“Saying Elizabeth A. Baker plays toy pianos is like saying the Hubble telescope takes photos.” – Tampa Bay Times

Self-Portrait by The Honourable Elizabeth A. Baker

Celebrated for her “terrifying dynamic range,” cleanliness of sound, as well as unique sensitivity and ability to sculpt her performance for the acoustics of a space, The Honourable Elizabeth A. Baker is a dramatic performer with an honest, near psychic connection to music, which resounds with audiences of all ages and musical backgrounds. As a creator, her understanding of sonic space from organic intuition and studies in music production, pair with a unique eclectic voice, making for a spatial and auditory experience of music. Eschewing the collection of traditional titles that describe single elements of her body of work, Elizabeth refers to herself as a “New Renaissance Artist” that embraces a constant stream of change and rebirth in practice, which expands into a variety of media, chiefly an exploration of how sonic and spatial worlds can be manipulated to personify a variety of philosophies and principles both tangible as well as intangible.

The Honourable Elizabeth A. Baker was awarded a 2021-2022 Harvard Radcliffe Institute Fellowship.

An active performer highly sought after for her unique concert presentation methods, which break the fourth wall and draw the audience further into the music by asking them to listen beyond the surface through interactive dialogue, reminding them that there is no such thing as an incorrect interpretation of a work. Elizabeth firmly believes that every person will encounter music in a unique manner because each person comes from a different set of cultural norms, life experiences, and even the way they physically hear can be a factor to consider when seeking to relate with a work. Her solo concert tours have featured engagements at Lamar University (Beaumont, TX), Flying Monkey Arts Collective (Huntsville, AL), Eyedrum (Atlanta, GA), Southern Methodist University (Dallas, TX), Georgia Museum of Art (Athens, GA), the Good Shepherd Chapel (Seattle, WA), Moore College of Art and Design (Philadelphia, PA), Center for New Music (San Francisco, CA), MISE_EN PLACE (Brooklyn, NY), Oregon Fringe Festival (Ashland, OR), and NMASS Fest (Austin, TX). As a mixed media movement performer her collaborative work has been presented at The Joslyn Museum of Art (Omaha, NE), The Gallery at Avalon Island (Orlando, FL) as well as at St. Petersburg Opera (Saint Petersburg, FL).

“Baker is a talented composer and performer, and Quadrivium, taken as a whole, is a pretty impressive release for someone still so young. Perhaps Baker will be the Pauline Oliveros of her generation, and perhaps she will be more than that.” – Raymond Tuttle (Nov/Dec 2019 issue of Fanfare Magazine)

Emmy-award winning composer Larry Groupé has referred to her works as “Perfect.” and compared one of her early works to Debussy’s Engulfed Cathedral. Elizabeth’s works have been featured by performers, programming organisations, and online publications including: Composers Circle, I Care If You Listen, TEDxYouthTampaBay (Tampa, FL),  Tenth Intervention (NYC), Verdant Vibes (Providence, RI), OME Festival (Phoenix, AZ), Voic(ed) Project (Chicago, IL), The Florida Orchestra (Tampa Bay, FL), The Furies (Los Angeles, CA) as well as at Electronic Music Midwest Festival, and the 19th International Festival of Women Composers. Her compositions and work as an arts advocate have been studied in academic institutions throughout the United States including USC-Thornton, University of Buffalo, and the University of Georgia – Athens. Elizabeth is a recipient of a 2019-2020 Individual Artist Grant from the State of Florida as well as a commission for The Great Black Music Ensemble through the American Composers Forum (ACF) Connect programme in partnership with Description The Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians (AACM Chicago). 

In 2015 she received an Individual Artist Award from the St. Petersburg Arts Alliance and the City of Saint Petersburg, Florida to create and present an original sound installation In Our Own Words: A Sonic Memory Quilt, which told the stories of various African-Americans in a fresh avant-garde manner, framed by evolving drones and a four-hour live performance by Elizabeth. Additional honours include, a 2017 Professional Artist Fellowship from Creative Pinellas; a guest artist spot in the inaugural co-incidence residency in Somerville, MA with master resident Michael Pisaro, who described her compositions as a marriage Schoenberg, Cage, and Satie; as well as a 2017 Individual Artist Award from the St. Petersburg Arts Alliance.

