Stereo is King

Classical music for instruments and electrons
Mason Bates
Mason Bates
Tania Stavreva
Claremont Trio
Grand Valley State University (GVSU) New Music Ensemble
Musicians from the Chicago Symphony Orchestra
Catalog Number: 
new classical
new music

Burlingame, CA

Release Date: 
Mar 25, 2014
Liner Notes: 
1 CD
Mason Bates: Stereo Is KingiTunes Artist's PageiTunes Album Page
Song TitleTimePrice
1.Stereo Is King12:34$-1
2.Observer in the Megellanic Cloud06:24$0.99
3.Difficult Bamboo22:55$-1
4.Terrycloth Troposphere05:14$0.99
5.String Band12:29$-1
6.White Lies for Lomax06:37$0.99

Stereo is King

One Sheet: 

Crossing boundaries is nothing new for composer and electronica artist Mason Bates. As comfortable with staff paper as he is DJing (under the name Masonic), Bates has already garnered acclaim for works commissioned by the San Francisco Symphony, the National Symphony Orchestra, the Chicago Symphony (where he serves as composer-in-residence) and others. Here on Stereo Is King -- his first release since his 2009 debut, Digital Loom -- he takes his listeners on a wild ride through chamber music, choral music, and electronica, featuring performances by Tania Stavreva, Claremont Trio, Grand Valley State University (GVSU) New Music Ensemble, Chanticleer and musicians from the Chicago Symphony Orchestra.

From the title track’s combination of electronics and an array of percussion to the angular syncopation of “White Lies for Lomax” -- an homage to the early, anonymous blues musicians recorded by ethnomusicologist Alan Lomax -- Stereo Is King explores the possibilities of a broad range of sonorities, refusing to exclude any genre by fiat and instead embracing whole the wide world of music. “Observer in the Magellanic Cloud,” performed by Chanticleer, drifts high above in a place where distant future meets ancient past. “Difficult Bamboo” begins minimally and grows wildly out of control. Bill Ryan and the GVSU New Music Ensemble deftly navigate “Terrycloth Troposhere,” an ode to Terry Riley that repurposes motifs from his seminal “In C,” while “String Band” is grounded in bluegrass and old-time string band music.

Throughout, Bates’ voice comes clear from within the diversity of approaches, ensembles and styles. It is his balance as a writer and envisioner of modern music that envelops the past while moving confidently into the future that ties Stereo Is King together into a comprehensive statement by a talented young composer.