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Interview with Upcoming EMF Artist Jason Treuting


Jason Treuting and Nick Zammuto will take the stage at Kaufman Center on February 23rd, as part of the Ecstatic Music Festival. They'll be joined by janus, Daisy Press, and Grey McMurray.

Available Now: Watch a video preview with Nick Zammuto and Jason Treuting.

Also available: Jason Treuting, Grey McMurray and Eric Beach at the Greene Space Ecstatic Music Festival preview (video).

  • Tell us about your collaboration with Nick Zammuto. Is there really going to be a spelling bee?

Just got back from his spot in Readsboro, VT and it is wonderful to see things come together. The collaboration is proving to be threefold: we are each making new pieces for janus for the evening, we are getting a duo set together with some new and older material for the two of us to play, and he is making some new video for an older piece of mine (twelve short pieces from a larger set of words music). The hang was great. We are in similar spots in our lives and the hang jumped from kids playing together to checking out an amazing Sol Lewitt exhibit at Mass MoCA to hours in his studio playing, tweaking video, and experimenting.

And yes, there will basically be a spelling bee interrupted frequently with music. These twelve words/phrases were added to the English language officially by Webster's and Oxford Dictionaries, and each piece starts with the word spoken, spelled and then spoken, a la your 4th grade spelling bee. Unibrow. U-N-I-B-R-O-W. Unibrow.

  • Best time/location to compose music?

Recently it has been plane rides when So (Percussion) is touring. I work in spurts even in the best case scenario and I tend to have multiple ideas in the works. So getting in an hour or two of work on the plane or in the van has become the norm — but I like working like that. If I had to choose the best time and location, it would be first thing in the morning with a strong cup of coffee and a great view.

  • My favorite city in the world is ____________________.

Man, I usually stand by San Francisco. I love it. But I have spent a bunch of time working in France over the past two years and Paris is all it is cracked up to be. And Kyoto is a close third. Small, walkable, beautiful and you can't ride your bike 3 blocks without finding a beautiful temple or garden that you have to check out.

  • What music or works of art do you turn to for inspiration?

I am a sucker for Rauschenberg and Jasper Johns. I can't get enough. In Johns, I see a wonderful dialogue between imposed structure (his stencils or map/flag/target forms) and an organic approach. I love trying to find that dialogue in my own work. In this same way, I’ve been looking at Cage's work again and seeing him working to solve these problems is really inspiring to go back to often. But recently, I spent an afternoon at Mass MoCA with the Sol Lewitt Wall Drawing Retrospective. Wow. I get it now.

  • Secret guilty pleasure?

West Wing. I think I’ve probably seen the full seven seasons ten times by now. And I cry at the end of at least one-third. That’s a secret.

  • What can we expect at the concert (in haiku form)?

janus kicking serious ass:
many special guests

A longer form haiku would read something like: the night will be many new things in one place with many wonderful musicians sharing the stage to make it happen. fun for the whole family.

Collaborations that re-define music for the post-classical generation