Welcome to my website. I make music in a wide variety of styles from experimental music in concert halls to fiddle tunes in the subways. The above video is a humorous piece about my life as a working musician. See below for upcoming events, links to purchase albums and watch videos, and (down at the bottom) my artistic statement.

Click here to watch an online performance I did with art by my brother, Grady Swafford. It is from the "Me, Myself and Eye" series hosted by Connection Works in Brooklyn.

I edited and recorded the music for my family's home movies from the 60's, 70's and 80's.
Click here to watch and here to listen to the soundtrack.

I have a new blog post on violinist.com! click here to read it.

Scores and parts for many of my compositions are available. Click the "scores" button on the left for a list of selected compositions with links to listen to and/or view the scores.

Click on the album titles below to listen and download my albums:

7th Ave. Inspired by my experience busking on NYC subway platforms.

12.15.19. My solo improvised performance at the "Me, Myself and I" series, 440 Gallery, Brooklyn.

Tom Swafford's String Power. Debut album (from 2015) of the 11-piece string ensemble I started shortly after I moved to NYC in 2007. Click here for a wonderful review of the album.

Violin for Christmas. My multi-track violin Christmas album.

Songs from the Inn. Music inspired by summer gig as house musician at the Old Faithful Inn, Yellowstone National Park. I play both violin and piano on this album.

Fiddle for All Ages. Mostly children's songs but done in a way that adults can enjoy as well!

Cispontine. A fun multi-track violin album I made in response to the RPM Challenge (write and record an album in one month!).

Click here to watch a video about my life as a subway musician.

Click here to watch my concert Becoming Human on youtube. The show took place May 20, 2012 at PS217 in Brooklyn and was funded, in part, by a grant from the Brooklyn Arts Council Creative Arts Fund.

I'm very excited about Brood of Bau, a collaboration I did with the amazing $.99 Dreams.

I am also very proud of my duo with percussionist extraordinaire, Matt Crane, The Golden Crackers.

In May 2011 at The Stone I presented an eclectic concert of (mostly) solo pieces written for 9 fantastic musician friends of mine. Click here to watch it on youtube.

I played on guitarist/composer Aram Bajakian's great album, Aram Bajakian's Kef, which is out now on Tzadik and is getting great reviews. Click here to read one.

Click here to watch a funny promotional film from the '60's that I composed new music for.

Click here to watch a video of a performance of my piece from 2010, Suspensions of Disbelief, by the Detour New Music Ensemble at Galapagos Art Space in Brooklyn.

We had a very successful second performance of my concert, The Real (?) Me, at Roulette on March 19, 2010. Gelsey Bell did an outstanding performance of This is the Real Me, which I wrote in collaboration with Gelsey. Lee Todd Lacks did a bang up job with the hatemail piece, Your (so called) 'Music' and Matt Crane and I tore it up on some improvised duo extrapolations of themes from This is the Real Me. Click here to read about that concert. Click here to read program notes and see videos from the November 15, 2009 performance of this concert.

My Artistic Statement:
My goal is to create clear music that communicates directly and genuinely. I don't like slick music that has been edited and perfected artificially. I like all the subtle nuances, scratches, 'mistakes' that happen naturally and I think that this is a big part of what makes music expressive.

I am continually searching for my own way to combine all of the vastly different types of music I have played into one personal style. But music is about much more than any individual person. For me, music is about connection between musicians, between musician and composer, between musician and audience and between every person that has created music throughout human existence. Music is organic. A tune takes on increasing layers of meaning every time it is played. People may have completely opposing interpretations depending on what associations they have with a particular piece or style. Any assessments of the quality of a musical style are subjective. Everyone values music differently, depending on their experience.

I want people to feel as though they have been taken somewhere when I play. I want to challenge people; this is when they are moved. Otherwise the music becomes like wall paper, in the background and not really noticed. But at the same time, music can be like a foreign language; you might appreciate the sound of it for a moment but you tune it out after a while because you cannot understand. Either way nothing is being communicated.

I know what is like to move people with music. This feeling is immensely rewarding and when this happens, when people are genuinely affected by music, it is because both musician and audience are so engaged that they forget their egos and tap into something greater. The person in the audience, the musician on stage and the composer are all joined together and become part of music's endless stream.-Tom Swafford 2007

Copyright © 2007 Tom Swafford All rights reserved. Designed by Tony Greaves
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