In 2018 Ben Neill launched his own label, Blue Math, distributed by

Sony/AWAL to all major streaming and digital download outlets. Neill’s

music is also published by Blue Math (ASCAP).

 

 

 

Trove is a durational ambient project by Ben Neill and producer/composer Eric Calvi. The music was created during the Covid pandemic, with 2 tracks released weekly, gradually building to a 104 track collection. More details on Trove here.

Ben Neill | New Releases August 2020

Posthorn (2005) was created over several years while Neill was in residence at the Studio for Electro-Instrumental Music (STEIM) lab in Amsterdam. Based on the “Posthorn solo” for trumpet from Gustav Mahler’s Symphony no. 3, Posthorn highlights the expressive interactive capabilities of the Mutantrumpet. The solo in the symphony is a deeply pastoral meditation played from offstage. In Posthorn, Mahler’s simple, taps-like melodic structure is transformed through live sampling, chaotic structures, and improvisation into an electro-orchestral piece that reimagines the pastoral quality of the original. Posthorn has been performed at numerous computer music festivals internationally and heard regularly on WNYC New Sounds and WKCR in New York City.

Schizetude 3 (1991) is the last of a set of 3 pieces composed for Neill’s instrument and also intended for performance by other instrumentalists. The new recording features virtuoso trumpeter Theo Van Dyck, with production by Neill using the original electronic processing equipment. Schizetude 3 is a series of variations on a 12-tone theme, with specific pitches assigned to different acoustic and electronic timbres. The work references the early 20th century cornet solos of Herbert L. Clarke, the moody improvisations of Miles Davis’ cool period, and the drone music of Neill’s mentor La Monte Young. A video for the piece was created by Theo Van Dyck with Jack McGuire and can be viewed here on YouTube.

Neill’s first album Mainspring (1988), originally released on Ear-Rational Records (Berlin), will be released in a newly mastered version on August 28. The cover art painting was created expressly for the record by visionary artist David Wojnarowicz in collaboration with Neill. He and Wojnarowicz collaborated on the landmark multimedia work ITSOFOMO (In the Shadow of Forward Motion) shortly after Mainspring was released. Mainspring and Two Dances situate Neill’s Mutantrumpet in an eclectic ensemble of pedal steel guitar, two trombones and percussion to create a unique hybrid of Baroque brass, rock, country, and minimalism. NY Times critic Jon Pareles described the third piece in a review: “Dis-Solution 2 for mutantrumpet, percussion and computer, sets occasional trumpet notes in a glimmering haze of sustained electronic notes; imagine someone examining pebbles while wandering in a desert.” Neill created the interactive software for Dis-Solution 2 while working with computer music pioneer David Behrman in the late 1980’s. No More People sets a poem by Stevie Smith for soprano, Mutantrumpet, and a rock trio. The vocal part is performed by Dora Ohrenstein, solo vocalist of the Philip Glass Ensemble for a decade, and an advocate for new American art song.


The initial offering on Blue Math in February 2018 was a pair of trip hop/dub tracks created in response to the 2016 US presidential election, Souvenir and Transition Dub.In 2019 his 1995 Astralwerks album Green Machine was re-released along with the original. remixes by DJ Spooky and Single Cell Orchestra. Neill’s collaboration with Mimi Goese, Life You Are, was released on Blue Math in July 2020.