DJ Masonic, a frequent presence in San Francisco’s clubs and lounges, 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 SFMOMA and Miami’s New World Symphony. Masonic’s diverse sets extend from jazzy trip-hop to techno, often incorporating live musicians from jazz and classical music. His unique understanding of technology’s creative possibilities has also brought him into corporate partnerships with innovative Bay Area companies such as YouTube and Cisco.
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. Created with Maestro Benjamin Shwartz and director Anne Patterson, this fluid event integrates gripping performances of classical music into an evening of DJing and imaginative visuals. 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.
Around San Francisco, Masonic has been heard at spaces ranging from large clubs (Temple and Mezzanine) to lounges (Eve, Sugar, Sip, John Colins) to art spaces (SFMOMA, 111 Minna). Often joined by the extraordinary upright bassist David Arend and other musicians, his performances bring a unique angle to events, such as at galas around San Francisco (from the LINES Ballet to the headlined performance at the SFS Black & White Ball).
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 recently invited by Cisco to perform his Rise of Exotic Computing at its Partners Summit with members of the Las Vegas Youth Symphony.