William Leavitt’s experimental soundtrack for his sculptural installation, Warp Engines (2009), combines cello, played arco and pizzicato, with audio clips from sound effects libraries. As early as 1970, when he created a soundtrack for the installation Forest Sound, Leavitt had the desire to introduce the possibility of mood and atmosphere to the installation with the addition of sound. In the 1980s, he began making electronic music circuits, eventually completing his own analog synthesizer, and more recently he’s been making cellos by hand.
Leavitt is an artist, playwright, and musician living in Los Angeles. His artwork was the subject of a recent retrospective titled Theater Objects at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, in 2011. He performs and records music for many of his installations and theater pieces, sometimes collaborating with musicians Joseph Hammer and Rick Potts. As a cellist he has played in several Los Angeles groups including Provisional Riviera, Solid Eye, and the Subtones.