composer and sound artist


Ellen Reid is an Artist in Residence at National Sawdust!!


Buster’s Mal Heart premieres at Toronto Film Festival

Buster’s Mal Heart features music by Ellen Reid


Reid’s Push | Pull featured on LA Phil’s Noon to Midnight with LAPQ!


Ellen Reid composes for Brooklyn Youth Chorus’ Silent Voices


Ellen Reid and HOPSCOTCH featured in the New Yorker

Alex Ross wrote a beautiful article about HOPSCOTCH.

ELLEN REID is a composer and sound artist whose work “brims with canny invention” (LA Weekly). Reid’s work is largely collaborative and takes the form of opera, chamber music, electronic pop songs, scores for film and theater, and immersive interactive installations. Reid’s work has been hailed as “ineffably moving” by Marc Swed of the LA Times, “radiant” by Alex Ross of the New Yorker, and it’s been said that her vocal writing would “make you believe that the mythical sirens really existed” (KCRW). A former teacher, Reid has been a lifelong advocate for education. This year she and Missy Mazzoli co-founded Luna Composition Lab, a mentorship program directed at young self-identified female and gender non-conforming composers, in partnership with Face The Music. Reid has works in progress with cellist Johannes Moser, Brooklyn Youth Chorus, librettist Royce Vavrek, wild Up, Chromatic, VisionIntoArt, and Beth Morrison Projects.


I grew up in Oak Ridge, Tennessee – a small town in East Tennessee that was created as part of the Manhattan Project. I never dreamt that writing music could be a viable career path, but I started composing my sophomore year of college and haven’t stopped since. As a kid, I casually sang in choir, played piano and percussion. As an undergrad at Columbia University I was exposed to the kaleidoscopic sound world that is New York City. Within weeks I saw an installation of amplified lightbulbs at The Stone, a concert of Wagner’s Ring Cycle at Carnegie Hall that gave me synethsesia and heard my first Indian Raga. These experiences expanded my understanding of what music could be, and created an insatiable love of sound that has taken me all over the globe. 

In Thailand, I lived and collaborated with Thai artists for several years. We created pieces for the United Nations and the Patravadi Theater. My site-specific installation Lonely Traveler was featured in the 2011 Ruhrtriennale in Essen Germany, and She Gone Rogue (dir Rhys Ernst and Zackary Drucker) was featured in the 2012 Hammer Biennial (LA) and 2014 Whitney Biennial. I traveled with members of wild Up and Jodie Landau to Reykjavik, Iceland to create You of All Things with the Bedroom Community.

This past season, I was a composer on HOPSCOTCH with director Yuval Sharon. My work for HOPSCOTCH was hailed as “ineffably moving” by Marc Swed of the LA Times and “radiant” by Alex Ross of the New Yorker.  My percussion piece Fear | Release was commissioned and recorded by the Los Angeles Percussion Quartet and will be released on Sono Luminus in 2016.

This season, I am an Artist in Residence at National Sawdust, where I will get to collaborate with wild Up, Jodie Landau, Royce Vavrek, Beth Morrison Projects and Vision Into Art.  My percussion piece for LAPQ will be included on LA Phil's Noon to Midnight day of new music. My music in Buster's Mal Heart will be heard at the Toronto Film Festival.

My upcoming projects include a solo cello piece for Johannes Moser, Fantomas with Travis Preston, Prism with Roxie Perkins and James Darrah, The Colony with Sarah Adina Smith, a concept album with Jodie Landau, and a new commission from Opera America. I split my time between my two favorite cities – Los Angeles, where I attended CalArts for my MFA (2011) and New York.


In Development

My upcoming projects include:

Knoxville: Summer of 2015

commissioned by Beth Morrison Projects
and VisionIntoArt

Stellar Remnants

for Johannes Moser on the Laguna Beach  Music Festival

Songs for This World

album of electronic pop songs  

Winter’s Child

The Colony

a feature film with Sarah Adina Smith


a piece with Zackary Drucker

Ellen Reid at work