biologists (Dr. Paul Garrity, Brandeis), engineers (Dr. Irmgard Bischofberger, MIT), sociologists (Dr. Clara Han, Johns Hopkins), astrophysicists (Dr. Priya Natarajan, Yale), and oceanographers (Dr. Sarah Davies, BU). Recent works include Cellular Dance (2019), a ballet on a theme of cell movement with biologist Alexey Veraksa of UMass Boston; Octave of Light (2020), an album of exoplanet music with Roy Gould of the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics; and Black Hole Symphony (Black Hole Initiative), an orchestral journey to the heart of a black hole galaxy for the Charles Hayden Planetarium at the Museum of Science, Boston.

In 2020, Ibbett was the first guest composer at Fermilab, the Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory. He is now a resident composer at Mindmics biotech.

Career Highlights
  • Founder and director of Multiverse Concert Series
  • Appointed the first guest composer at Fermilab, the Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory, 2020.
  • Composer of Black Hole Symphony: a touring planetarium symphony created in collaboration with the Black Hole Initiative, Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, and the Museum of Science, Boston.
  • Composer of Octave of Light: a touring concert and album of exoplanet music created in collaboration with the Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics.
  • Composer of Cellular Dance: a touring ballet on a theme of cell movement created in collaboration with UMass Boston Biology Department.
  • M.A., Clare College, University of Cambridge, in music
  • M.M., Guildhall School of Music and Drama, in composition
  • Ph.D., University of Birmingham, in composition
In Their Own Words

"I want students to come away with a joy and deepening fascination with all kinds of music making and composition. Together, we will study musical styles in depth and discover their connections to a larger world of music making and our individual artistic journeys."

"As an active composer and director of Multiverse Concert Series, I am continually inviting students to discover links between other disciplines—science, technology, sociology and climate action. These are fruitful inspirations for creating new compositions, and can also be woven directly into music through the sonification of data."