Apr 2014Stereo Is King: out now!

Sometimes bigger isn’t always better.  While I’ve embraced the symphony as my primary medium — even expanding it with electronic sounds when I want to turn it up to 11 — I always enjoy returning to chamber music, which is the focus of a new CD out this month called Stereo Is King (available at iTunes, Innova, or Amazon).

Chamber music is, in fact, one of the more surprising things that my residency with the Chicago Symphony has kept in sharp focus.  In the midst of performances of large symphonic works such as Alternative Energy and Liquid Interface, I’ve been given wide latitude to create deep relationships with many CSO musicians on a more intimate scale.  The platform has been our MusicNOW series, immersive and eclectic new-music concerts at the Harris Theater.  My two commissions for the MusicNOW series anchor this new disc from Innova Records.

The title track, the percussion trio Stereo Is King (excerpt), embodies a new electro-acoustic approach.  This piece juxtaposes the indigenous and the electronica, two visceral worlds that have surprising similarities and differences.  On the surface, they are quite disparate: the dry, mechanical pops and clicks of breakbeat hit your ears completely differently than the rich, resonant sonorities of Thai gongs and Tibetan prayer bowls.  But there are interesting ways that, say, West African drumming organizes itself not unlike virtuosic breakbeat rhythms.  The charm of jungle and drum ‘n bass is that they superimpose a hyper-rhythmic layer on top of larger, slower-moving structures, and that too can be heard in those UNESCO field recordings of  Uruguay tribes.  Informed by both of those worlds, Stereo Is King ends up somewhere in the middle.

The other CSO-commissioned work is Difficult Bamboo (excerpt), a sprawling work for Pierrot ensemble.  The idea was to create a work inhabiting a peaceful, pastoral minimalism – a kind of idyllic landscape – that gets invaded by a post-serial maximalism, embodied by fast-replicating running bamboo.  Musically that comes in the form of infectious motifs that jump from instrument to instrument insidiously, at one point even turning into a kind of theater between the players.  Thank you, Harry Partch.

Also on the disc is a stellar, pitch-perfect recording by Chanticleer of Observer in the Magellanic Cloud (excerpt), which depicts a satellite catching a glimpse of an ancient Maori tribe.  The chorus, split into two groups, dissolves into a kind of analogue versus digital.  It is the third work I’ve composed for this astonishing orchestra of voices, a continuing collaboration I’m honored to have.

Finally, there are two homages : the IDM electronica track Terrycloth Troposphere (excerpt), doffing a hit to minimalist pioneer Terry Riley, and a piano homage to Alan Lomax in the form of White Lies for Lomax (excerpt).  Those early blues musicians would have remained anonymous but for the tireless efforts of the ethnomusicologist Lomax, and this work conjures those early musicians dreamily.

Many thanks to Innova Records, the most composer-devoted label out there, and to the musicians of the Chicago Symphony and Chanticleer who made this possible.  Check it out if you want to hear the lean and mean.

Mar 2014Garages of the Valley

Much of the Digital Age was dreamed up in the most low-tech of spaces. The garages that dot the landscape of Silicon Valley housed the visionaries behind Apple, Hewlett Packard, Intel, and Google.  Within the bright Valley’s dark garages, the great inventers of our time conjured new worlds propelled by an aspirational, affirmative vision of an interconnected civilization.  All this in a windowless cube without insulation: that’s where imagination steps in.

I looked to those garages when starting to write a new piece for the St Paul Chamber Orchestra which will be premiered this month (the work is also commissioned by the Toronto Symphony and the Milwaukee Symphony and will be performed by them later this spring).  Maestro Edo de Waart will be conducting, and his celebrated tenure at the San Francisco Symphony was one reason my mind went to Silicon Valley (he lived not far from it when many of those garages were bursting with energy).

The other impulse was a desire to shake up my own reality.  Unusual forms and images often pull new sounds out of me – from my ‘energy symphony’ to a recent chamber work conjuring running bamboo – and I was looking for a way to synthesize new sonorities with a paired-down, unplugged orchestra.  “Workshops of the tech visionaries” challenged me to write vigorous and visceral music that would also be filled with a kind of digital exoticism.

I’d been listening to the electronic-sounding (but entirely acoustic) music of Gérard Grisey, one of a long line of ingenious and disagreeable Frenchmen.  His music has two elements that stop me in my tracks: its beautifully effective microtonality, and its stasis.

