Dana Reason


Canadian-born composer, musician and sonic arts researcher,  Dana Reason is described by Downbeat Magazine as “having a voice as a composer and instrumentalist that is firmly her own.” (Tangari).

Her album Angle of Vision, was long-listed for GRAMMYS in 3 separate categories including: Best Jazz Instrumental Album; Best Instrumental Composition; Best Arrangement (2014). Additionally, her composition “Currents”, commissioned and recorded on Mark Records by Dr. Chris Chapman at Oregon State University, was also long-listed for Best Contemporary Classical Composition (GRAMMYS, 2014).

Reason was part of The Space Between trio with electronic music pioneer Pauline Oliveros; is documented on over 14 recordings, and has created music for a variety of genres including: film, theatre, games and large and small ensembles. Reason premiered her sound-art sculpture, UnHeard, at CEI Artworks in 2016 and Folded Subjects: Olive Rose (2017) at McGill University/ICASP. Reason’s newest conceptual, social and political work: Tea & Fences: A Sonic Tea Party (2017) will premiere this April at the Santa Monica library as part of  a new collection of works: Propositional Attitudes (Golden Spike Press, 2018), edited by performance and visual artists: John Burtle and Elana Mann. Tea and Fences will be performed telematically and feature visual artists living and sounding from Iran, Syria, Los Angeles and Corvallis. Working with Dr. Jerri Bartholomew (OSU Mircobiology) and then introduced to Dr. Michael Baym (Harvard University), Reason has explored sonification to render microbial data, superbugs and other scientific data to create new artistic intersections between science, music, sound and public discourse. In 2017, Reason was awarded a commission from the High Desert Museum in Bend (Oregon Arts) to create a site-specific – large scale interactive sound and performance work that utilizes research data on water tables in Oregon. This will premiere in 2019.

Reason is currently writing a new film score: “Back to God’s Country” (1919) featuring Nell Shipman for Kino Lorber “Pioneers: First Women Filmmakers.” Reason worked with Paul Miller (DJ Spooky) on his Heart of a Forest Project (2016), and additional soundtracks by Paul Miller including: Within Our Gates and Body and Soul on Pioneers of African-American Cinema (Kino-2016) as well as the PBS documentary soundtrack – Birth of a Movement (2017).

Research, writing, as well as reviews about her work are available at Oxford University Press, Columbia University Jazz Studies Online, University of Chicago Press, National Geographic, McGill-Queen’s University Press, Wesleyan University Press, Downbeat, Jazziz, and Musicworks.  Reason holds a B.Mus (McGill University), an MA in Composition (Mills College), and a PhD in Critical Studies / Experimental Practices  the University of California, San Diego.  She founded and directed the Popular Music Minor for Ecampus from 2010-2015 and is currently the coordinator of Contemporary Music Studies & Research at OSU where she is developing integrative and exciting music curriculum for online regional and global learners.

Courses & Workshops:

Hip Hop Music and Culture

Women in Popular Music

World Music

Music Composition: Including visual music, songwriting, new music and vernacular musics

Film Music History

Music Video


“Something From Nothing” – How to embody a creative life from where you are and what you have. 

Improvised Lives: The freedom to make things up.

How to Compose using your imagination in Real-Time.