Ravi Kittappa is a composer of orchestral, chamber, vocal, and electronic music currently residing in Portland, OR. While continually drawing upon the various musics of his diverse background, his interests in embodiment and corporeality of sound have resulted in a recent focus on “situational music” – pieces that embrace the proclivities, propensities, and specificities of the performer in relation to the audience and space in which each work is presented.
His music has been heard across the US, Europe, and Asia. The New York Times described the “vivid soundscapes” of a recent performance of his work, Decantations III, as ”alluring” and “meditative”. He has been commissioned and performed by violist Garth Knox, Ensemble dal Niente, andPlay, Talea Ensemble, Ostravská Banda, The Janacek Philharmonia, Quince Contemporary Vocal Ensemble, Color Field Ensemble, Concert Black, TIGUE, Dutch National Opera and Chorus, and Parias Ensemble, among others. He has had sound art works commissioned and installed by The Baltimore Museum of Art, The American Visionary Art Museum, The United Nations Day for South-South Cooperation, and the Columbia University Computer Music Center. He has been honored to be selected as a participant at international festivals like Ostrava Days, Bowling Green New Music Festival, Etchings Festival, Omaha Under the Radar, MATA Festival, World Saxophone Congress, New Music Gathering, The Darmstadt Summer Courses, and the Bang on a Can Summer Institute.
Also active as a guitarist and improviser, Ravi has performed alongside artists such as Fred Frith, Myra Melford, J. A. Deane, Daniel Carter, and Ritwik Banerji, among many others.
In the spring of 2012, Ravi founded the bicoastal (NYC, San Francisco, Los Angeles) performance series, Permutations, which he currently curates along with pianist, Karl Larson.
Ravi created the soundtrack for director Jake Boritt’s 2013 film, The Gettysburg Story, a documentary narrated by Stephen Lang, that aired on Public Broadcasting stations throughout the US to coincide with The 150th anniversary of the Gettysburg Address.
Ravi holds a Ph.D in music composition from University of California, Berkeley. He studied philosophy at The Johns Hopkins University and music at Columbia University. His composition teachers include Tristan Murail, Arthur Kampela, Franck Bedrossian, Edmund Campion, David Wessel, and Ken Ueno. He has lectured on his work at academic institutions such as The Janacek Conservatory (Ostrava, Czech Republic), Columbia University, UC Berkeley, San Francisco State University, Akademie für Tonkunst (Darmstadt, Germany), Silpakorn University (Bangkok, Thailand), Mahidol University (Bangkok, Thailand), and KM College of Music and Technology (Chennai, India).
In 2018/19, Ravi was a visiting composer at Arts Academy of Prague (HAMU) through a fellowship from the J. William Fulbright Commission. In September of 2022, Ravi joined the faculty of Portland Community College in the Department of Music and Sonic Arts.
Ravi’s musical scores are published by Babel Scores (Paris).