Caleb José Tardío, PhD

Joined July 1, 2023

caleb tardio

Caleb is a musician, educator, writer, and designer from Denver. He plays keyboards in the metal supergroup Nightwraith; he plays guitar in the rock trio Holographic American and with Denver folk legend Anthony Ruptak. He holds a BA from Metropolitan State University of Denver, an MA from University of Colorado Boulder, and, as of January 2024, a PhD from the University of Michigan.

Caleb was strongly influenced by growing up in Denver’s punk and hardcore scene in the early 2000s, where he learned to appreciate community, artistic freedom, technological play, and DIY values. He played synthesizers in his earliest punk band, which instilled in him a life-long interest in how sound works. Moving from synths to guitars as a main instrument, he began the art rock power trio I Sank Molly Brown, which served as a longstanding playground of sonic exploration. In 2013, Caleb began working for local music technology company William Mathewson Designs (WMD), where he gained invaluable insights into the science and magic behind synthesis and signal processing, ultimately making contributions to their branding and instrument design. In 2018, Caleb relocated to Ann Arbor, Michigan to pursue his doctorate. Caleb’s musical career has always been complimented by his love of literature and philosophy, and his research at this point made that connection explicit through the analysis of aesthetic history, form, and technology in both literary and musical cultures. While at the University of Michigan, he developed an approach to teaching college level English composition that integrated insights from science, philosophy, and critical theory. He returned to his native Denver in 2020, in the midst of the pandemic, and quickly became reintegrated into the city’s then-reviving music culture. In Fall of 2023 he began working as an intern at Youth on Record, teaching and engineering a diverse group of students, and adapting his writing pedagogy to a musical environment. In early 2024 he completed his doctoral degree in English literature. His dissertation examines the effect that music technology had on post-war experimental fiction. In his work at Youth on Record and beyond, he is committed to bridging the gap between musical communities and academic resources, to ensure that sound practitioners and students have access to inspiration, education, and community.