Tyler Eschendal is a composer and percussionist originally from the suburbs of Detroit and now resides in Los Angeles, CA. A love for rhythm, pulse, and layering heavily influences his music, as well as an interest in adapting sample-based procedures found in electronic music to acoustic and live instrumentations. Tyler holds a B.M. in music composition from the College-Conservatory of Music at the University of Cincinnati, and a M.M. in composition from the University of Southern California.
Hear Tyler’s work This City Is a Stepping Stone on our Solo Soundbox concert with Neil Beckmann on Sunday, November 18, at 7 PM at 21c Museum Hotel.
CSB: Could you tell us a little about your work as a composer? What are you interested in exploring in your music?
TE: I am really interested in introducing sample-based procedures of electronic or previously recorded music into live/acoustic settings with a goal of suspending or preserving moments that I find interesting from various sources (both classical and non-classical). Fragments and gems of timbre and rhythm exist everywhere in the seconds that pass by in real time, and I am interested in exploiting and extending these moments.
CSB: What is the background to your piece for this concert, This City Is a Stepping Stone?
TE: This piece is direct collaboration with the guitarist, Neil Beckmann. We lived together in Cincinnati for a number of years and decided the best time to collaborate on a piece would be after we both moved away to opposite sides of the country, him to NYC and myself to LA. As a percussionist, I often find myself trying to turn everything into a percussion instrument; this piece is no exception. I wanted the piece to be extremely rhythmic and visual, so I brought a cheap acoustic guitar and started experimenting. Specific gestures and techniques require a notation that works best for the performer, and this is really where the collaboration side of the project came in to play.
CSB: Could you talk about the similarities and differences you’ve noticed between the Cincinnati new music scene and that of your current location?
TE: When I lived in Cincinnati there was a blossoming community of artists, musicians, and composers who pieced together a brilliantly quaint and often DIY contemporary music scene that I’m sure has since grown. I now live in Los Angeles which has a GIGANTIC music scene. Production value (lightening, projections, venue, live sound, etc.) is at the forefront of any/all concerts in LA, which heavily influences the listeners experience. As incredible as this is, there are often times where I miss new music concerts stuffed into Cincinnati living rooms.
CSB: Who are other artists and composers whose work inspires and interests you? Are there specific works you could point our readers to?
TE: I try to keep my listening list as expansive and diverse as possible. recently I’ve been spinning a lot of gospel organ music from Dominique Johnson, revisiting Nicole Lizée’s works, and obsessing over the experimental sample-based outlet death’s dynamic shroud.wmv
CSB: What other new projects are on your radar?
TE: I’m currently hashing out a 30-40 minute solo project for myself with samples, percussion, and text. Also in the midst of piece for the Young Composers Meeting in the Netherlands organized by orkest de ereprijs and the Gaudeamus Foundation.