Sunday, September 15, 2019

Matt Marble

Born and raised in Mississippi, I grew up playing guitar and saxophone--pop/rock, blues, and jazz. I took to using pictures from National Geographic Magazine as "scores" from which to improvise music, and I became deeply involved in experimental and improvisatory music. I pursued studies in composition, philosophy, and hearing science at Cal Arts, University of Paris VIII, and Portland State University, where I received my B.A. in Speech & Hearing Sciences. I moved to New Jersey in 2008, where I was steeped in the New York music scene for several years, performing works--songs and chamber music--at The Stone, Judson Church, and St. Patrick's Old Cathedral. In 2016 I received my Ph.D. in music composition from Princeton University. I now live in Portland, Oregon.

Spanning diverse styles, my music naturally inclines towards song (I sing), chamber music, electro-acoustic music, free or scored improvisation, and experimental community ensemble work. I also provide original sound design and music for video and performance projects--I've collaborated frequently with director/animator Orland Nutt. My collaborations with sound artist Seth Nehil can be heard on our album, Ecllipsis (And/Oar, 2009). And in 2015 I independently released my debut album of songs, Middle of the Air, as well as a retrospective of my community ensemble work, Faces of Sound. Most of my writing and music is made through the intuitive disciplines of dreaming, meditation, esoteric geometry, cryptography, ekphrasis, and comedy.

I hear with my eyes. I like to make drawrings. My graphic scores have been featured in journals, galleries, and museums.

My writings have been published in Abraxas Journal, Ear|Wave|Event, Leonardo Music Journal, The Open Space magazine, and FOARM magazine. From 2006-2008, I served as co-editor for FOARM. Through FOARM I also published a book of interdisciplinary scores called Tools of Mind (2007). A primary theme in my writing is the role of intuition and esotericism in the creative process, especially in regards to music, and notably through the perspective of American history. My doctoral dissertation, Buddhist Bubblegum (2016), explores the role of esoteric Buddhism in the creative process of Arthur Russell. Secret Sound, a collection of esoteric biographies of six American composers, is forthcoming.

Representative Works:

Visit Me Online: Matt Marble Music

Oregon Connection: I moved to Portland in 2001 and was active in the free improvisation and experimental composition community for several years. From 2005-2008, I lead a series of community ensemble works, Faces of Sound, in parks and abandoned buildings throughout the city. While many of my works have been inspired by the landscape of this region (see, "Astoria," "Frond"). I have a B.A. in Speech & Hearing Sciences from Portland State, where I also took music courses, and I went on to work for the Veterans Hospital before leaving to pursue my Ph.D at Princeton University. I defended and received my Ph.D. on a snowy winter day in 2016, and the next morning I moved back to Portland.