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Matt Evans

Brooklyn, NY            


Matt Evans has been passionately listening to air conditioning units for as long as he can remember. Since moving to Brooklyn in 2012, he has survived as a composer, percussionist and sound artist working in cross-disciplinary contexts, playing in bands, performing with new music ensembles, and producing performances that integrate music and movement. Matt performs, records and co-leads collaborative projects with Tigue, Bearthoven, Man Forever, and Private Elevators and has recently begun performing and recording solo material under his own name. He has been lucky to have concert music commissioned and performed by ensembles including andPlay, Aperture duo, The Dartmouth Contemporary Music Lab, Present Music, Contemporaneous, the Sound ExChange Project, Exceptet, Karl Larson and Eric Carlson. As a collaborative composer, he’s helped developed dreamy cross-disciplinary performances at the Museum of Art and Design (with Steven Reker, 2018), Brooklyn Academy of Music (with Open House, Rememberer 2016), Roulette (with Tigue, Strange Paradise 2016), and the Kitchen (with Open House, In Watermelon Sugar 2015). Matt was the December 2018 Musician-in-Residence at Brooklyn art space, Pioneer Works and his composition Still Life No. 1 was recently selected for the 2019 MATA Festival. Originally from Columbus, Ohio, he studied percussion performance at the Eastman School of Music and the Ohio State University before landing in New York.

Artist Statement

I make contemporary ritual music that uses acoustic and electronic instruments to activate spaces sonically and physically. Sonically, I create sound collages with static consonant harmonies, simple twisting melodies and layers of “non-musical” sounds (writing, typing, breathing). Physically, I utilize the sculptural nature of instruments and performers to create poetic visual gestures in space. Through this work, I explore how musical performances can capture the inexpressible absurdity of supermassive phenomenon (e.g. “global warming” or “the internet”). I’m specifically interested in the power of the human individual within these circumstances, and how musical performance can express this struggle. I communicate this experience using non-traditional scores comprised of logical machine-like processes that direct sound worlds, then contradict those systems by encouraging performers to improvise within them. I call this my “truth music” — a fusion of logical systems and human intuition into an interconnected musical language. Additional ritualistic character is formed from both my concern with the physical relationships of musicians and the theater of communication necessary to perform the music as well as my experimentation with new modes of musical transmission from composer to performer to audience. My musical style becomes a byproduct of these explorations — a consequential layering of rubbery harmonies, wandering melodies, and incidental noises, each with their own identity, reacting to each other in unpredictable ways in the creation of what I call a “sonic ecology.”

sundogs (2019)

sundogs takes naturally occurring optical phenomenon as a point of departure, using consequential sonic byproducts of bow placement as an expression of these sublime circumstances.  

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Still Life No. 1 (2014)

Written over the summer of 2014 and premiered at New York contemporary music venue Spectrum, the work was a gift for my friend, fellow collaborator and roommate, pianist Karl Larson. Rooted in process but consumed by beauty, resonance, and patience, the work provides simple instructions that guide the performer through non repetitious permutations. I’m frequently absorbed by stillness, serenity, and nothingness; allowing these realities to manifest in my music.

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Melt (2017)

Melt was written in residence at contemporary music venue Mengi in Reykjavik, IS this past July, 2017. The work responds directly to my anxieties surrounding climate change, glacier calving and arctic melt — emotions that were amplified after two weeks in northern climate. The piece is performed solo using feedback loops, sine tones, radio static and cassette tape recordings of waterfall noise.

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