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Andrea Mazzariello

Northfield, MN         

Andrea Mazzariello (b. 1978) is a composer, performer, writer, and teacher. He works at the intersections of text and sound, popular and art music, traditional playing technique and one-man-band-inspired performance physiology.

His concert music has been performed internationally by leading contemporary music ensembles, including Sō Percussion, Mobius Percussion, NOW Ensemble, and Newspeak, and presented at Carnegie Hall, National Sawdust, Glashaus Gallery, the Chelsea Art Museum, San Francisco’s Center for New Music, and many others. His percussion ensemble and percussion solo works are a staple on recitals at colleges and universities, performed widely and consistently by a rising generation of players eager to commission and advocate for new repertoire. SEAMUS and New Amsterdam Records have released recordings of his electronic and chamber music.

Active as a performer, he plays his song-sound hybrids on a unique and continually evolving instrumental setup, including keyboard instruments, drum set, voice, and electronics, performing in such diverse venues as The Knitting Factory, Cakeshop, The Queens New Music Festival, and the Wassaic Festival. His collaborations in film and theater have been Official Selections at festivals including the Big Apple Film Festival, the Nassau Film Festival, The New York Fringe Theater Festival, and Action on Film, earning nominations for Best Original Score and Best Tribute Film. He’s contributed essays to Albany Records, the Baryshnikov Arts Center Stories series, and the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra’s Liquid Music blog. His “Listening to Motive” pedagogical essay will be included in Princeton University Press’ forthcoming The Pocket Instructor: Writing. The Operating System will publish his first book, One More Revolution, in 2017.

His recognitions and awards include a McKnight Fellowship, an Established Artist Grant from the Southeastern Minnesota Art Council, numerous ASCAP awards, a Quin Morton Teaching Award from Princeton University, and selections for performance at the Society for Electroacoustic Music International Conference, and the Ammerman Center for Arts and Technology Biennial Conference. Honored as the 2016-17 Light Lecturer in Music, Carleton College presented and produced a concert devoted exclusively to his work in September 2016.

In 2011, he completed his Ph.D. in Music Composition at Princeton University, writing on the vinyl resurgence and its connection to our ideas of physicality and abstraction in music analysis, working with Dan Trueman, Barbara White, Paul Lansky, Steve Mackey, and Dmitri Tymoczko. He holds an M.M. in Composition from the University of Michigan (2002) and graduated magna cum laude from Williams College with Highest Honors in Music as well as a B.A. in English (2000). 

Andrea joined the faculty of the Princeton Writing Program in 2010, where he taught several first-year writing seminars, including “Music and Power” and  “Found Sound,” through spring 2015. As Adjunct Professor in the production program at Ramapo College of New Jersey’s School of Contemporary Arts in Spring 2015, he taught beginning and intermediate electronic and computer music.  Since then he’s taught composition, music technology, and music fundamentals as Visiting Assistant Professor of Music at Carleton College. He directs the composition program at the Sō Percussion Summer Institute in Princeton, NJ, a position he’s held since July of 2013. Active in the Northfield community, he volunteers as a musical mentor at the Northfield Union of Youth, serves on the Prairie Creek Community School Arts Committee, and runs One More Revolution Records.

Home Body

Home Body was commissioned by David Degge in 2016, and is dedicated to him, with deepest gratitude and in friendship. The piece asks the performer to play irregular patterns in the dulcimer in their hands, against a basic 4/4 break between the kick drum and hi hat. Singing adds another level of independence, before the hands pull apart into more contrapuntal textures as the vocal part continues to intensify. I reshuffle and recycle the text over the course of the piece, folding the mundane details of daily life into something more profound.

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Symmetry and Sharing

I made Symmetry and Sharing specifically for Mobius Percussion. They requested a “bot,” referring to a series of percussion pieces I’d created that traffic in grooves broken up and distributed among the players as well as constantly shifting underlying pulses. This is not that. The members of Mobius have a special interest in using their voices, and their vocal ranges just happen to map onto those in traditional SATB part writing. I made them a four-part vocal percussion quartet; I’m thrilled and amazed by their performance.

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The Exchange

The Exchange is a simple story told through musical performance. This experimental documentary re-imagines the composition as a film. Set in an immigrant family’s home in the Bronx, on a morning on which something transformative happens, the film documents a singular musical performance on a unique instrumental setup, blending sampling with spoken word. But it also serves an important function in terms of preserving a particular family’s experiences with illness and war, with what happens in the privacy of our homes.

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