“Damon Waitkus is an extraordinarily courageous composer...” - Fred Frith


Music for me is almost never about itself but is bound up in other things–a meditation on landscape, on culture, a ritual, an experiment in mixing personalities, or simply a nonviolent waking alternative to talking.


Working intuitively, I write what I want to hear and can’t find elsewhere. The result is varied in style, but my songwriter’s addiction to melodic hooks and love of asymmetrical, syncopated grooves usually put their two cents in, and I tend to like saturated sonorities I can get lost in. I write for acoustic and electric ensembles, tailoring pieces to specific players’ styles, and have also composed a number of recorded pieces that combine traditionally-notated passages for real instruments with field recordings, found sounds, and on-site percussion. I have also created music for three documentary films.


Since 2007, I have been composing for and performing with the Avant-folk/progressive rock ensemble Jack O’ The Clock, which also includes violinist Emily Packard, bassoonist/singer Kate McLoughlin, bassist/singer Jason Hoopes, and drummer Jordan Glenn.


I live in the San Francisco Bay Area.


There’s a nice clip from an interview with me and Max Stoffregen HERE, talking about musical style at the Switchboard Music Festival, March 2009.