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Sound synthesist and artist Donald Martin has been committed to his investigation of unique sonic experiences for over ten years. While enrolled at NYU, Donnie studied composition with the legendary pioneer Morton Subotnick, and his research concentrated on in-air sound synthesis, in which a portion was later published in an AES article he co-authored with Paul Geluso and Lars Graugaard. This spatialized mode of electronic sound synthesis creatively employs the three-dimensional interaction between sound waves within acoustic environments to synthesize sonic experiences for multichannel performances and installations. After earning a Master of Music in Music Technology from NYU Steinhardt, Donnie currently teaches Electronic Music Synthesis to undergraduate and graduate students at the institution. He promotes a structured freedom of exploration with goal-oriented synthesis assignments that encourage experimentation and the joy of learning. Donnie’s belief that curiosity fuels progress and perfection inhibits it is the foundation of his teaching philosophy as he endeavors to introduce unique sonic perspectives and emphasize diversity, equity, and inclusion in his classroom and curriculum.

Under the moniker DOHMA, Donnie seeks to dismantle the core of typical underground club scenes with a sound that extracts order from madness and cohesion from contrast. His distinctive live sets deliver a powerful statement on the dancefloor exploring rhythmic movement with layers of off-kilter sample loops, complex modular textures, and idiosyncratic percussion. Previous livesets relied on his meticulously designed Ableton Live templates, and he eventually shifted to a completely hardware system after 2020. Emphasizing improvisation in both production and performance mediums, his music represents the energy of organic discovery in situ. In 2021, he released his raucous single, Everything is Derivative, on the Boston-based label, PUZL Records.

EHMN is Donnie's experimental music project as he explores Avant-Garde, noise, and immersive ambient electronic music. Pronounced like a subtle clearing of the throat, EHMN revolts against presumed sonic perspectives while injecting organic timbres and humanized movement in both multichannel performance and sound installation mediums. As EHMN, Donnie’s music expresses the primal sensations and conundrums of the human mind. His first major composition for modular synthesizer titled First Exhale completed in 2021 embodies the temporal reality of conscious existence. EHMN delivered another short piece later that year, Anxygdala, based on the experience of an anxiety attack. Based on an excerpt from Merleau-Ponty’s Phenomenology of Perception from 1945, Honey is EHMN’s first multi-channel work for Max and modular synthesizer and presents a blurred aural experience that seemingly sticks to the inside of listeners’ ears. He is currently working on a quadraphonic performance and composition titled Dredge & Pestle based on the concept of letting go of the past. A segment of it is set to debut at Woodstockhausen in July 2024.

Conversely, Amhod is a return to Donnie’s roots as a classically trained violinist of 30 years with a modern inflection. This minimal endeavor holds nature close to the heart while he loops layers of violin creating vast soundscapes. The result is an ambient collage of tonal and timbral exploration from a single instrument. The drastic vagaries and isolation during the peak of COVID-19 in 2020 prompted Donnie to record an improvised manifestation of rediscovering one’s purpose in the form of The Great Empty EP. All proceeds earned from the Bandcamp release were donated to the Boston chapter of the NAACP.

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