Photo of Jay Hamilton holding a cello

Jay Hamilton

Jay Hamilton studied music composition at Fairhaven College on the campus of Western Washington University with Americole Biasini and Dr. E. LaBounty. He has attended the workshops of Kenneth Gaburo, David Mahler, Meredith Monk, Simone Forti, and Pauline Oliveros. He studied piano for 6 years, doublebass for 9 years, voice with Roger Nelson and Thomasa Eckert for 4+ years, and composition with Janice Giteck for 7 years. Jay began composing at the age of 9 and has written over 200 works, most of which have had public performances. They include operas, dance/ballet pieces, and incidental music for the theatre.

He has often worked with instruments of his own design and construction, using just intonation for the basic tuning. In 1982 he formed the Quixotic String Ensemble with adults who had little musical experience, training them to read music and perform on his instruments. They performed regularly throughout the Northwest until 1989. From 1983-87 he was a member of, and composer for, Gamelan Pacifica, a group using instruments based on the instruments of an Indonesian orchestra.

In 2005 he started The Turtling Dithers with Gordon Frazier and Maurice Colasurdo. This project ended in 2015, and in 2017 Jay and Maurice started The Mystic Weirdos.

Artist Support Program 1994: The 12th