Bio

I’m a drummer and composer from Maine, now living in New York City.

Lately my main project has been the Will Mason Ensemble, a chamber ensemble of voice, oboe, alto sax, two guitars, bass, and drums. I wrote most of the music in a cabin in the woods of northern Maine, away from electricity, the internet, running water, and phone service. I’m fascinated by how it “feels” to be isolated in nature — how everything feels simultaneously beautiful and threatening, and how the elemental and oppressive hugeness of nature can inspire awe or unease. I wanted the music to capture the sensations of that particular place. My debut album with this ensemble, “Beams of the Huge Night,” will be released by New Amsterdam Records on August 25 2015.

In addition to writing new music for my ensemble, my other main project is “Happy Place,” a noise-rock band of two guitars and two drummers. I also have music in the works for a quartet of piano, drums, clarinet, and voice (plus laptops). Additionally, I’m fortunate to collaborate with and learn from a number of brilliant musicians in New York City and elsewhere.

I’m also pursuing a PhD in music theory at Columbia University, on a faculty fellowship. My primary research interests include electroacoustic music–especially that of the spectral school–and embodied music cognition, particularly of emotion/affect. I’m also interested in microtonality, improvisation, 20th century music, American music, and pedagogy. Prior to attending Columbia I received a BMus in music performance and a BA in political science, both from Oberlin.

Contact me at wmason88 [at] gmail [dot] com.