I’m Elliot Cole.

I write vivid, imaginative and heartfelt music for adventurous performers and ensembles.

Recently I've been working on [see more projects] [full list]


, an album of songs on the Euripides play

[ collaboration with Brad Balliett, Doug Balliett and Majel Connery, 2013/14 ]

Hanuman’s Leap

, a retelling of a scene from the Ramayana for 8 singers

[ Roomful of Teeth, 2013 ]


, a book of music for one vibraphone, four performers, and eight double-bass bows.

[premiered by So Percussion, May 2012]

Etudes for Piano

, a book of puzzles in form, method and musicality.

[part one premiered by Isabelle O'Connell, May 2012]

De Rerum

, a hip hop lecture on the physics of history.

[with music co-written by Brad Balliett]


, an algorithmic composition and deep-listening environment based on botanical modeling.

Four Apparitions

for Shakuhachi master Riley Lee.

[ April 2012 ]

the music i wrote last winter

, a string quintet (+ double bass) with a kinetic and unabashed tunefulness.

[premiered by the FLUX Quartet with Logan Coale, February 2012]

I grew up in Austin, Texas

Elliot Colewriting songs, singing in choirs and musical theater, playing in bands, and making noise collages with a four track cassette-tape studio I assembled in the garage.

Today, I use every tool I can: my body (singing, rapping), instruments (piano, guitar, bass, harmonium), notation (standard, figured bass, jazz), production (Logic, Ableton Live, Pro Tools, After Effects), genre (classical, hip hop, opera, folk, early) and computer programming (SuperCollider, Max/MSP). I also write all my own lyrics, and design and code websites (including Tema Watstein, Misha Penton, Alice Tai, Tex-Fab, and this one).

I am a PhD candidate at Princeton and live in Newark, NJ. I also have a B.Mus. in composition and a B.A. in Cognitive Linguistics from Rice University.

Program Bio & CV


elliot.c.cole [at] gmail [dot] com




for bowed vibraphone / four players
by Elliot Cole
24’ total time

Order Score

Printed score: $60 place order

PDF score: $45 place order
Student/other discounts/preview copies: email
(All scores include license to photocopy a set of parts for a single quartet)

Postludes is a book of eight pieces for a familiar instrument played in a new way. Four players, with eight double-bass bows, play interlocking lines on a single vibraphone. The interplay of bows and hands tapping, muting and touching harmonics, weaves an intimate and intricate counterpoint that is as beautiful to watch as it is to hear: fragile, tender and haunting.

“Elliot Cole’s ‘Postludes’ for bowed vibraphone are a fantastic new addition to quartet repertoire for percussion – someday soon everyone is going to be playing these pieces. Working with Elliot, we discovered a huge new range of sonic possibilities and a gorgeous choreography unique to the bowed vibraphone. The ‘Postludes’ have had an immediate impact on audiences, and they are sure to become a part of the repertoire.” – So Percussion

“…a singular new voice– both haunting and profoundly lyrical… Through it’s elegantly, simple concept, Postludes becomes truly compelling theater.” – Mark DeChiazza, director and filmmaker

“…some of the most expressive and lyrical percussion music I’ve ever heard” – Peter Dodds, percussionist

Watch So Percussion

more videos

Postludes 1-5 were premiered at Princeton University by So Percussion on May 1, 2012. 6-8 were premiered at the So Percussion Summer Institute by Drew Warden, Ellery Trafford, Tai-Jung Tsai, and Chris Sies.

Selected performances 2012-2013:
So Percussion / Mobius Percussion Quartet / Tennessee Tech / Indiana State / Indiana University / Michigan State / Louisiana Tech / Square Peg Round Hole / U. Wisconsin (Oshkosh) / U. of Akron / Juilliard Percussion Ensemble / Kansas U / U. of Tennessee / Cleveland State / Ohio State / Mahidol U. Bangkok / Erasable Color / Nief Norf festival / U. Maryland / U. Michigan / Fulcrum Point Chicago / Georgia State / nobrow.music.collective / U. South Alabama / North Arizona U. / Ad Astra Percussion / Oberlin / Chamber Cartel, Atlanta GA / BLOW UP Roma Percussion / Kinhaven Festival / Brevard Festival

The recording of my 2011 opera Selkie, a Sea Tale is available now on iTunes!

Beautiful performances by Misha Penton, Kyle Evans, Patrick Moore and Meredith Harris.

Watch the music video for Softly Over Sounding Waves

Site contents and code © 2012 Elliot Cole.