Austin T. Richey

Austin T. Richey Portrait

Austin T. Richey Portrait.

Austin T. Richey is a musician, multimedia artist, and ethnomusicologist based in Detroit, Michigan, where he explores the resonances between diasporic African musical, dance, and visual arts and Detroit-specific genres such as Motown and techno. Richey’s current sonic practice reclaims public spaces through community-oriented DIY synthesizer-making workshops and site-specific, historically and environmentally informed sound installation. Through these workshops, Richey connects young sound makers to their environment via deep listening practices while teaching skills like electrical engineering, encouraging them to experiment with self-designed sonic expressions.

Richey has published original research in African Music, Opioid Aesthetics, and Sonic Signatures, has contributed research to the Public Broadcasting Service digital series Sound Field, and is currently turning his dissertation on experimental community music-making and griots in Detroit into a manuscript. His research is supported by the Frederick Douglass Institute, the Society for American Music, Humanities New York, the Knight Foundation, and the Presser Foundation. Collaborations include work with Sō Percussion, Bora Yoon, and extensive live sound installation and performance with Maritza Garibay as the duo Dominant Hand. He earned a Ph.D. from Eastman School of Music in 2023, is an instructor at Western Michigan University's Gilmore School of Music, and is the current Storyteller for Detroit Opera.