Matt Magerkurth is a composer and cellist dedicated to interacting with the sense of place in recorded music and live performance. In his work, he acknowledges his family roots in rural Kansas and his involvement with folk music by creating slowly developing textures as vehicles for improvisation. This process includes an unconventional approach to the cello by using the instrument like a synthesizer or a percussion instrument, using spectral techniques to highlight overtones, or chopping methods descended from bluegrass. Much of his work uses simple harmonic language, and an improviser is welcome to fill the space as they see fit. Much of Matt’s creative work involves recording structured improvisation and building textures around it using a digital audio workstation. This workflow resulted in his debut album "Amends".
During his residency, Matt will work on the principal recording for a second solo cello album. He will use the library’s Center for Innovation Audio Recording Studio to record clean takes of brand-new pieces, and further time within that space to record overdubs, comp and edit the recordings, mix, and perhaps do research to find audio samples to use in the project. Exploring new techniques and sounds on the instrument, recordings will extend beyond the Audio Recording Studio to locations throughout the library. The resulting project will likely be between 40-60 minutes of music, and will include some manner of a physical release, like CD or vinyl.
Matt lead a basics course on recording and editing audio for pre-college musicians, a free improvisation class for intermediate musicians, a seminar on basic auxiliary musician strategies in non-classical music, and performed work made in the residency period.