Most people know me as Trent. I was born in Washington, D.C. and grew up in Maryland. I learned to play congas around age 8, mostly influenced by Go-Go music (a percussive syncopated genre originated by Chuck Brown in D.C.). The congas were homemade, and held up by furniture and stacks of books. As that developed, I had the chance to spend time backstage on tour with reggae luminaries, and producer Philip “Fatis” Burrell bought me a real set of LP congas, soon inviting me to perform with them, although I couldn’t ditch enough 5th grade classes to pursue that much further.
As I continued playing with local bands, I was persuaded to get a piano which opened another vast creative dimension as I went on self-taught. While pursuing a BFA in studio art at University of Maryland, College Park, I put together a sound studio, picked up more instruments, and started recording and experimenting with various types of music as more of a ‘one man band’. Some of my influences were Miles Davis, Led Zeppelin, Pink Floyd, Jimi Hendrix, Autechre, Portishead, Radiohead and Mos Def.
As my artwork evolved from drawing/painting to video art, I used my musical and technical experience to create accompanying sound art, and pursued more as a time-based artist, incorporating performance and writing. To develop this further, I went to London Film Academy (UK) and Prague Film School (Czech Republic) and then 3D Animation & Visual Effects for Film at Vancouver Institute of Media Arts (Canada).
Since 2010, I have worked in visual effects including at Side Effects Software Inc (Toronto), done sound engineering and video work, taught English as a foreign language at private language institutions, and taught music, art, Spanish and algebra at charter and public schools. I also find teaching to be in many ways an art in itself.
I teach media arts at Emily Carr University of Art + Design (Vancouver, Canada), where I completed an MFA and founded TEDxECUAD. I continue to be involved with TED and TEDx while teaching and pursuing personal work and collaborations. My recent work incorporates virtual reality and collaborations across art and physics.