Matt Evans is a percussionist and composer with an enormous affinity for process, patterns, autonomy and abstraction. He frequently works in cross-disciplinary contexts, playing in bands, performing with new music ensembles, and producing performances that integrate music, movement and visual art. Matt co-leads, performs and tours with several projects including Tigue, Open House, Bearthoven, Rokenri, Man Forever, Ensemble Signal, Contemporaneous and Private Elevators and his concert music has been performed by Karl Larson, Eric Carlson, Contemporaneous, Sound ExChange, and Present Music. Praised by the New York Times as “…meticulous and expressive,” Matt has performed at acclaimed venues and series including The BAM Next Wave Festival, The Kitchen, Lincoln Center, The Celebrate Brooklyn! Festival and the Museum of Modern Art. His recordings have been released with New Amsterdam Records, Cantaloupe Music, Thrill Jockey, and Perfect Wave. Matt received a Masters of Music in Percussion Performance from the Eastman School of Music, where he studied with Michael Burritt, and completed his undergraduate degree at The Ohio State University under the direction of Susan Powell and Joe Krygier.
My concert music magnifies time, stretching sound beyond a listener' peripheries and constructing an abstract representation of a single instant. I imagine that, within each second there is architecture. These spaces are expressed in my compositions through a musical stillness or extreme duration, blending ambient drones, process-based minimalism, installation and conceptual art.
Sonically, my compositions often imitate physical process by relating the sounds of degraded recording technologies to acoustic instruments. In 2013 I recorded a series of thirty cassette tape compositions. Each piece was focused on recording sound directly to tape and then physically manipulating it– either by cutting, scratching or stretching the recorded tape. The results of these experiments have since become a sonic guide for my acoustic pieces. Acoustic drones are given life through subtle variations, and simple patterns are augmented over extreme durations. Various hues are layered and blurred across time, providing a transcendent space for one to reflect and trace their experience.
My music is a vehicle for larger conceptual ideas, concerned with the meeting point between process and autonomy. To support these ideas, I’ve constructed my own non-traditional notation. I use instruction-based scores that blend determinate and indeterminate directives to provide each performer with an interpretive freedom, giving each performer a unique agency. Through this process, my work questions the feudal nature of traditional notation and reimagines the musical subject— turning away from melody and narrative and towards texture and time.
Collaboration is a cornerstone of my work. Alongside concert music, I frequently work in cross-disciplinary contexts, playing in bands and producing performances that integrate music, movement and visual art. Through these projects, aesthetics and concepts merge, tirelessly avoiding narrative, in the construction of a kinetic environment of abstraction, logic and beauty.