Colin Zyskowski


3968 32nd St

San Diego, CA

United States





  • University of California San Diego                                                                2012 – Present

-PhD Candidate, Computer Music


  • The University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI                                                2010

-M.A., Media Arts


  • The University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI                                                2000

-B.A., English Literature


  • The University of Detroit Jesuit High School and Academy                        1995






Instructor, COSMOS Summer Camp for Science and Mathematics

July, 2015, 2016, 2017


  • Taught summer course on music technology at UCSD.
  • Conducted lectures and demonstrations on software applications, embedded electronics, microcontrollers, and programming for audio.
  • Directed students towards finishing final projects based on hardware and software implementations of course material. 

Teaching Assistant MUS174, UC San Diego

Sept, 2012 – June, 2015


  • Worked with Tom Erbe in his undergraduate recording engineering class.
  • Complete grading and student assessment for all assignments and projects.
  • Occasionally conduct lectures and demonstrations for the class of twenty seven students.

Recording Engineer, Studio A, UC San Diego

Sept, 2012 – June, 2015


  • Research assistant in the graduate recording studio at UCSD.
  • Work with studio director to facilitate high-quality recordings of UCSD music graduate students as well as professional musicians from outside UCSD.
  • Organize and run recordings from setup through post-production for large-scale projects involving state-of-the-art facilities and equipment. 

Manager, Jazz Café at Music Hall, Detroit, MI

Aug, 2011 – June, 2012


  • General Manager of a 501(C)3 performing arts center.
  • Oversee daily operations for the jazz club located in the Music Hall.
  • Facilitate everything from artist relations, to marketing and promotions, to staffing and inventory maintenance

Recording/Sound Engineer, Music Hall Center for the Performing Arts, Detroit, MI

Sept, 2008 – May, 2010


  • Sound and Recording Engineer for the Jazz Café in the Music Hall.
  • Run live sound for international jazz acts such as Mike Stern, Victor Goines, Billy Harper, Eddie Henderson, Billy Cobham, James Carter, and Alan Holdsworth.
  • Record live performances by local up-and-coming jazz groups for the “Discovery Series,” an educational program run by the Music Hall.


Owner/Operator, People Mover Productions, LLC, Detroit, MI

Jan, 2005 – Present


  • Co-founder and CFO of independent record label.
  • Manager in charge of international distribution.
  • Design manager in charge of all album and promotional artwork.
  • Producer with more than a dozen releases. (, for more information)


English/Music Teacher, Benedictine High School, Detroit, MI

Dec, 2003 – June,2004


  • Teacher, English and Music
  • Choir Director
  • Chess Club Coach




(Grant Opportunities/Collaborative Spaces)


  • Received award, along with a group of four mechanical engineering graduate students, to design and build a new electronic instrument with haptic force feedback and accompanying software interface.


Rackham Graduate Student Research Grant


  • A research grant dedicated to the completion of my masters thesis performance.
  • This grant funded “The Body Electric,” a series of motorized surfaces controlled by the movements of audience members, as well as a camera for live video capture and projection tools for site-specific video projections.



Editor’s Choice Blue Ribbon, Maker Faire Detroit


  • Recognized by the editors of Make Magazine as a top exhibitor at the 2011 Maker Faire in Detroit for the display of my custom controllers and software.
  • Exhibit was featured in Make Magazine, Maker Faire Detroit issue.


UCIRA Grant, University of California



  • Grant for research into prototyping of autonomous robots involved in “Locating Sonic Sources.


UCIRA Grant, University of California




  • Grant awarded towards completion of the “Breath Engine” project.
  • Continuation of collaborative project with Joe Cantrell focused on construction of novel breath controller for electronic music.



Cantrell J., Zyskowski C., Ceccato D.: “The Breath Engine: Challenging Biological and Technological Boundaries through the Use of NK Complex Adaptive Systems.” In: Sound and Music Computing Conference (ICMC |SMC). Athens,Greece, [2014]

Zyskowski, Colin, Mauricio de Oliveira: “A Robotics Platform for Musical Performance.” Southern California Robotics Symposium, La Jolla, CA, 2016.



Custom Controller/Software Design-

  • Design and build custom controllers for musicians and video artists.
  • Work with artists and performers to manufacture hardware that is tailored to their specific needs, using homemade micro-controllers based around the Atmega 328 PIC.
  • Develop accompanying software interfaces to facilitate greater artistic expression by extending the capabilities of the human body through interaction with computers.
  • Design interfaces that focus on new, creative ways for artists to interface with machines, for example, through haptics, gestural control, various sensor arrays, and wireless networking.
  • Participation in Maker Faire Detroit, 2011 to display and demonstrate these controllers.



