Public Profiles

Jacob A. Barton (1985-) is a composer and multi-instrumentalist whose work focuses on microtonal practice and theory. Jacob grew up in Virginia Beach, VA, where his musical hunger led him to learn piano, saxophone, clarinet, bassoon, and musical saw. He studied composition at Rice University, where he received a BMI Student Composer Award for “Xenharmonic Variations on a Theme by Mozart”.

Jacob’s passion for instrument building led serendipitously to the collaborative invention and development of the udderbot, a DIY slide glasswind instrument. Since 2005, Jacob has played the udderbot in traditional bands, children’s concerts, experimental music venues, theater productions, New York City subway stations, and humanitarian clowning missions in Ecuador, Costa Rica, and Mexico.

Jacob has organized numerous events, including The Seventeen-Tone Piano Project (2006-’08), The World’s First Udderbot Recital (2010), and Xenharmonic Praxis Summer Camp (2011-’13 & 2015). In 2013 he compiled, edited and engraved The Sagittal Songbookfeaturing 48 vocal pieces written by 15 different composers in tunings ranging from the benign 5-limit just intonation to the exotic Bohlen-Pierce scale.

Since 2009, Jacob has taught composition facing the power of the respondent at the School for Designing a Society in Urbana, Illinois and at the Gesundheit Institute in Hillsboro, WV. Jacob is chief arranger at Divisi Strings, LLC, and is an active contributor to Internet communities YouTube, Facebook, SoundcloudThe Xenharmonic Alliance II, etcetera.

Jacob A. Barton (b. 1985) is a composer and multi-instrumentalist whose work focuses on xenharmonic practice and theory. Barton studied composition at Rice University and the interrelation between tuning, cybernetics, performance, and social change at the School for Designing a Society. In 2005, Barton serendipitously invented the “udderbot”, a low-cost, low-tech water-slide woodwind. He has since tried out the udderbot on a variety of musical contexts: in old-time string band and jug band music; on humanitarian clown trips to Ecuador and Costa Rica with the Gesundheit! Institute; as part of water-themed multimedia collaborations with the Change of State Performance Project; and in a music video featuring microtonally-bent Christmas carols. In recent years he has organized the Oddmusic Instrument Library, an “Udderbot Marching Choir”, and Xenharmonic Praxis Summer Camp.