Elliot Yokum was born and raised a few miles outside of Boston, Massachusetts. Their first composition was written in the fourth grade for their violin teacher: it featured a key signature with two sharps and one flat, and was about six measures long. They spent their childhood practicing taekwondo and dancing ballet: from these interests came their love of rhythm and movement.
Elliot is passionate about exploring the intersection between sound and visual media, particularly alongside consensual audience interaction. Their interests include sound design for theatre and film, sound art instillations, and composition for visual and interactive media, such as video games and ballet. Elliot's work explores their own life and experiences as well as the realm of the mystical, with themes of growing up, sexuality, mental illness, fantasy, astrology, and escapism.
Elliot's compositions have been performed and recorded by several ensembles, including the Compos-It Opera Festival Company, the Carnegie Mellon Philharmonic, the Carpe Diem String Quartet, and several Carnegie Mellon University chamber ensembles. Most recently, their piece Imaginary Paintings for mezzo-soprano, cello, and euphonium won Most Innovative in Sigma Alpha Iota's 2018 Unusual Ensemble Challenge. In May 2018, they earned their BFA in Music Composition from Carnegie Mellon University, where they studied under the tutelage of Nancy Galbraith. They are currently pursuing their MFA in Sound Design at the CalArts School of Theatre.
Elliot is a member of Sigma Alpha Iota International Music Fraternity, and has served as the Alpha Mu chapter's Vice President of Ritual, Sergeant-at-Arms, and Service Chair.