Composer, violinist, and computer music researcher, Charles Nichols is an Assistant Professor of Composition and Creative Technologies and a Faculty Affiliate at the Institute for Creativity, Arts, and Technology (ICAT).
As a composer, he explores the expressive potential of instrumental ensembles, computer music systems, and combinations of the two, for the concert stage, and collaborations with dance, video, and installation art.
In the band Modality he performs processed electric violin, bass guitar, and computer.
His research includes spatial audio, data sonification, motion capture for musical performance, telematic performance, and haptic musical instrument design.
His recent premieres include Or Be Forever Fallen, three movements for heavily processed amplified string quartet accompanying animated sci-fi video, that he performed on computer with the Beo String Quartet and video artist Zach Duer in the Fife Theatre in Blacksburg, VA, Beyond the Dark, ambient synthesized sound and sonified space weather data accompanying kinetic installation art and 3D lighting, presented with architect Paola Zellner Bassett at the Smithsonian National Museum of American History, Upstream, for electric violin and jazz band, that he performed on electric violin with the Virginia Tech Jazz Ensemble and director Jason Crafton in the Lyric Theatre in Blacksburg, VA , Underlying Space, recorded processed electric violin accompanying a video installation of the history and work of thirty woman architects, presented with architect Paola Zellner Bassett, at the American Institute of Architects National Headquarters in Washington, DC, Flutter, Pulse, and Flight, three movements for amplified flute, clarinet, violin, cello, and computer, that he performed on computer with Earplay in the Meyer Constellation sound system at the Taube Atrium Theater in San Francisco, CA, and Shakespeare's Garden, an immersive theatrical installation for processed environmental sounds played in 134.2-channel spatial audio, performed poetry played through directional spotlight speakers, graphic design projected on multiple scrims, and dramatic lighting, presented with directors Amanda Nelson and Natasha Staley, graphic designer Meaghan Dee, lighting designer John Ambrosone, and media engineer Tanner Upthegrove, presented in the Cube in Blacksburg, VA.