Birthed in the engine room of a steamboat, Samson Y Hiss (sam(p)-sən wī his) exited the womb to the sounds of creaking wood, hissing steam, and clapping mechanics. At the age of 12 he jumped ship and was adopted by Austrian gypsies who trained him in the art of composing and organ grinding. Sleight of hand and chicanery soon followed. Hiding out in an abandoned church after selling snake oil to a mute child, Samson Y Hiss armed himself with a bass drum and wig, and marched past the authorities to the open road. Realizing the elusive power of his performance he began conjuring up grander musical schemes. When not composing circus music or skirting the law, he can be found on the pier playing multiple instruments atop a unicycle.
Samson Y Hiss was deemed "most likely to be run over by a train in the next year" by a passing caboose conductor. His work has been performed behind closed doors by Sqwonk, The Living Earth Show, and a string quartet from Canada. His debut full-length album, CIRCUS SCREAMS, was the source material for the live performance of the circus music travesty by the same name.
Samson Y Hiss spent his formative years studying piano and performance at the Olympia Piano Academy in Olympia, WA. He holds a BA in Music Technology from Bellarmine University in Louisville, KY. He studied World Music at the International School of Music in Salzburg, Austria. Hiss studied composition with Richard Burchard, Belinda Reynolds, and Elinor Armer.
Leaving gasps in his wake, Samson Y Hiss is a world record holder for the Most Musical Instruments Played While Riding a Unicycle. Similar musical acts of astonishment are currently underway. Samson Y Hiss lives in Oakland, CA.
Spirit Sky Fireworks
Composed for a slow motion fireworks exhibit at CuriOdyssey (2017)
Voices I, Circus Screams
A vocal interlude from the deadly circus acts of Circus Screams (2016)
Composed for a Master's Portfolio. Performed by students from the SF Conservatory (2013)
Composed for a Master's Portfolio. Performed by Samson Y Hiss (2013)
Performed by Sqwonk at the house of Belinda Reynolds (2010)
"Samson Y Hiss is a fucking madman." - Matt Cohen, Studio 69
"Sounding as sinister as a house of horrors kept by some weirdo..." - Chris Spector, Midwest Record
"Listening to this album is probably going to make everyone a little uncomfortable, but like any circus disaster,
you're oddly unable to turn away." - Tom Haugen, The Daily Vault
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