The two work in tandem, as a listener needs to enter a more meditative listening zone in order to fully enter the fractal-like world of microtones.  (If your piano had 188 keys instead of 88, but covered the same range, you’d have microtones – ie, tiny intervals.)  They can sound unpleasant as hell in the wrong hands, but Grisey uses them to achieve extraordinary sonic effects.  I wanted in.

I also wanted energy: lots of it.  We all have an image of zillions of lines of computer code whizzing down a screen, and I needed a way to bring that to life in a fresh and evocative way.  Churning out figuration is not my specialty – that’s best handled by the Brooklyn minimalists – so I got busy figuring out how to develop on that front.

The resulting 10-minute work is the lean kind of piece I’ve been hoping to write for some years.  It’s dedicated to Edo, who first encountered my music at a Chicago Symphony concert of Alternative Energy, and it will be a great honor to work with such a legendary figure.  Stay tuned for excerpts, info about the St Paul premiere, and the upcoming performances!

 

Feb 2014Putting It Together: Curating

You arrive at the concert hall just in time: the lights dim, the orchestra starts to tune, you shut down your digital life and settle in. Breathless from the hurry, you’re grateful for a few hours of sonic exploration.  So: who has curated the experience you are about to have?

If you are lucky, someone like Michael Tilson Thomas, a master of the black art known as curating.  My mind is on him after performing for several weeks at the SF Symphony, where I was the unknown half of yet another wonderfully provocative MTT set of programs, the Beethoven & Bates Festival. By marrying two related but divergent musics, Michael put both in greater relief. As he’s shown in continually new and adventurous ways over the years, curating a powerful classical experience is ever more essential in the 21st Century.  With that festival fresh in my mind, and with a new MusicNOW concert at the Chicago Symphony this month, it is high time to talk about curating.

And nope, I don’t mean ‘programming,’ which seems too one-dimensional, as if one is creating a mix-tape.  Let’s think of it more like DJing, with the entire experience crafted carefully and immersively. That curatorial approach has been the most wonderful part of my residency at the Chicago Symphony Orchestra with composer Anna Clyne, with whom I’ve learned so much about the new horizons of concert presentation. It comes down to three words: content, production, and platform.

Those are not equal terms. Content, of course, reigns king, since the choice of music must guide all other elements. Ever been to a concert comprised entirely of post-indie rock minimalism? What about one with three different takes the spektral approach? Or perhaps a show where not a single piece includes standard notation? Yeah, me too.

Sure, it can be illuminating to attend a concert inhabiting one aesthetic, but it should be a rare event in my opinion, like a once-a-year “truffle dinner” or something. One of the great pleasures of a well-curated concert is how each piece shines light on the others, and often this happens when there is variety.

For example, often Anna and I search for an imaginative composer’s take on ambient music that can work between two dense pieces. We also think about what expressive spectrum a work inhabits. Process-driven pieces, from Boulez’s Sur Incises to Reich’s Music for 18 Musicians, often benefit from having a warmer aesthetic represented (such as the stunning Living Frescoes by Kevin Puts). Meditative works can range from the quietly revelatory (John Luther Adams’ The Wind in High Places) to West Coast zen (Lou Harrison). Of particular interest to us have been theatrical works, which often take the audience on strange adventures (Benedict Mason’s multimedia work Delta River opened this season’s MusicNOW series).  Ordering these becomes a part-intuitive, part-rational consideration of instrumentation, vibe, and extra-musical thematic relationships (which can create great synergies but can be overdone – I was once programmed next to Pines of Rome because I was living in Rome at the time – !).

The production part of the equation is rarely explored anywhere, but the Chicago Symphony has long been beautifully producing concerts as part of the amazing Beyond the Score series.  So the CSO was quite open to our suggestions about radically expanding the production of the MusicNOW series.

Anna has a sharp eye for multimedia, and I have an interest in smooth flow (cf: spinning records for three hours), so the resulting concerts are immersive and dramatic. The fancy lighting rig of Harris Theater is put to full use; program notes are cinematic, with video interviews of composers playing during set changes; and the concert flows naturally into the post-party, which features local artists. The stage management of the event is way more complex than your standard new-music event. We fill the formerly empty gaps of a concert with projected information, experimenting with new ways to educate the audience in a fun way.

