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Trey Spruance

Santa Cruz Mountains, CA   

Trey Spruance is best known for his groundbreaking composition and production work in his ensemble Secret Chiefs 3 and the avant-rock band, Mr. Bungle. Spruance’s music weaves together a diverse and challenging array of pedagogically conflicting disciplines: early 20th-century neoclassical music, Iranian Dastgah, Pythagorean mathematics, Italian horror film music aesthetics (1970s), 19th-Century French Metaphysical/Occult Musical Theory, Black Metal, and the Bollywood sound.

David Harrington, artistic director and violinist of the Kronos Quartet had this to say of Spruance: “It was in the early 90s that my daughter brought home a cassette tape made by Trey’s group, Mr. Bungle. I liked their music so much that I got to know the group, they eventually wrote for us, and I’ve been following Trey ever since. He’s an incredibly astute musician and scholar of music. Very virtuosic. He has feet in so many areas of the world, and has brought us something that nobody else could.”

Raised in Eureka, California, Spruance relocated to the Bay Area in 1990. Once there, in addition to working with his own bands, he began to lead double and triple musical lives, and amassed diverse experiences variously as composer, arranger, instrumentalist and producer in collaborations with an extremely diverse range of artists (Caroliner Rainbow, John Zorn, Faith No More, Kronos Quartet, Neil Hamburger, Evyind Kang, Impaled, William Winant, Shahzad Ismaily, Rova Quartet etc). From 2000 he relocated to the Santa Cruz Mountains to focus deeply on developing the music of his meta-ensemble Secret Chiefs 3, and also to ground his record label “Web of Mimicry” solidly in the development of like-minded, self-producing and self-sustaining artists (Sleepytime Gorilla Museum, Dengue Fever, Cleric, Fat 32 etc). During this time Secret Chiefs 3 expanded into a versatile ensemble with a wildly rotating cast of first-rate musicians under Spruance’s directorship. With a number of albums to their name, Secret Chiefs 3 has toured very extensively, performing over 700 concerts in over 50 countries. The range of Secret Chiefs 3’s music has led to Spruance being invited to orchestrate his music for various hybrid concert ensembles ranging in diversity from the New Music Works to a 61-piece Russian Traditional Orchestra of Krasnoyarsk. He has also been invited to arrange John Zorn’s neo-Klezmer “Masada” music for his Secret Chiefs 3 ensemble, having  made two albums and toured this music music around the world as well. 

Current projects:

* composing a full-length set of music for the Alonzo King Lines Ballet “Seven Seas” project.

* arranging/orchestrating/producing music for poet /songwriter / author Boris Grebenshikov (known widely as “the Russian Bob Dylan”)

* composing a second quartet for Kronos Quartet

* producing an album for NY-based avant garde black metal band “Imperial Triumphant”

* performing live music in a reunion with avant-rock band Mr. Bungle