Stereo is King
Stereo is King
- Calling all Chicagoans! Check out @dalniente concert tomorrow at Cultural Center...cool huge piece by Hans Abrahamsen t.co/eyr6dwIYjH
- Thx to @thespco for expertly conjuring early Silicon Valley in last night's premiere of "Garages of the Valley" t.co/VuGq7QTS0R
- Thurs world premiere of my chamber symphony "Garages of the Valley" w the @thespco tells the tale of #SiliconValley t.co/2z1BhxUyE2
- Stunning first rehearsal of "Garages of the Valley" w/ @thespco – killer group! Thoughts on the new piece at t.co/xARweyefvr
- Have a look at the interview I did for this weekend's Violin Concerto concert w the @rvasymphony & @anneakikomeyers t.co/COJfK9w5cm
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.