As for platform? We partner with the local DJ collective illmeasures to provide the right kind of abstract, mellow electronica. It’s critically important that all the elements of the experience work together, so we ask for trippy downtempo and not cheesy house. These post-parties have become a wonderful new platform for the Chicago musical community, and it’s part of the reason these concerts bring upwards of a thousand people on a Monday night to hear new music. The festive post-party atmosphere adds social value to the whole experience, and it’s directly inspired by Maestro Riccardo Muti’s directive to take the deeper into the Chicago community.

The American impulse in classical music to better educate and communicate began with Leonard Bernstein, whose affable stage presence and forays into television made classical music more democratic. As Bernstein’s protégée, Michael has carried that to new and greater heights, including his stunning Keeping Score website & PBS specials, and his development of the ‘concert hall of the future’ in Miami.

But there are other great curators out there. Leonard Slatkin walked through the fire of Chapter 11 with the Detroit Symphony, rewrote the orchestral media contract from scratch, and is now broadcasting concerts weekly free concerts that look and sound stunning. Young guns are coming up too. Robert Moody, who conducts this month’s MusicNOW concert, has a knack for astonishing and fearless programming choices. Edwin Outwater is collaborating with composers on evening-long events that are in entirely new formats.

Classical music can harness more of the tools of the 21st Century to expand its reach and educate its audience. Let’s all keep open minds about the way we present it, keeping in mind that some of the biggest developments are happening outside New York. So, who’s curating your experience?

Jan 2014Beethoven’s Synth

I embark this month on eight performances with Michael Tilson Thomas and the San Francisco Symphony in the “Beethoven & Bates” festival, consisting of several of my largest electro-acoustic symphonic works alongside some of the warhorses of ol’ Ludwig.  The lopsided pairing, which comes with an almost baked-in punch line (Beethoven who?), nonetheless provokes a discussion about the living animal that is the orchestra.

Think of a black-turtlenecked composer in the 1960’s, surrounded by several huge analogue synths amidst a sea of patch chords.  That’s Beethoven.

After all, the orchestra is an acoustic synthesizer consisting of lots of third-party hardware.  Fragmented development was the bane of Steve Jobs, but it’s worked just fine for the symphony, which means simply ‘a sounding together.’  That definition was pretty loose through the 17th Century: musicians showed up with something that made noise and, garage-band style, followed the charts.  Early composers rarely specified exact instrumentation, focusing on the purity of harmony and counterpoint.  Then, around Bach’s time, the first standardization emerged: the strings splintered into violins, violas, celli, and basses.  What was once a few knobs on the synth soon became four, then five (the impulse to divide the first violins not unlike early rock’s ‘division of labor’ into lead guitar and rhythm guitar).

By the time Haydn and Mozart churned out scores of symphonies, the orchestra may have seemed relatively stable: pairs of winds and brass, a few tuned drums, the string section.  But even when things seemed static, the orchestra was always being tuned-up under the hood.  String instruments, for example, eventually stopped using cat-gut (that’s right, the technology behind the melodies was once the guts of cats).  Mozart’s use of trombones in his Requiem is always given high marks in the evolution of the orchestra, not the first (nor certainly the last) of many sonic expansions by composers.

The brass, in fact, would be arguably the most impactful section of the orchestra for years because of the new harmonic possibilities it gave composers.  Beethoven’s third horn in his Erocia symphony was, yes, just one more knob on the synth, but it was a crucial one that allowed for thicker chords.  The woodwinds were also moving up the evolutionary ladder: if there’s a flying squirrel, perhaps it’s the contrabassoon, whose 18 feet of tubing magically opened up the sub-sonic.

At the end of Beethoven’s output, the orchestra gained an especially extraordinary addition: singers. When the chorus and soloists appeared in the finale to the 9th Symphony, they came with the wonderfully messy baggage of peace, brotherhood, and love. With singers came text, and with text came content.  That’s ripe stuff for a composer, and Beethoven’s successors ran wild.  Berlioz, in particular, embraced the pregnant possibilities of not just new sounds, but audacious new forms made possible by narrative.

Go into hyperdrive over the next two centuries of music, and all manner of new instruments pass by: Wagner’s tubas; Mr. Sax’s strange hybrid brass-woodwind; Strauss’s use of alphorn; Varése’s engorged percussion section.  There’s no pomposity in adding the use of electronic sounds to this list of palette expansions, as it’s just another knob that’s appeared on the world’s greatest synth.

