Adam Linson (born 1975 in Los Angeles) is active internationally as a double bassist, improvisor, composer, and scholar, who performs acoustically and with live electronics, solo and in a wide variety of ensembles. He can be heard on several critically acclaimed albums, which also feature the real-time interactive computer music systems that he designs and develops. His publications span a range of topics including the ecological psychology of improvisation, the philosophy of art and artificial intelligence, and the historiography of music technology.
He is currently a Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of Edinburgh, Institute for Advanced Studies in the Humanities, and a Research Associate at the University of Oxford, Faculty of Music, where he was formerly a CMPCP Visiting Fellow. His interdisciplinary research focuses on the common cognitive basis of improvisation across domains. He completed a PhD using artificial intelligence and robotics to investigate cognition in collaborative improvisation, funded by the Open University Centre for Research in Computing (UK). He has a Master of Fine Arts in Music/Sound from Bard College (Milton Avery Graduate School of the Arts), and a BA in Philosophy from the University of California, San Diego, where he also studied composed and improvised music under George Lewis and classical double bass under Bertram Turetzky. His extensive experience as a software engineer and GNU/Linux specialist ranges from large-scale distributed architectures to embedded systems.
Linson's sustained involvement with interactive computer music is documented on albums with the Evan Parker Electro-Acoustic Ensemble in 2004 (ECM); solo double bass and electronics in 2006 (psi); a 2007 duet with Lawrence Casserley, released in 2009 (psi); the John Butcher Group in 2008 (WoW); and a January 2008 recording, released in 2011 (psi), with Axel Dörner, Paul Lytton, and Rudi Mahall, collectively known as Systems Quartet. In February 2012, the premier performance of his piece Looms (for improvisors and 16-channel spherical diffusion) was given with Evan Parker on soprano saxophone and Linson on double bass, at the Electric Spring festival in Huddersfield (UK).
Notable acoustic guest performances include concerts in Paris and Brussels as part of the Evan Parker Trio with Paul Lytton, and in Berlin with the Alexander von Schlippenbach Trio featuring Parker and Paul Lovens. In addition to collaborations with numerous improvisors in groups of various sizes, he has performed in duets with Richard Barrett, Tom Blancarte, Lawrence Casserley, Peter Evans, Owen Green, Aleks Kolkowski, Okkyung Lee, Rudi Mahall, Jon Rose, John Russell, Joel Ryan, and Nate Wooley.
From 1999-2009 he was based in Berlin, Germany, where he began many continuing musical collaborations with distinguished improvisors. In 2004 and 2008, he was an artist-in-residence at the Studio voor Elektro-Instrumentale Muziek (STEIM), Amsterdam. His compositions for chamber ensembles and contemporary dance productions have been performed in Europe and North America, and his performances and recordings have been broadcast on US and international radio, including BBC Radio 3 in the UK and SWR in Germany.
Selected past festival performances include GIOfest VII, Glasgow (2014), with the Glasgow Improvisers Orchestra, the London Jazz Festival (2013) with John Russell's Quaqua Ensemble; Banlieues Bleues, Paris (2012) in a sextet with Evan Parker, Ikue Mori, Mark Nauseef, Matt Wright, and Toma Gouband; Freedom of the City, London (2011) in a duet with Lawrence Casserley, an octet with Evan Parker, and with the London Improvisors Orchestra; the Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival (UK) with the LFO Orchestra (2010), the John Butcher Group (2008), and solo double bass and electronics (2006); the Guelph Jazz Festival (Canada, 2010) on solo double bass and electronics; the London Jazz Festival (2009) with Lawrence Casserley; the Total Music Meeting in Berlin (2008) in a quartet with Evan Parker, Peter Evans, and Richard Barrett, and a quintet with Fred van Hove, John Edwards, Louis Moholo-Moholo, and Tomek Choloniewski; and the MusikTriennale in Cologne (2007), as a guest performer with the Evan Parker Electro-Acoustic Ensemble.
Linson is currently based in the UK.