Innovation and Impact: Past Projects

Tau Recording Project

Project Description

We are collaborating on recordings of newly composed music for cello. We will perform and record the pieces, offer the mixed recordings online as high-quality downloads, and produce 12-inch vinyl records. This project will serve as a basis for our ultimate goal of organizing and establishing a record label, Tau Records.

About Dylan Messina, Daniel Walden, and David Bird

Dylan Messina is a fourth-year at Oberlin Conservatory of Music, where he studies violoncello with Darrett Adkins and composition with Lewis Nielson. A committed performer of contemporary music, he has given American and world premieres of works by such composers as Timothy McCormack, Lewis Nielson, and Chaya Czernowin. Dylan also takes a special interest in works by student composers, and has premiered over 50 student works at Oberlin. During his studies, Dylan has performed in venues across the United States, as well as in Europe including the Kennedy Center, Arkansas State University, the Cleveland Museum of Art, and the Baruch Performing Arts Center in New York City.

Daniel Walden, from Berkeley, California, is a double-degree student at Oberlin College and Conservatory of Music in piano performance and Classics, where he studies piano with Peter Takács and harpsichord with Webb Wiggins. A recipient of the Conservatory Dean’s Talent Scholarship and the Louis and Annette Kaufman prize in chamber music, he is active as a performer of new music and historical repertoire on both the modern piano and historical keyboards. As winner of the 2011-12 Concerto Competition, he recently performed Schoenberg’s Piano Concerto with the Oberlin Chamber Orchestra, conducted by Raphael Jiménez. He also appeared as a soloist with the Oberlin Baroque Orchestra in Bach’s Concerto for Three Harpsichords in C Major, BWV 1064. He performs regularly with the Oberlin Contemporary Music Ensemble, and was a featured in Rand Steiger’s Double Concerto during the composer’s 2011 residency at Oberlin. His sextet Amusia is in residence this year with the Detroit Chamber Winds and Strings and he is pianist in Trio KLOPP, an ensemble for piano, percussion, and voice that has commissioned new compositions from emerging international composers. Walden has performed frequently with Tristan Perich, Last spring, he introduced new works by Perich for piano and harpsichord in a series of concert programs at the Oberlin Frank Lloyd Wright House and at SPACES Gallery in Cleveland, with grants from the Oberlin Creativity Fund and the MetLife Meet the Composer Creative Connections Program. In previous years, Walden was selected as Artist-in-Residence Fellow in 20th and 21st century Music with the Cleveland Orchestra, with pianist Pierre-Laurent Aimard, performing at Severance Hall. He has also performed at Aspen Music Festival, Mannes Beethoven Festival, and Banff Piano Masterclasses and appeared in master classes with Joseph Kalichstein, Ann Schein, Malcolm Bilson, and Wu Han. Walden was featured twice on NPR’s From the Top, performing at the Ravinia Festival and at Herbst Hall in San Francisco. He has premiered new music as a fellow at Norfolk Chamber Music Festival’s New Music Workshop, Bang on a Can, and NEC’s Summer Institute for Contemporary Performance Practice. Recently, he worked with eighth blackbird and composers David Lang and Matthias Pintscher at Music11 New Music Festival in Blonay, Switzerland and gave a solo recital at soundSCAPE new music festival in Maccagno, Italy. This summer, he will be performing as a young artist fellow at Kneisel Hall Chamber Music Festival in Blue Hill, Maine. Walden’s articles on music theory and performance appear in Music Theory Online and MTNA e-Journal. Next year, he will attend Cambridge University as a Gates Cambridge Scholar. For more information, please go to

David Bird is a composer of electroacoustic music from Laguna Beach, California. He currently studies composition and technology in music and related arts (TIMARA) at the Oberlin Conservatory of Music. His work frequently employs the use of live electronics with aims to strengthen the relationships between acoustic and electronic instruments. His music has been “Vimeo staff-picked” and featured on their homepage, and publications such as The Atlantic and NPR. A review from Pitchforkæ_s altered zones describes his ever-expansive sound as, “Vibrant, shirt-staining, color squirting… amidst swirling layers of white noise and choir… I do believe a lie-down is in order.” His work has been presented in masterclasses with Gordon Mumma, Brett Battey and Rand Steiger, and he has lectured on the topic of electroacoustic composition at Cal-Arts and the University of Akron. Heæ_s participated in Google-led workshops on MIR (music information retrieval) at Stanfordæ_s CCRMA facility, and has been an artist in residence at the Banff Centre in Alberta, Canada, and twice a feature on the Oberlin Danenberg Honors Recital. His work has been performed across the country at venues such as the Percussive Arts Society International Convention (PASIC), SEAMUS, the University of Utahæ_s Dance for the Camera Festival, the Threshold New-Music festival and the Kennedy Center in Washington D.C.