Thomas Butler

Thomas Butler is a composer based in Glasgow. His compositions often include extra-musical elements such as video, still images, lighting effects and theatrical gestures, which are used to explore themes of sustainability, technology, authority and illusion. His work spans live instrumental performance and electronics, and he often collaborates with artists from other disciplines.

Thomas holds a PhD in composition from the University of St Andrews. He is Musical Director of new music group Ensemble Thing and teaches at the University of Glasgow. Between 2013–14, Thomas was the Sound and Music Embedded Composer in Residence with Red Note Ensemble. Recent work includes: Sandglass, a commission from Sound Festival and DanceLive; Aeolian Survey, conceived on a residency at the Banff Centre, Alberta; and Lament for cellist Robert Irvine's recent CD on Delphian Records.

Thomas is grateful to have received funding from the RVW Trust, Laura Ashley Foundation, Arts and Humanities Research Council, the Donald Dewer Awards for the Arts, and the Leverhulme Trust.


In between came another remarkable new work, Thomas Butler’s Limnology, all Scelsi-like microtonal waverings and throbbing, pregnant textures, inspired by the impact of climate change on glacial rivers.

David Kettle, The Arts Desk, on Limnology (Slims River).

Impressive... a knowing self-parody, audacious and playful, and it achieves that rarest of things: genuine laughter at a contemporary music concert.

Kate Molleson, The Herald, on Struction.

Some of the most interesting music being written in Scotland right now.

Carol Main, The Scotsman, on Replaceable Parts for the Irreplaceable You.

Stunningly original and very modern.

Henry Northmore, The List, on Replaceable Parts for the Irreplaceable You.