Faculty

Thom Limbert

Thom Limbert is a composer, percussionist, music technologist, and audio engineer with research interests in temporality, the intersections of technology and performance, non-western and popular music aesthetics, and acoustic ecology — concerns which continually inform his creative work. As a nature lover, Thom’s music often incorporates or is inspired by natural soundscapes.

Thom’s music has been commissioned and/or performed across North America and abroad by orchestras, choirs, theater companies and professional ensembles such as So Percussion, Alarm Will Sound, Rhymes With Opera, as well as Sarah Gaston and the Polish Radio Amadeus Chamber Orchestra. His music is published by Studio 4 Music, Keyboard Percussion Publications, and FuguFish publishing (ASCAP). Thom’s is also an active percussionist and electronic musician, performing with new music chamber groups and orchestras.

He worked with renowned ethnomusicologist, Paul Berliner, to record, edit and mix the audio to be included in Berliner's comprehensive publication on the Mbira Dzavadzimu music of Zimbabwe published by University of Chicago Press. Recently, he composed, recorded, edited, and mixed the music for the award-winning documentary film, Road to Hope, which explores the unique challenges of orphaned children after caring for their dying parents in poverty-stricken areas of Sub-Saharan Africa.

Thom is a member of Pulsoptional, a composers collective and new music ensemble, originally based in Durham, NC, whose music straddles the boundaries between chamber music, rock, improvisation, and electronica. In addition to playing percussion and composing for the group, Thom engineered their self-titled debut CD as well as the title track of composer Christopher Adler's CD, Ecstatic Volutions in a Neon Haze, performed by Pulsoptional and released on Innova Records in 2008.

Thom’s musical life began as a rock and jazz drummer and he started experimenting with composition and electronics at an early age. Before pursuing his doctorate in music composition at Duke University (Ph.D. 2010), he served on the percussion faculty of his alma mater, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (BA in music and philosophy, Thelma Thompson composition award). Thom’s audio engineer experience spanned several years and he produced both pop and classical music in professional and project studios. He is currently Assistant Professor of Music at Sonoma State University where he directs the Walford Recording Studio and the composition program. Thom’s principal teachers have included Allen Anderson, Lynn Glassock, Scott Lindroth, Anthony Kelley, and Stephen Jaffe and he has previously taught at Duke University, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Furman University, Montgomery College, and Indiana University South Bend.