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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 contorting 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 skirting the law, he can be found on the pier playing multiple instruments atop a unicycle.

Samson Y Hiss spent his formative years studying piano and performance at the Olympia Piano Academy in Olympia, WA—which has since disbanded. He holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Music Technology from Bellarmine University in Louisville, KY. He studied choral music at the International School of Music in Salzburg, Austria. He fell in love with the pipe organ while touring Germany. His teachers in composition include Richard Burchard, Todd Hildreth and Belinda Reynolds. His current composition instructor is Elinor Armer from the San Francisco Conservatory.

Secretly inspired by female inmates at the Robert Scott Correctional Facility in Plymouth, MI, Samson Y Hiss began composing music for the criminal mind in 2007. Similar psychological experiments of this type are currently underway. Samson Y Hiss lives in Oakland, CA. 




Jingle This

Composed for the Ringling Bros. & Barnum and Bailey Jingle Competition (2015)

The Doubtful Guest

Composed for the Edward Gorey Festival. Vocals by Stephanie Goldstein (2013)

witch bounce

Performed by Sqwonk at the house of Belinda Reynolds (2010)



by Samson Y Hiss


For compositions, performances, or racy recordings, reach out.

email: hiss@samsonyhiss.com

phone: 510-927-4477