Since I attended a concert in 2011 at Casa da Música by the composer Mason Bates - accompanied by the Porto Symphonic Orchestra - his music marked me deeply and is always in my playlist. Announced as the first resident composer of the Kennedy Center in Washington, Bates merges groundbreaking orchestral writing, jazz harmonies and electronic rhythms, adapting classical music to the 21st century, freeing it from formal corsets, presenting it to the public in an honest, unpretentious and appealing way. The new palette of sounds and textures introduced by Mason Bates (who is also a DJ in his spare time) dissolves the barriers of classical music, bringing new music to new spaces, as listen in ‘Mothership’ or in ‘Anthology of Fantastic Zoology’.
His latest project, the opera ‘(R)evolution of Steve Jobs’ (premiered at the Santa Fe Opera on July 22), dedicated to the journey and life of the founder of Apple, is again a bold bet by bringing to opera a music with expressive electronic sounds, including guitar and rich orchestration. As Mark Campbell, author of the Steve Jobs opera libretto, says: “If there is a composer that can write a story about Steve Jobs it is Mason, and if we want to bring younger people into the opera house, a composer like Mason Bates is the person who will do it, that's why I really applaud Santa Fe's vision in identifying that early on.”
Why I Love it:
- For bringing classical music to the 21st Century
- The rich palette of sounds and textures
- The epic sound of Mothership