But I do find electronics a particularly rich addition.  Its limitless rhythmic possibilities, especially when informed by the intricate grooves of electronica, make me feel a little like a 19th Century composer first encountering the chromatic possibilities of brass valves.  And the dramatic possibilities are limitless too: a symphony about water, for example, can actually travel to Antarctica by using field recordings of glaciers calving.  An archival recording of a NASA spacewalk can take us to the outer atmosphere of Earth.  Maybe it’s not exactly like having a  chorus in the finale of the 9th, but using electronics in the concert hall certainly throws open the narrative possibilities.

So come to the SF Symphony this month and the world’s greatest synth, with knobs old and new.  Info here:

Jan 8 – 10: The B-Sides, orchestral suite informed by the ‘b-sides’ of psychedelic rock and the early modernism of Arnold Schoenberg.  INFO

Jan 15 – 18: Liquid Interface: ‘water symphony’ beginning with actual recordings of glaciers calving in Antarctica and heating up in each subsequent movement.  INFO

Nov 2013The BBQ Joint Principle

Upon hitting Alabama soil for performances of Liquid Interface with the Mobile Symphony this month, I headed straight for the iconic BBQ joint known as The Brick Pig. You roll down Old Shell Road and look for the smoker stationed out front, gently leaking sweet pecan-wood smoke.  A tiny shack greets you.  Inside, friendly I-ate-here graffiti covers every square inch (and not many inches at that).  Whether you get the rack, the pulled pork, or the chicken, you’ll soon experience meat with a depth of flavor that comes only after a few days in the brick pit out back.  The shabby surroundings seem to verify the authenticity.  BYOB.

A few miles away is an entirely different spot, Dreamland, whose neon and glass sparkles with the shine of new construction.  While the original spot in Tuscaloosa is as much of a shack as the Pit, Mobile’s version is a comparative estate.  This is the result of the success of the franchise, which is older and more pedigreed than the Brick Pit.  Dreamland is nationally known, on just about every BBQ shortlist.  I’ll always side with the shack turning out the deeper smoked flavor; but hey, it’s ‘Bama, and there’s room for both.

In comparing ‘big-budget pedigree’ versus ‘hole-in-the-wall,’ my mind drifted, pecan-smoke style, to the symphonic world which I inhabit.  Sure, I absolutely loved when the National Symphony gave the flashy premiere of Liquid Interface years ago, or when the LA Phil played it under John Adams or the Chicago Symphony under Jaap van Sweden.  The big-name orchestras – the Dreamlands – bring top-notch musicianship and shiny prestige to the table, and that brings one’s music to the attention of the national community.

But I am just as happy that, in just one recent week for example, a slew of Brick Pits played my music.  From the Boulder Philharmonic (Rusty Air in Carolina) to the Oakland Symphony (Mothership) to Mobile and others, these are wonderful orchestras that certainly aren’t shabby; but they don’t have Dreamland budgets.  There’s a gratefully high volume of performances of my symphonic works that cannot attend most of them, so I have to rely on my spies to get an idea of how things went (or post-mortems with the conductor, or archival recordings etc).  But one thing is consistent: regional orchestras come with a soulfulness, a depth of flavor, a sincerity and warmth.  If your music can work in front of those players and audiences, where encounters with new music are more rare, it’ll work anywhere.

That doesn’t mean you write easy music or easy-listening.  Liquid Interface is goddamn hard (music about water often comes with a zillion notes).  Rusty Air in Carolina piles clouds of ambient, fluorescent textures atop one another that, like the buzzing insects of the South, rub against each other with a strange friction.  Mothership, being an opener, is certainly more user-friendly, but its electro-acoustic soundworld is a completely left-field experience almost anywhere that hasn’t played Rusty or other electro-acoustic works of mine.

Getting the electronics to work without a hitch in dozens of Brick Pits is the result of a Manhattan Project on my end (with kudos to software developer Barry Threw and music distributor Bill Holab).  But it’s given me an infinite new palette of sounds.  My work on expanding the orchestral soundworld has been as much indebted to the San Francisco and Chicago Symphonies as it has been to, say, the Winston-Salem and Portland Symphonies.

So when I kick off the Beethoven & Bates Festival early next year with the MTT and the SFS, I’ll certainly enjoy the sparkle of the fine establishment.  But I won’t forget about that pecan-wood smoke drifting down Old Shell Road.

Oct 2013The Birth & Life of New Work

Getting into space is hard, but throwing oneself into deep orbit is much harder.

