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Max Stoffregen

Bay Area, CA            

My name is Robert Max Stoffregen, and everyone has always called me Max. I am a composer, piano player, and teacher based in the SF Bay Area. Music has been an immeasurable gift in my life. It has given me the opportunity to meet and work with incredibly smart and talented people and has engendered creativity and open-mindedness towards life in general. Its abstract yet expressive nature has encouraged the pursuit of ideas and the expression of feelings that would have been otherwise vexing for me to convey. My interest in the natural world has been an ever ­renewable spring of musical inspiration, and many of my compositions are inspired by things I have seen, heard, or felt while spending time outside. As a composer I have had the good fortune of working with a variety of incredible musicians from John Vanderslice to Friction Quartet, and I am stoked for every opportunity to practice my craft. I am grateful for everyone who has in anyway encouraged or supported my pursuit of an art-form that is often as obscure and challenging as it is beautiful.

The Act of Loving You

This album was a collaboration among Odessa Chen, the 9 piece Invisible Stories Ensemble, and Max Stoffregen. Odessa wrote and sang all the songs, Max reinterpreted/arranged them, and the ensemble laid it all down.

From Max:

“The thing I love so much about arranging is that it encourages
conversation and rewards good taste. It is so satisfying to find the right counter-melody, revoiced chord, or quirky reinterpretation that seems to fit just right, adding meaning without distraction.”

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The California Crest

This composition is inspired by the California high country, as I experienced it while hiking the Pacific Crest Trail through the state. Each movement represents a different part of the high country; the Transverse Ranges of southern California, the south Sierra, the central Sierra, and the southern Cascades. “The California Crest” was commissioned by Friction Quartet, who were integral supporters of this project.

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Henley Oak

This composition was written for the Bang on a Can Summer Music Institute, and is inspired the so-called “Henley Oak”- a 140 foot tall Valley Oak living in the Round Valley in Mendocino County.

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