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Brian Harnetty

Brian Harnetty's faculty profile (photo credit: Kevin Davison Small)

Brian Harnetty

Associated Faculty, Composition


N462 Timashev Building
1866 College Rd
Columbus, OH 43210

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Areas of Expertise

  • Composition
  • Musicology
  • GAHDT (Global Arts + Humanities Discovery Theme) Fellowship


  • PhD, Interdisciplinary Arts, Ohio University
  • MMus, Royal Academy of London
  • BM, Music Composition and Theory, The Ohio State University

Brian Harnetty is an interdisciplinary sound artist and composer who uses listening to foster social change. He works with sound archives and the communities connected to them, creating encounters that are centered on place and the transformative power of listening. For the past decade, Harnetty’s projects have brought together myth, history, ecology, and economy in Appalachian Ohio, informed by his family's roots there. His current project, Words and Silences, is a musical portrait of monk and writer Thomas Merton, fusing archival recordings of his voice with newly composed music.

Harnetty is a two-time recipient of the MAP Fund Grant (2021, 2020), and received the A Blade of Grass Fellowship for Socially Engaged Art in Contemplative Practices (2018) and the Creative Capital Performing Arts Award (2016). He has also twice received MOJO Magazine’s “Underground Album of the Year” (2019, 2013). Harnetty earned a PhD in Interdisciplinary Arts at Ohio University, with a focus on sonic ethnography, sound studies and sound art. He studied music composition with Michael Finnissy at the Royal Academy of Music, London, where he earned an MMus. He earned a BMus in music composition and theory from The Ohio State University.

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