The premiere of a new work — say, Alternative Energy, for orchestra and electronica in 2012 — can feel like a trip to the moon.  The thrill of a premiere of a large work by Riccardo Muti and the Chicago Symphony felt, at the time, like the pinnacle of a long journey — and it was, to be sure.  But perched on the edge of one planet, one then focuses on various others deeper in the solar system.

How does a composer launch a new work beyond the premiere?

Alternative Energy certainly is not in deep space yet, but it has managed to float beyond the beyond the gravitational pull of its first performances, on various programs of orchestras large and small this season.  Other works, from Liquid Interface to Mothership to the Violin Concerto, continue to keep my publisher busy.  With all these, my efforts to bring the music to different audiences began before the first notes were written and continue to this day:

First off, have a good premiere.  That means, in essence, spend a lot of time writing the piece.  Even with a prestigious orchestra, symphonic commissions are not movie scores, and composers so often accept every project in order survive.  But unless you’re writing in self-replicating style (say, indie-rock-infused post-minimalism), you can only write a few orchestral works.  For me, a symphonic project needs at least a year from conception to double-barline.  There’s the pre-compositional work, which in my case involves a great deal of fantasizing about wild forms and new sounds.  There’s the composition itself, with all its wonderful and annoying twists and turns.  And there’s the post-compositional stage, with the crushing task of orchestrating (and, in my case, sometimes a great deal of electronic mastering).  The symphonic field, with its legion of picky performers, quickly sniffs out whether a work has been given due time.  Go slow.

Then, it’s important to polish and buff the piece after the premiere.  This seems obvious, but sometimes it’s hard to snuggle up again to a new work after spending a year on it.  But I’ll venture that no symphonic work, not a single one, has ever survived a premiere without some edits.  With Alternative Energy, I made all manner of edits to the blues fiddle solo in the first movement.  Now it really pops, even with a junk percussion ensemble and the orchestra chugging beneath.  But that’s with the benefit of hearing it many time, from the premiere to tours in California, Michigan, and New York.  My rule is that I should change the parts if I have to tell an orchestra the same thing more than once.

Next it’s time to think small: a piece doesn’t enter the repertoire only through the Big Five.  I’ve been extremely fortunate to have long-term relationships with the Chicago and San Francisco Symphonies, but I still put the same importance on the fifth performance with a small orchestra than in a flashy premiere.  Regional orchestras teach you a lot about how the piece will sit with musicians on a lean budget, in front of audiences with a little experience with new art.  (This is particularly important for works with electronics: if you can make it work on a shoestring in a small town, you can do it anywhere.)

And besides, the symphonic world is a family, and each branch of the family tree can bring your music into contact with future collaborators.  The Mobile Symphony, for example — which is playing Liquid Interface in November — hosted me many years ago as their composer-in-residence.  But before that, when I was just a teenager, they performed my first orchestral work.  There’s a long list of those kinds of relationships, from Winston-Salem Symphony to Oakland to Richmond to Phoenix (which has performed more of my music than anyone).  Between my distributor, my management, and me, those groups and many others are always update-to-date with my new work.

Lastly, be real and have good friends.  Riccardo Muti has become a friend and important collaborator; so has Robert Moody.  The latter commissioned my first piece, took it around the country, and has continued to program my music as he’s risen to new heights.  Both are Southern in their own way; both appreciate a letter and face-to-face time.  Michael Tilson Thomas has become a close friend and a cherished inspiration for new work — and I also value his counterpart across the Bay, Michael Morgan at the Oakland Symphony.  The latter is performing Mothership this season and has programmed several works over the years.  With both Michaels, I’ve stayed interested in everything they are doing, not just my music.  It’s easy in a world of Twitter and Facebook to only think about our own lives, but having a genuine interest in others serves one personally, artistically, and professionally.

And crucially on this journey into deep orbit: turn on your radar.  A website should act as a map for orchestras, presenting your catalogue very simply and cleary, with short clips and specific info.  Now that I’ve become a curator, constantly hunting for new music for the Chicago Symphony and for Mercury Soul, I’ve become very appreciative of clarity.  So, in a nutshell: write hard, edit much, and let your friends know.  With some luck, that can lead to new ones.