  • Audio/DSP programming including externals for Max/MSP and Pure Data. DSP programming for the STM32F4 PIC.
  • Music applications for the iPhone, advanced computer music programming using Max/MSP and Jitter, Arduino, Processing, and digital animation with Adobe After Effects.
  • Create standalone applications using Max/MSP/Jitter; one for audio sequencing, looping, editing, stretching, and rewire playback, another that manipulates 3D openGL objects with audio input, and a third that acts as a sixteen channel audio mixer and sequencer that accompanies a self-made controller built using an Arduino and four sixteen-channel multiplexers.
  • Create MPC-style drum machine app for the iPhone, as well as an interface that was later used for an instrument by the Michigan Mobile Phone Orchestra.
  • Experienced with C, C++, ObjectiveC, Java, Python, Processing, Arduino, Max/MSP/Jitter, Pure Data.


Film/Video Projects-

  • Produced the sound and soundtrack for the Documentary A City to Yourself, by Detroit filmmaker Nicole McDonald, which has been shown in the following festivals, with the following awards:
    • Indie Memphis Film Festival (10/2009)
    • Vision-core Film Festival (Santa Monica, CA) (7/2009)                                                                                 
    • Stencil-Nation book tour, Trumbullplex theatre (Detroit, MI) (6/2009)
    • Rainier Independent Film Festival (Mt. Rainier, WA) (6/2009)                                                                          
    • PBS screening, WSIU (Carbondale, IL) (6/2009)                                                                                                         
    •  Media City (Regional Program) (Windsor, ON) (5/2009)                                                                                      
    • Humboldt Film Festival (Arcata, CA) (4/2009) Best Documentary
    • Ann Arbor Film Festival (3/2009) Best Michigan Filmmaker Award                                                 
    • Washington DC Independent Shorts Festival (3/2009)                                                                                                                   
    •  Big Muddy Film Festival (Carbondale, IL) (2/2009)
    • John Michaels Filmmaker Awardfor Social Activism
    • Detroit In Focus Film Festival (12/2008)

Also shown in national film tour as part of the Best of Ann Arbor Film Festival Traveling series (

  • Completed a re-edit of Louis Malle’s L’Ascenseur Pour L’Echafaud as part of a directed study in graduate school.  This included treatments of all visual components of the film, as well as a remix of the original Miles Davis soundtrack.
  • Worked as sound engineer for the MTV show Making His Band during auditions held at the Music Hall in Detroit.
  • In-depth knowledge of Adobe’s CS4, including After Effects, Photoshop, Dreamweaver, and Illustrator.


Audio Production-

  • As an electronic music producer, released over fifteen records on more than nine labels from Detroit, New York, and London.
  • As a producer, collaborated with local and international DJ’s, producers, and live musicians to create a diverse and prolific library of electronic and acoustic music.
  • Multiple DJ residencies in and around Detroit.  Performed live nationally and internationally in places such as Chicago, New York, Rotterdam, Utrecht, Barcelona, and Mexico City.
  • Live performer at several of Detroit’s largest festivals, such as the Detroit Electronic Music Festival and the Dally in the Alley.



Live Performance Collaborations-

  • Merge: collaboration with Alvin Hill (DJ Munk), performed at both the Cranbrook Art Museum and the Detroit Institute of Art in intermedia events.
  • Anco Tozy: electronic duo, featuring Andy Toth, performed at the Detroit Institute of Art’s grand opening and at Detroit’s Dally in the Alley.
  • Commonwealth: electronic ensemble featuring keyboardist Judy Adams, saxophonist Dan Haddad, and myself on laptop, performed at the Music Hall Center for Performing Arts, the 4731 Gallery in Detroit, and the Museum of Contemporary Art, Detroit.
  • Michigan Mobile Phone Ensemble: performed in one of the first ever iPhone Orchestras in the U.S. as a graduate student at The University of Michigan.


Graphic Design

  • As founding member of an independent record label, am responsible for design and layout of promotional materials, album artwork, and web-based advertisements.
  • As an event promoter, am in charge of creating all promotional materials for upcoming events, as well as design work that is displayed throughout the events.
  • In-depth knowledge of Adobe Creative Suite 4, with particular emphasis on Photoshop, Dreamweaver, After Effects, and Illustrator.
  • 3D digital animation with 3DS Max.