Tristan Carter


Composer, violinist and improviser Tristan Carter holds an MMA in Composition from the New Zealand School of Music where he studied composition until 2012 with Jack Body, John Psathas, Michael Norris and Dugal McKinnon. He also gained a BMus in Violin Performance from the NZSM, under the tutelage of Doug Beilman, formerly of the New Zealand String Quartet.

He has a keen interest in cross-cultural collaboration and has had his music played in Taiwan, India, the Netherlands, Indonesia, Japan, Australia and Scotland. In Wellington he plays in a variety of ensembles including jazz outfit ‘The Troubles’, Balkan band ‘Bazurka’, Greek Rembetika trio ‘Hypnos’ and Indonesian ensemble ‘Gamelan Taniwha Jaya’. Since 2015 he has worked as a composer and performer with Java Dance Theatre Company, extensively touring New Zealand as well as performing in festivals in Australia and the 2016 Edinburgh Fringe.

Composer website:

Featured Works

Attacus Atlas, for amplified cello and violin.

Attacus atlas (the Atlas moth) explores themes of fragility, fluidity, impermanence and magnetism. This is a collaboration between the cellist Charlie Davenport and myself, and investigates intuitive response, improvisation, mimicry and the occasional emergence of resultant melody out of two different voices. It attempts to internalise influences from a number of the world’s musical traditions through the incorporation of specific timbral and inflectional qualities I am attracted to.

Featured in New Zealand Waves (Special Edition 2018)