Thomas L. Wilson’s fascination with sound began when his family purchased an old Atari console for $10 at a garage sale just one street behind his home in Birmingham, Alabama. As a child, he sat for hours playing the outdated technology and hearing rudimentary electronic boops and beeps, sometimes as music, emerge from the tube television. His musical discovery began when his family received a hand-me-down upright piano. While sitting at the well untuned piano, emblazoned by engravings of initials and games of tic-tac-toe from the prior owners, he taught himself to read familiar music, specifically music from video games. Thomas then began creating and sharing arrangements of video game music online before turning his arrangements towards compositions. After joining the school band and having a fortunate encounter with music theory, he began his journey towards becoming a video game and stage composer.
Thomas is the Instructor of Music Technology and Music Entrepreneurial Studies at the University of Nebraska Omaha and recently served as the Adjunct Instructor of Music Industry Studies and Music Theory at Louisiana Tech University. He received his Ph.D. in Music Composition at LSU with a minor in Experimental Music and Digital Media as well as his M.M. and B.M. in Music Composition from The University of Alabama. His dissertation work, the Rougarou Concerto, is a cello concerto for flex ensemble written for Eduard Teregulov. Prominent mentors throughout his studies include Mara Gibson, C.P. First, and Yotam Haber. Thomas enjoys collaborating internationally with performers, including at conferences and festivals such as the Society of Composers Inc. National Conference, the SPLICE Institute, Atlantic Music Festival, highSCORE Festival, and ArtPlay Festival. His thesis The Reflections of My Introverted Sneakers can be found on the album Early Musings: New Music for Violin performed by Davis Brooks and released through Navona Records. Prominent performances of the work include the Electronic Music Midwest Festival, New York City Electronic Music Festival, and National Student Electronic Music Event. Reflections was also broadcast on WPRB’s Classical Discoveries in the setlist “Music of the Americas - Part 1” on November 23, 2016.
As an avid pedagogue, Thomas enjoys spreading knowledge in as many ways as possible. His teaching style creates a welcoming environment for students from diverse economic and social backgrounds. At Louisiana Tech, he led asynchronous remote studies that prioritize students creativity in the studies of Music Theory and Music & Sound for Video Games. When mentoring in composition, he prefers to lead students towards self-discovery and self-sufficiency in their creative outputs. He tutored his peers in music theory in his undergraduate work before teaching aural skills as a graduate assistant during work towards his master’s degree. He also tailored a self-designed composition lab designed for early majors and minors at LSU.
His interest in video game music has led him to work on multiple projects inside and outside of his community. Recently, he led an audio team at Feenx Games for Lucidscape, a 2D platformer available now on Steam. He has also worked extensively in Virtual Reality and on mobile games with Headless Chicken Games and other studios. Other projects include collaborations with students in game design.
Since he places high value towards the communities he resides, Thomas is always eager for performances outside of the concert hall. Thomas’s music can be heard at arboretums, libraries, museums, and any other receptive venue. Outside of work, you can find Thomas on the weekends playing video games and board games with his wife, friends, and four pets.