Support GNE's First Album On Kickstarter!

Thanks to all of our Kickstarter donors, we’re now funded for our CD recording! We made our $12,000 goal, but if you intended to donate and haven’t yet, you can still contribute at the Kickstarter project site. We’re excited to get started setting up the logistics for this recording, and we’ve got one more composer to introduce: Marc Mellits’s works come at you with a drive and groove that’s impossible to ignore, and are not only fun and challenging to play, but really, really fun to listen to. We’ll be recording his piece Five Machines, scored for amplified bass clarinet/soprano sax, electric guitar, amplified cello, amplified bass, amplified marimba, and amplified piano. Here’s a recording of Machine 5 from our performance at the Capital Fringe Festival a couple of years ago:

[audio:|titles=Great Noise Ensemble-Mellits_ Five Machines_ Machine V]

GNE: “What inspired you to become a composer?”

Mellits: “I never really thought about anything else. In fact, I think being a composer is not really something you choose, it chooses you. It is not like one day I woke up and thought, “Yea, a composer, that is what I want to be.” Rather, it is just something I have always done, for as long as I can remember. I am constantly creating, there is always music in my head, even right now. The trick is to learn to be able to take the ideas that we are always thinking of and create beautiful sound that works from beginning to end.”

GNE: “What type, style, or genre of music being created right now (be it classical, pop, country, Broadway, whatever) inspires you or interests you the most? In other words, what artists and composers are speaking to you most with their new work?”

Mellits: “I tend to listen to music across multiples styles and genres. So if it is beautiful, well written music, I would like it regardless of the type or style. I rarely listen to ‘style’ and usually focus on craft instead. Right now, I am absorbed with the music of an American composer whom I admire, Bill Ryan, and a Dutch composer I am fascinated with, Douwe Eisenga. Vivaldi I listen to more than anyone else and own multiple performances of his complete works. Lately, I am also back on the first record of Sigur Ros a lot, can’t stop listening to this one. The guitar work of Jimmy Page of Led Zepplin continues to get my attention these days.”

GNE: “What was your inspiration for composing the piece we’re featuring on the CD and what kind of process do/did you go through when composing it or similar pieces?”

Mellits: “I was living in New York City at the time. I got a call from Michael Gordon of Bang On a Can, out of the blue, asking me if I would be interested in writing for the Bang On A Can All-Stars. I remember it very clearly. I started writing this piece that very same day and did not stop until I reached the end. So, I guess you could say that I was inspired my the group itself. I am also fascinated by machinery. I wanted to write music that had the musicians rely on each other much like they were all parts of a giant musical machine. The Guitar line fits into the Cello, which fits into the Piano, and so on. Each player represents a cog, a belt, a gear in the machine. The music is formed by the combination of sounds of the entire group working together. This was a very important piece of music for me. BOAC took a chance on me, and I will always be grateful. This music that I wrote for them was one of the sparks that led to many more and I will always have BOAC to thank for that!”

To learn more about Marc Mellits, visit his website or check out his interview with New Music Detroit on YouTube.

Once again, THANK YOU to all of the donors who helped get our Kickstarter funded. If you haven’t donated yet but would like to, please visit our Kickstarter project page before June 2 and pitch in!