Derek is a electronic musician, percussionist, and digital artist. Derek interests include open-source approaches to technology and education, improvisation, live coding (particularly in TidalCycles), and musical and cross-disciplinary collaboration.
Hailing from Fresno, California, Derek Kwan is a electronic musician, percussionist, and digital artist exploring the expressive capabilities of computer technology through interactive media. His body of work includes improvisatory electronically-enabled musical environments, live coding, computer-generated visual installations enhanced by the use of smart phones, and sound and visual installations exploring his experiences as a Chinese American. He has appeared as a performer in the Bang on a Can Marathon, Make Music New York, and soundSCAPE festival and has appeared with ensembles including Raphael Mostel's Tibetan Singing Bowl Ensemble, Iktus Percussion, and Elevator Rose. He has had compositions featured at Bar Thalia at Symphony Space (NYC), Glasslands Gallery (Brooklyn), the New York City Electroacoustic Music Festival, and the UC Davis Shinkoskey Noon Concert series. In July 2019, he curated a month-long event featuring digitally-enabled installations by himself as well as by artistic collaborators Tavarus Blackmon and Boris Allenou at Sacramento's Brickhouse Gallery. Kwan is a passionate advocate of free- and open-source software and in 2016 alongside his project collaborators, presented documentation on their work on Pure Data's external library Cyclone at the Fifth International Pure Data Convention (PdCon16) held at New York University. He has also presented at Bates College in Lewiston, ME as part of the Bates Digital Music Symposium. Derek Kwan holds BS and BA degrees in mathematics and music performance from the University of California, Davis; an MA in percussion from CUNY Queens College; and a DMA in percussion from Stony Brook University. He has taught electronic music at UC Davis.