In addition to her work on the concert stage and on the page, writing for other performing artists, Elizabeth has extensive training in recording arts, live sound reinforcement, and consistently received praise as well as high marks for the artistic sensibility and technical excellence of her mixes at St. Petersburg College, where she studied closely under mastering engineer Dave Greenberg. Today, friends and colleagues across the globe, frequently look to her as a consultant on projects for her skills as both an engineer and producer.

Combining her love of electronics and keyboard instruments, Elizabeth embarked on a mission in 2015 to promote works for toy piano and electronics, using a setup that combines handmade microphones and hydrophones. Her original works have been hailed by the Orlando Weekly as “a sterling testimonial to her artistry that proves she’s not just an expert in the toy piano field but a pioneer.” In Fall 2015, Schoenhut Piano Company added Elizabeth A. Baker to their official artist roster.

Between 2016 and 2017, Elizabeth began working extensively with dancers on a number of projects including works for film, stage, and workshops which primarily featured toy piano, electronics, and Indian harmonium, a keyboard instrument that rarely appears on the Western musical concert stage. With the support of her mover colleagues and friends, Elizabeth began incorporating movement in her own performances, adding new depth to her interdisciplinary practice. In 2017 Source Audio LLC, officially endorsed Elizabeth for her innovative work creating musical compositions through physical choreography using their Hot Hands USB Wireless MIDI Controller technology.

A sensitive improviser, with experience in a wide array of genres, Elizabeth is a frequent collaborator for improvisational ensembles and performances throughout North America, and maintains an active improvisation duo and collaborative project with composer/improvisor/sound artist Nathan Corder (Oakland, CA). Corder and Baker Collaborations received a coveted project grant from New Music USA in 2019 for their work to expand the nontraditional solo piano repertoire.

Elizabeth is author of Toyager: A Toy Piano Method, the first comprehensive instructional book for toy piano, featuring principles of technique, practice strategies, music notation, as well as improvisational tactics. Additional books include a multimedia collection of writings and photographs called Musings of a Young Composer and Compositions for the Contemporary Student Pianist, an anthology of solo piano pieces. As a solo artist, Elizabeth has self-released numerous albums including: {this is not a piano album} (2016), A Series of Strange Narratives (2015), A Sonic Memory Quilt (2015), Music for Possible Probable Ghost Listeners (2015), {BAGGAGE CLAIM} (June 2015), and Solo Piano Compositions In Recital (2011). In 2017, Elizabeth signed with California-based Aerocade Music, her first release on the label, Quadrivium was released in May 2018 to rave reviews. In late-2018 Elizabeth published first motivational book The Resonant Life is inspired by personal experiences in the music industry, life lessons, anecdotal stories, and methods for navigating the road of success. It breaks down key aspects of life and relates them to the fundamental parts of sound. Through mirroring the sculpture of ADSR (Attack. Decay. Sustain. Release.) in an analogue synthesiser environment, Elizabeth presents an overall technique of personalised growth for others in all sectors of their life.

As an experimental filmmaker, her work has been shown at festivals including Women of the Lens (United Kingdom), and the African Smartphone International Film Festival (Nigeria). Combining her expressive outputs in sound, film, and movement Elizabeth’s output from 2020 has focused on the creation of “sound films” or nonnarrative audiovisual works for digital media. Elizabeth’s sound films have been presented in online music festivals as well as gallery exhibition and some are available for public viewing on easily accessible public platforms such as YouTube.

We can’t talk about equity and inclusion and harmony when we are pitted against each other in the set concrete of defensive rhetoric.

In 2021, was awarded a fellowship at the Harvard Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study, where she is exploring concepts of centring human narrative through audiovisual in a continuation of her FIELD STUDIES project as well as through the exploration of sound liberated from the specificity of human language through her forthcoming solo album AGGRESSIVE PILLOW TALK.