DJ Masonic, a frequent presence in San Francisco’s clubs and artspaces, 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 Berlin’s Volksbühne, to institutional spaces such as SFMOMA and Miami’s New World Symphony. Masonic’s diverse sets range from jazzy trip-hop to techno, often incorporating live musicians from jazz and classical music.
Central to his activities as a DJ is Mercury Soul, a cross-genre project that drops thrilling performances of classical music into an evening of DJing and immersive stagecraft. Created in collaboration with director Anne Patterson and Maestro Benjamin Shwartz , this innovative event has brought a new vision of the concert experience to thousand-person crowds in clubs, warehouses, and concert halls. New World Symphony invited Mercury Soul to create multiple events for its Frank Gehry-designed concert hall in Miami, including during last season’s Winter Music Conference. The project also has a running collaboration with the Chicago Symphony, with whom it has created events in warehouses and in the Metro club, and it is partnering with the Pittsburgh Symphony for an event this season at Static.
Around San Francisco, Masonic has been heard at a variety of spaces, ranging from large clubs (Temple and Mezzanine) to lounges (Eve, Sugar, Skylark, Fuse) to art spaces (San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, 111 Minna). Often joining him on upright bass is the extraordinary David Arend, who performs on their monthly residency “2nd Thursdays at John Colins” in SF’s SOMA district.
Masonic’s original music, built from scratch from the ground up, appeared in The Locrian Mode, a surrealist film by Eric Lodal. Matching the film’s intimate look at four characters who interact in a night club, the score featured the Dryden String Quartet and electronics. The film stars Dominique Swaine and opened the Beverly Hills Film Festival.