School of Music

David Sumner

David Sumner

Davy Sumner is a composer, improviser, installation artist, audio engineer, and educator based in Los Angeles. His creative works are spawned out of physics, biology, and sensory perception, often utilizing electromechanical sound devices, spatialized audio, vintage recording hardware, destructive movements, and feedback-based systems as key elements. He specializes in devising atypical instruments that are animated, unpredictable, and often stand to incite interpersonal interaction between audience and performer.

A fiercely active and diverse collaborator, he has worked as an arranger with Grammy winning artists Justin Vernon (Bon Iver), Sean Carey (S. Carey), and Rob Moose (yMusic, Ben Folds). As an Artist-In-Residence, his projects have been showcased by The National Park Service, The Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area, Side Street Projects, and the Westben Centre for Connection and Creativity, where he Facilitates a yearly summer Performer-Composer Residency. His trio of improvised electroacoustic music with Clay Chaplin and Tim Feeney released their first LP, One, on Casa Berenice Recordings in 2019.

As a frequent consultant Sound Designer and Mixer for Walt Disney Imagineering, Davy creates, mixes, and installs audio features for Disneyland and Walt Disney World. While mixing the THEA award-winning Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge lands, he worked directly with Academy-Award winning sound designer Gary Rydstrom and Skywalker Sound. Most recently, he was a sound editor and mixer on Star Tours: The Adventures Continue, coinciding with the release of the Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker film.

He is a two-time winner of Segal Education Awards from the Corporation for National and Community Service for his service as director of CalArts Community Arts Partnership arts education programs for underserved youth in LA County. Davy holds a Bachelor's in Music Composition from the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire, and an MFA in Experimental Sound Practices from CalArts, where he studied with Mark Trayle, Clay Chaplin, Sara Roberts, Scott Cazan, and Amy Knoles.