DJ Masonic curates large, hybrid musical events in extraordinary spaces around the country. A dynamic electronica artist informed by his activities as a symphonic composer, he has worked in a range of venues — from big commercial clubs such as SF’s Mezzanine and Chicago’s Metro, to institutional spaces such as the Kennedy Center and Miami’s New World Symphony. Masonic’s diverse sets extend from jazzy trip-hop to techno and incorporate live musicians from jazz and classical music. This season he will be collaborating with famed electronica duo Thievery Corporation at the Kennedy Center, where he serves as composer-in-residence.
Central to his activities as a DJ is Mercury Soul, a post-classical rave that has brought classical music to a thousand-person crowds in collaborations with clubs and orchestras around the country. The project returned last season to San Francisco’s Ruby Skye in front of eight hundred attendees and also visited SF’s DNA Lounge. Mercury Soul has created a warehouse party with members of the Chicago Symphony; launched the New World Symphony’s club shows in four sold-out shows at its Frank Gehry-designed hall in Miami; packed Pittsburgh’s Static with members of the Pittsburgh Symphony; created “After Hours” events with the San Francisco Symphony; and self-produced a variety of shows in partnerships with a wide range ensembles. For more information on Mercury Soul, click here.
As composer in residence of the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, Masonic is integrating DJing into the Center’s spectacular spaces. Integrating classical music into social spaces is a special focus of his residency, with many diverse events in the works in the near future across the Center’s constellation of arts organizations. His KC Jukebox series presents new music in imaginative new formats, such as a “walk-through” of a century of ambient music that went from Erik Satie to Brian Eno. In addition to Jukebox’s presentation of Thievery Corporation this year, the series also features Angolan instrument maker Victor Gama, known for his release on Aphex Twin’s Replex label.
Collaborations with visionary technology companies have demonstrated that the deep experience of classical music can impact young people in the Digital Age. YouTube commissioned the electro-acoustic Mothership for its YouTube Symphony project, which was viewed by millions around the world online, and Masonic was invited by Cisco to perform his Rise of Exotic Computing at its Partners Summit with members of the Las Vegas Youth Symphony. His unique understanding of technology’s creative possibilities have led to the commissioning of an opera, The (R)evolution of Steve Jobs, by Santa Fe Opera to be premiered in July 2017.