Sep 2013And So It Begins

After the nonstop traveling of last season — which at one point had me flying straight from a Mercury Soul DJ gig (in a semi-wrecked state) to a morning rehearsal of Liquid Interface — this summer has been a welcome stretch of composing in California.  For the past few months, I’ve been composing a cello concerto for the exceptional Joshua Roman, a solo piano piece, and a large ensemble piece for the Chicago Symphony’s MusicNOW series.  That’s a lot to write, but my commute has been the short distance from my bedroom to the studio (and sometimes to the backyard, if I need to listen to some music while attacking a row of tomato plants).  That beats United Airlines any day.

This seasonal rhythm has become important for me.  Summertime is when I get a big start on composing the most demanding pieces on the docket, when I listen to a slew of music in consideration for various curating projects, and when I simply recharge on the domestic level.  So even while keeping a full schedule of composing, I’ve been able to obsess about herb-garden soil amendments and get a start on surfing.  All well and good, because things are now kicking into high gear for the 2013-14 season.  Here’s a flyover:

SFS Beethoven & Bates Festival. Without question, this is the coolest-sounding festival I’ll ever be associated with (though Berlioz would have me peaking like egg whites).  My ongoing partnership with the San Francisco Symphony continues this season and next, when my three biggest works — Alternative Energy, Liquid Interface, and The B-Sides — will be performed alongside works of what’s-his-name.  Next to the Beethoven, my ‘energy symphony,’ ‘water symphony,’ and surreal symphonic suite will create both harmony and friction.  On one level, the large-scale and dramatic nature of my music makes it a logical programming choice with Beethoven, who invented the narrative form with the 9th Symphony.  When a chorus appeared in the finale, suddenly the symphonic form included text — and this merging of content and abstract medium opened the symphony to later explorations by Wagner, Liszt, and Berlioz.  My music often brings unusual narrative forms to life, but with an electro-acoustic palette and a completely different stylistic sensibility than the 19th Century symphonists.  It’s a provocative programming choice from the most gifted and offbeat mindfreak the world knows, Michael Tilson Thomas.

Chicago Symphony & MusicNOW.  This season marks the third of my 5-year residency with the country’s Ferrari of orchestras, the Chicago Symphony.  A hot-off-the-press work for cello ensemble comes to the CSO’s MusicNOW series, which has become a phenomenon that’s pulled in huge audiences from well beyond classical music.  Listening to today’s wealth of wonderful new music has been one of the great pleasures of curating this series with Anna Clyne.  But we’ve also had an incredible time learning about elaborate stagecraft and concert presentation.  It’s an immersive experience with dynamic digital program notes, pre- and post-concert DJing, and the best musicians around.

Violin Concerto.  Anne Akiko Meyers continues her amazing run with my Violin Concerto, with an upcoming recording session with the London Symphony and Maestro Leonard Slatkin.  (You can also catch performances this season with the Chicago, Detroit, and Richmond Symphonies.)  In addition, the SFS will be recording all three of my pieces from the Beethoven & Bates festival for release next season.  And finally, the Brooklyn Youth Chorus will release Mass Transmission, about early long-range radio transmissions between a mother and daughter, next spring.  In total, these CDs will slake a deep thirst on my end — though after so long without any symphonic CDs, having three big ones might make me a little drunk.

Mercury Soul.  It began as a self-produced club show in San Francisco, but in five years Mercury Soul has become the country’s definitive “alt-classical” event.  Fusing performances of classical music into an evening of DJing and surreal visuals, the show returns to the Chicago and San Francisco Symphonies after packed shows with the CSO and Pittsburgh Symphony last spring.  Mercury Soul is new music to new ears in new ways.  Click here for more info.

Oldies, which do the real work.  No matter how busy things get for me, the heavy lifting is always done by my catalogue: Mothership is opening many a concert these days; Rusty Air in Carolina is still bringing the buzzing ambience of the South to orchestras; The B-Sides is appearing in whole or part in various places; and acoustic works such as Sea-Blue Circuitry remind everyone that “you don’t need EDM to have a good time.”  (And in the case of the electro-acoustic works, more often than not the orchestra and a percussionist handle it on their own with ease).

If you’re new to the site, please sign up for my once-in-a-blue-moon newsletter below.  Right now I’m in that zen-gardening state, but when you next hear from me, my hair will be afire as the season revs up.  Until!

Andrew Chan performs "Stereo is King"

Andrew Lan performs Stereo is King for percussion trio & electronica (solo & pre-recorded tape version arr. by Andrew Chan), the title track from Mason's new record on Innova Recordings. Purchase the album HERE.

Join the Mason Bates Mailing List

Buy Debut CD on iTunes or Amazon