Since 1984, Shawn Pinchbeck has been active as an electroacoustic composer, sound artist, performer, installation artist, teacher, curator, sound engineer, and consultant. His works often incorporate many multimedia elements integrating video, live performers, dance, computer interactivity, and multi-channel sound systems; often in collaboration with other artists. Since the mid-1990's, many of his works have explored various aspects of user/performer interactivity and sound.
At first a self-taught composer, later Shawn studied electroacoustics in 1991 at the University of Alberta with Garth Hobden. In 1993 and 1994, he studied computer interactive art with George Lewis, Daniel Schiedt, and Thecla Shiphorst at the "Computed Art Intensive" at Simon Fraser University. In 2004, Shawn acquired a Master of Music degree in electroacoustic composition from the University of Birmingham, UK where he studied with Jonty Harrison and Eric Oña. He has attended three residencies at the Banff Centre: the "Radio Art Residency" spring 1994, a "Long Term Music Residency" fall 1995, and the "Sound & Vision Residency" spring 2005. In 1998 and 2000, he attended the Polar Circuit residency/workshop programme at the University of Lapland, Rovaniemi and then Tornio, Finland. In 2000, he was in residence at STEIM (Studio for Electro-Instrumental Music), Amsterdam, Netherlands. Since 2001, he is a lecturer of sound art courses and faculty advisor on topics to do with sound, sensors and interactivity for Masters of Multimedia students at the Estonian Academy of Arts. He also teaches electroacoustics at the University of Alberta, in Edmonton, Canada and regularly conducts workshops and lectures in electroacoustics and interactivity at the Estonian Academy of Music.
Shawn has released five independent recordings of electronic music: "Wildcats!!" (1987), "Tonepleromas" (1989), "Penetration" (1991) "Resonance" (1995) and Sonic Waking (2006). He also has appeared on several compilation CDs including "DisContact II" (Canadian Electroacoustic Community, 1995), "Soundland Alberta" (ECCS, 1996), The Final Solstice (Piskidisk, 1999), and Unsound (BEAMS, 2001). He was winner of the 1997 Telus Arts of the Future Award, Alberta Foundation for the Arts grants (1996, 2001, 2004, 2005), Canada Council Travel Grants (1998, 2000, 2001, 2004, 2006), Edmonton Arts Council Travel Grants (1998, 2000, 2004), and the Edmonton Artists' Trust Fund (2004). His music has been broadcast around the world on various national and community radio stations. His works are performed regularly around the world and he has participated in many events and festivals including: "Perspectives" (Canadian Electroacoustic Community, Montreal, 1991), the Edmonton New Music Festival (1992, 1993, 1994), the International Computer Music Conference (Banff, 1995), the Send & Receive Festival of Sound (Winnipeg, 1998), the Edmonton Symphony Resound Festival of Music (2000), The Edmonton Works Festival (2001, 2003, 2004, 2005), Interstanding (Art Museum of Estonia, Tallinn, 2001), BEAST 20/20 Festival (Birmingham, UK, 2003), the International Symposium of Electronic Art (Tallinn, Estonia, 2004), the Anorg Electronic Music Festival (Zurich, Switzerland, 2004) and the International Computer Music Conference (Barcelona, Spain, 2005). His music has appeared in many films most recently in the internationally acclaimed and Genie Award winning documentary "The Corporation". Shawn is a founding member of the Boreal Electroacoustic Music Society (BEAMS) and sat as its President for 12 years up until 2004. Under the BEAMS name, he regularly curates concerts and occasional festivals of electroacoustic music, sound art and computer interactive works in Edmonton, Canada.