Smoke: Music of Marc Mellits

Smoke: Music of Marc Mellits

Music to inhale
Marc Mellits
New Music Detroit
Shannon Orme
Erik Ronmark
Gina DiBello
Adrienne Ronmark
Samuel Bergman
Una O'Riordan
Gyan Riley
Vicky Chow
Ian Ding
Daniel Bauch
Catalog Number: 
#1 004
new classical
new music
string quartet
music for dance

Detroit, MI

Release Date: 
Jun 22, 2018
Liner Notes: 
1 CD
One Sheet: 

Whether you call it visceral or rockin’, the music of Chicago-based composer Marc Mellits is never less than smokin’ hot. In this album of ensemble works, New Music Detroit (NMD) not only finds the groove, it shakes it.

SMOKE is the culmination of a long and fruitful relationship between NMD and Mellits:

"Marc is one of our oldest friends and collaborators so it was only natural to feature his music on our first official album. We were especially excited to record 'Smoke', which was commissioned and premiered by NMD" says Artistic Director and percussionist Ian Ding.

Marc Mellits echoes that sentiment: “My good friends New Music Detroit are able to combine finesse with raw power in this wonderful new recording of my works; I am absolutely thrilled with the results of our long and warm collaboration.”

The four works - three of which have not been previously recorded - display Mellits’ unique spirit and virtuosity in an album that spans a full spectrum of emotion — an eclectic combination of driving rhythms, soaring lyricism, and colorful orchestrations that all combine to communicate directly with the listener. 


New Music Detroit, founded in 2006, is a collective of musicians dedicated to performing groundbreaking musical works from the late-20th century to the present day. A highly flexible ensemble with a cast of core members and prominent guest artists, NMD performs new and adventurous classical music in a wide variety of settings, for a wide variety of people.

NMD strives to collaborate with the most exciting creative voices of our time and regularly gives performances of rarely-heard works by today's major composers. Through innovative programming and risk-taking, virtuoso performances, NMD continues to explore new ways of bringing the best of new and experimental music to the City of Detroit.


Composer Marc Mellits is one of the leading American composers of his generation, enjoying hundreds of performances throughout the world every year, making him one of the most performed living composers in the United States. From Carnegie Hall and the Kennedy Center, to prestigious music festivals in Europe and the US, Mellits’ music is a popular mainstay on programs throughout the world. 



"New Music Detroit's tribute to the Chicago-based composer comes together as a brilliant testament to the ensemble's virtuosity and musicality as well as Mellits' compositional prowess. Alternating between the vibrant and the serene, it's an excellent addition to Innova Recordings' already stellar roster of modern new music masterworks." [FULL ARTICLE] - Andy Jurik


“Mellits weaves a seductive fabric, glistening and bright, rhythmically buoyant and flexible yet heavy with compact melodic hooks.” [FULL ARTICLE]


"If there’s a nagging voice in the back of your head telling you serious music shouldn’t also be fun, tell it to shut up and listen to Marc Mellits’s works on Smoke." [FULL ARTICLE] - Jon Sobel


"a highly entertaining and skilfully crafted release which will provide a juicy new source of musical vibrancy" [FULL ARTICLE] - Dominy Clements


"Smoke: Music of Marc Mellits excels in every way, from the recording and mixing to the first-rate playing. It may not always rock in a purist’s sense of the verb. Visceral, though–that word, with its reference to deep feeling and gut-level impact, applies throughout." [FULL ARTICLE] - Nick Stevens


"sprinkled with some gnarly, metal-flavored guitar—brash, bracing, energetic, and refreshing as a gallon of ice water on a 95-degree day." - Mark Keresman


"Smoke is a fascinating experiment in construction and integration, piecing together works with short, contrasting movements and diverse musical influences. Yet each unique flavor unites to create a delectable whole: the complete and complex palette of Marc Mellits."  [FULL ARTICLE] - Gabriela Tedeschi


"Even better, his music—at least insofar as it's presented here—is a lot of fun, not the kind of thing one typically hears said about a classical recording. Such irreverence is refreshing on a release whose cover image suggests a stronger connection to The Grateful Dead than Beethoven." [FULL ARTICLE]


"visceral rhythmic energy, ironic vein and joie de vivre are combined with the melodic tunes of popular flavor, but finely chiselled by this master of musical miniatures." [FULL ARTICLE] - Filippo Focosi


"It's fresh and exciting music. Three of the compositions have never been recorded before, and in NMD, Mellits has found a good home for his idiosyncratic compositions." [FULL ARTICLE]