Grant Wallace Band


Part band/part composers collective, Grant Wallace Band is a collaboration between myself and fellow composer/performers Ben Hjertmann and Luke Gullickson.  Through a uniquely collaborative process, we create and perform music that defies easy categorization, combining threads of new music, jazz, and American vernacular styles.  We have played throughout the country, including appearances at Fast Forward Austin, the Resonant Bodies Festival, and the Chicago Cultural Center.  We have collaborated with Ensemble Dal Niente, the Chicago Composers Orchestra, and the Houston Grand Opera. Our first LP, Axle of the World (with Rabbit), was released in 2015 on the Two Labyrinths label. A second full-length album, By This Time Tomorrow, is forthcoming. For more information, visit

Selected Videos


Viola Joke 

A nightmare comedy routine (with laugh track) composed for me and Doyle Armbrust by Alex Temple. The piece is demanding in its highly detailed notation, its use of voice while playing, and its reliance on a relaxed, comedic, delivery. This video is from the premiere performance in May 2016 at Northwestern University.

Studio Layering (conversations with myself)

My score for dropshift dance's 2014 piece, Imposter/Malleable, utilized multi-layered viola overdubs. These recordings drew on techniques from minimalism (i.e., Steve Reich's "Phase" pieces), loop-pedal improvisation, and established studio techniques (Jaco Pastorius' "Crisis" is one example). While in this case, the multiple parts were recorded and played back as fixed media, I have also experimented with layering in real time using live processing.

Collective improvisation

Living in Chicago for six years, I had the opportunity to hear and play with some of the leading figures in the contemporary improvisation scene. Playing in small and large groups with experienced improvisers inspired me to explore the untapped possibilities of my instrument and to develop a multi-dimensional approach to ensemble playing and material development.

Indifference and Repetition (1.22.16)
Katherine Young, bassoon; Ryan Packard, drums/analog synthesis; Chris Fisher-Lochhead, viola

Quartet Improvisations (2.13-17.16)
Danny Fisher-Lochhead, alto saxophone; Katherine Young, bassoon; Chris Fisher-Lochhead, viola; Kathryn Schulmeister, bass

Kong Must Dead/Sissyeared Mollycoddles

I have been fortunate enough to have close personal relationships with many musicians with whom I have worked through the years.  One such person is Ben Hjertmann, a composer and singer who I met in grad school and with whom I continue to find joy and inspiration in collaborations to this day. In different configurations and under different names, we have performed and recorded together regularly since 2011. I appear on the 2012 album Angelswort and the 2015 album Psychopomp.

Selected Recordings

Necessary Monsters

Between 2007 and 2009, I was a member of Carla Kihlstedt's music-theater project Necessary Monsters.  The ensemble, a diverse group of musicians including members of Sleepytime Gorilla Museum, Rube Waddell, and Zen Cabaret performed the work in Oakland and Chicago.  The experience was formative; over the course of several weeks, the band became a temporary family and I learned how to negotiate the constantly shifting balance between camaraderie and professionalism.  I also spent my first long days recording in the studio, acquiring experience and skills that I rely on to this day.