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Matt McBane is a composer whose music ranges from visceral rhythms and complex grooves to delicate melodies and rich textures, freely and intuitively incorporating a wide array of influences including: minimalism, experimentalism, European classical music, art rock, jazz, film music, fiddle music and electronic music. He has been described as “a natural composer, a fresh voice and, from the evidence of his festival, a first-rate organizer with a broad range of musical interests” by Mark Swed in the Los Angeles Times and as having “a fantastic intuitive sense that is backed up by a serious amount of compositional craft” by Sequenza21.
Matt is the violinist and composer for his Brooklyn-based band, Build, described by New York Magazine as a “rocking post-classical quintet which takes inspiration from minimalist chamber music, instrumental rock, modal jazz, and more.”Build released its debut album, “Build,” in the summer of 2008 and its second “Place,” in March 2011 both on New Amsterdam Records to widespread critical acclaim. Build’s recordings are regularly played radio stations across the country including on WNYC and NPR’s All Things Considered.
Other recent and upcoming projects include: “Drawn,” a 25-min suite for bluegrass string band released on the Jake Schepps Quintet's “Entwined” on Fine Mighty Records in 2015 and praised as a top album of the year by Colorado Public Radio; “On and On and,” a choral piece based on the writings on John Muir written for Sacra/Profana and released as a single in 2015; an upcoming suite of duos cello and percussion for Jeffrey Zeigler and Jason Treuting; and an upcoming percussion quartet co-commissioned by Los Angeles Percussion Quartet and Mobius Percussion.
Matt is the Founder and Director of the Carlsbad Music Festival, a festival of “adventurous music by the beach” praised by the Los Angeles Times as “marvelously enlightening” and by the San Diego Union Tribune as “phenomenal” and the winner of the 2010 CMA/ASCAP Award for Adventurous Programming and 2012 and 2013 NEA Grants. The Festival, founded in 2004, regularly commissions new works, and features both master and emerging artists. For his direction of the Festival, Matt was selected as a 2012 “Rising Star in the Performing Arts” by Musical America.
Matt has written for many ensembles and instrumentalists including the Calder Quartet, Meehan/Perkins Duo, Chatham Baroque, Wild Up, NOW Ensemble, California EAR Unit, and pianists Vicky Chow and Michael Mizrahi, and has appeared at venues and series including Carnegie Hall, the Los Angeles Philharmonic Brooklyn Festival, the Bang on a Can Marathon (NYC), Disney Hall’s REDCAT (LA), the Whitney Museum of Art, Le Poisson Rouge (NYC), and many others. He has also collaborated extensively with choreographers and video artists and has scored several independent films.
Matt and his projects have been the recipients of numerous grants, awards, and prizes from organizations including: the NEA, the American Music Center; ASCAP, Meet the Composer, Chamber Music America, the Copland Fund, and the American Composer’s Forum. Matt is currently a Doctoral Fellow at Princeton University and studied composition at the University of Southern California’s Thornton School of Music with Donald Crockett and at the Bang on a Can Summer Institute.