"The group Happy Place succeeds at fusing experimental rock and chamber music by keeping all the required instrumental skills in-house. The two-guitar, two-drummer quartet can handle the quick changes in composer-percussionist Will Mason’s writing...The cathartic two-guitar attack has the feel of avant-rock, while the astringent harmony recalls experiments by Charles Ives."
--Seth Colter Walls, New York Times
Profile: Will Mason mixes composition and improvisation, decorum and din
-- The Boston Globe
"Mason’s music has an irresistible freshness and vitality that helps bring seemingly disparate elements together...There is much to be said for music that keeps you wondering what it is, where it came from, and what’s coming next. Mason’s achievement is making the last of those questions the most important."
-- Allan Kozinn, Portland Press Herald
"Mason’s “Rime” for violin solo stood out for a musical vocabulary that eschewed periodic rhythms and diatonic harmonies. Beginning with stuttering pizzicatos played by both hands, Mason slowly but confidently transformed textures from plucked harmonics and hammer-ons to bowed tremolos, alternating double stops in jerky rhythms, culminating in a high note that degraded into soft bow noise."
--Christian Hertzog, San Diego Union Tribune
Album of the year 2015: Beams of the Huge Night by the Will Mason Ensemble
--Avant Music News
"Top 5 Newcomer Musicians of 2015"
-- El Intruso International Critics Poll
10 Best Experimental Albums of 2015: Beams of the Huge Night by the Will Mason Ensemble.
"From the deep mind of heavy-hitting, octopus-armed drummer and bandleader eclectic Will Mason, the mad professors in Happy Place spew a bottomless pit of serrated riffs and dueling beat salvos...Mason anchored its scientific and taut mind-fuckery through the lens of freaked-out contemporary classical, extreme-prog and noise-metal with nods to the slow-building symphonic dissonant histrionics of Glenn Branca."
--Brad Cohan, New York Observer
"Mason has an acute talent for composing very complex, extended pieces, creating an absorbing synthesis of jazz, technology, classicalism and an organic construction that includes any or all of those components...Beams of the Huge Night is a sprawling, ambitious project and Mason has a unique musical vision in the midst of a highly intricate creative process. He successfully seizes on the ambiances of positive and negative natural environments and conveys them with help of this empathetic and very talented group of musicians. This is an unusual album; one where it would be as easy to become as lost as it would be in the woods of northern Maine were it not for an expert guide like Mason."
-- All About Jazz
"Beauty and dread walk hand in hand, and the mood can turn on a dime, which is exactly the feeling you get on “Finn”, an extraordinary free-form 16-and-a-half-minute composition that forms the heart of the new album Beams of the Huge Night."
Interview with ATTN: Magazine
"The pieces are built from small, repetitive melodic cells and dissonant almost-harmonies, with the double drums battering out martial rhythms that drive the guitarists forward with something between dispassion and cruelty. It’s a clattering, clanging music that has the raw-nerve feeling of sleeplessness and tension. At the same time, it rises to a crescendo—the 13-minute “Rapture!”—that’s intensely beautiful."
-- Phil Freeman, Burning Ambulance
"The music is jittery, manic, and restless. You can forget any hope for tranquility here. It’s difficult to think of any prior recording that so accurately recreates in sonic terms both the uncomfortable physical act of tossing and turning awake in bed, as well as the scrambled and panicky thought processes that come with being incapable of turning off your mind."
-- Bandcamp Daily review of Happy Place - "Northfield"
4.5/5 stars. "An impressively balanced first statement from a bold new voice—full of confidence, free of ego."
-- Free Jazz Collective
"At only 26, Mason, who is currently pursuing a doctorate in music at Columbia University, has a long career ahead of him. If Beams of the Huge Night is any example of what he can do, we have a lot to look forward to in coming years."
-- Avant Music News
"A student of music theory with a special interest in the French spectralists, Mason may namecheck the likes of Ligeti, Grisey, and Haas, but he’s also a killer drummer who keeps good company, so all you need is a pair of working ears to appreciate these inventively grooving, infectiously knotty compositions."
-- Eric McDowell, Dusted Magazine
"A drummer with a keen knack for composing extended, undulating musical pieces...Will Mason isn’t making music quite the way anyone else is, and based on Beams of the Huge Night, it’d be worth paying attention to him; he may just be getting started."
-- Something Else!
"This is the most impressive debut I've heard in years...A dazzling and demanding effort, in a class of its own."
--Bruce Gallanter, Downtown Music Gallery