Drew Schnurr

Drew Schnurr is a composer, sound artist, and performer blurring traditional lines in media and musical genre. His unique approach is informed by extensive and diverse experience as both composer and performer, as well as his modern expertise in sound design, music production, and audio technology.

An artist on the international stage, Drew explores and illuminates human experience through music and sound. Revered by his peers, industry professionals, and critics, his work has been called both “rare” and “remarkable.”

“This composer bends and stretches rules within his own aesthetic, weaving his musical ideas in harmonious waves that threaten to drown, yet gently tumble the listener forward with intrigue and anticipation.” -Adam Rosenthal review for Persee: Orchestrated Perception


Hyperventilations (2015)

for Piano with Four Hands


Hyperventilations of a Fire Dragon harnesses music from my early career as a performer in latin bands, jazz ensembles, funk bands, and rock and metal bands. The underlying fervency of these influences is felt throughout the work, leveraged by the power and agility of the piano, driving the performance often to the edge of playability. This piece initiates a compositional renaissance, a drilling down into the musical cores of “fire” that constitute the music of my youth. It comes from the gut—quite literally, was breathed into life. The melodic and rhythmic motives are all derived from vocal inflections (and hyperventilations) improvised, recorded, transcribed and re-composed by the composer.


Premiered by Vicki Ray and Aaron Kallay — Hear Now Festival, Los Angeles, May 2015.
Video performance by pianists Kookhee Hong and Minji Noh.


Apocalypse Now (1979) directed by Francis Ford Coppola is considered by many one of the greatest films in history. It’s a story about a Vietnam War Captain (played by a young Martin Sheen) who is sent deep into Cambodia to assassinate an out of control renegade American Green Beret Colonel (played by Marlon Brando) who has taken over an indigenous native tribe and is reigning as a kind of cruel and murderous deity.

This film has a powerful and surrealistic feeling to it. And that is due in no small part to it’s sound and music score. It was revolutionary on a number of levels. It utilized the largest team of expert electronic synthesist-composers ever assembled for a film at that time. And the overall relationship between sound and music is something that is artfully blurred throughout the film. This is somewhat more common today, but was pretty revolutionary in 1979. The film pushed industry technical sound standards as well, being the first film commercially released and advertised with stereophonic rear sound channels. Most importantly, the unique conceptual intention by Coppola and his team to use music and sound to create obscured juxtapositions of powerful moods and places helps to make this film one of the best in history.





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Wednesday, November 1st, 2017

Planning underway for 2017 exhibition of Circumsolar, Migration 3, a collaboration by Drew Schnurr and visual artist Rebeca Mendez.

video @ rebecamendez.com

Friday, March 23rd, 2018

Opera project in development with African American soprano Karen Slack and Affrilachian poet Bianca Spriggs. Operatic aria Prayer to Oya premiere in Spring 2018.


DREW@SCHNURR.COM 323.243.7653