ZW Buckley is a composer, music producer and teaching artist based out of Seattle, Washington.
Born and raised in rural Illinois to a working-class family of Irish, Lebanese, Syrian, and German descent, Buckley began singing at a young age. His journey from high school choir president to professional composer found Buckley taking many detours along the way. He found himself performing with indie bands, recording dialogue for major ad campaigns, archiving exhibitions from legendary artists David Wojnarowicz and Keith Haring, curating and producing an interactive exhibition for Irish artist Jonah King, and researching music-led virtual realities before returning to his first loves of music and video games.
A professional maverick, ZW's music spans genre and media. Most recently, ZW provided a pop soundtrack for the Peeka and Mattel collaboration, Barbie: You Can Be A Fashion Designer VR, which marks the popular children toy's first foray into virtual reality. In summer 2023, ZW released his debut solo EP, Fever Dreams at Ruger Place, a collection of breakbeat-heavy electronic songs. Currently, ZW is composing his first opera, which will premiere in the summer of 2024 at the Seattle Opera.
He is a co-founder of Plant Based Audio, a worker-owned game audio studio. In 2022, ZW was honored as a member of The Game Awards Future Class.
Alongside his composition work, ZW is a passionate teaching artist. He is an instructor at the award-winning Point Blank Music School and a private lessons instructor for music producers and composers the world over. ZW serves on the board of directors of the experimental music non-profit, pt.fwd, and the Music Production Advisory Board of Edmonds College.
ZW holds an M.S. Creative Technologies from Illinois State University where he researched music-led virtual realities. His research has been published in the United Kingdom, Japan, and the United States.
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