Originally hailing from Albuquerque, New Mexico, Ben Wallace is a composer, percussionist, keyboardist, conductor, and arranger currently based out of New Haven, CT. Described as "brilliant, humorous, and rhythmically complex" (Tacoma Symphony Orchestra,) Ben’s music has been performed by a variety of ensembles in New Haven, New York, Albuquerque, San Francisco, Tacoma, and Switzerland. He seeks to not only write music that is fun and engaging, but to also bend genres and cross pollinate between his love of classical music, disco, electronica, minimalism, big band, brazilian jazz, and video game music.
Ben is a recent graduate of the Yale School of Music where he received his Master’s of Music in Composition studying with Martin Bresnick, David Lang, and Chris Theofanidis. Previously, he attended the College-Conservatory of Music at The University of Cincinnati where he received his Bacherlor’s of Music in both percussion and composition where he studied with Allen Otte of Percussion Group Cincinnati and Joel Hoffman. Ben has twice attended the MusicX festival in Blonay, Switzerland where he worked extensively with members of eighth blackbird. He has also worked with New York based piano ensemble Grand Band and the Guerilla Composers Guild in San Francisco. In 2013, Ben served as the music director, arranger, and rehearsal pianist for Musical Theatre Southwest’s production of "The Pajama Game." He also helped produce the RiteNow Project in New Haven later that fall. Ben is also beginning his second year as the music consultant for Music and Cocktails in New Haven. He is also a member of The DiscoCactus, a group dedicated to arranging and performing popular and classic video game tunes.
And Stanley Pushed A Button
“And Stanley Pushed A Button” is a dramatic setting of a scene from the game, “The Stanley Parable” by Galactic Cafe. The piece focuses specifically on ‘The Apartment Ending’ in which the narrator berates Stanley for leading a purposely uneventful life a whilst trapped inside a drab apartment kitchen. In the game, the user is forced to take on Stanley’s job and push buttons mindlessly, so here, our piano player Dan Schlosberg plays Stanley pushing random piano keys as prompted by the screen and the singers.
Victory Storm is an acoustic, disco mashup of two of my favorite video game tunes, the “Song of Storms” from The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time, and the Victory Fanfare from Final Fantasy VII. This tune was first premiered by The DiscoCactus (http://discocactusmusic.wordpress.com/) at Music and Cocktails at Salon Lulu in New Haven, spring of 2014, and then recorded at the Center for Studies in Music Technology at the Yale School of Music.
Five Gifts for an Old Friend
“Five Gifts for an Old Friend” was written for and premiered by the Yale Philharmonia in December of 2013 at Woolsey Hall in New Haven. That year, I began a series of short pieces for friends on their birthdays, many of which became a part of my chamber work “The Birthday Suite.” And so, I decided to do the same with this orchestra piece. Though, instead of writing another suite for a group of friends, this work is a series of variations on one friend’s theme spun out into as many different orchestral tropes as possible.