I’m currently working on putting together photos and sound samples of some instruments I’ve built or customized. Check the “Sounds” gallery for more info soon.
“Christopher Campbell not only makes his own extremely unique music but he also helps make music by lots of other composers happen.” —NewMusicBox
Chris Campbell is a composer and producer.
From sit-down concerts to all-night festivals, his music has been performed and heard from New Zealand to Montserrat to the United Kingdom to the United States. Praised as “heady”, possessing “elements of post-Minimalism, avant-garde rock, jazz and global-fusion styles that mingle and merge with dreamlike mutability” (The New York Times) and “oscillating between the comforting and the exotic, with occasional creepy moments” (Time Out Chicago), Campbell’s compositions are profound meditations on sacred space, ritual, and sonic texture.
Campbell’s current focus is musical macro and micro systems that combine in a modular fashion. To realize these concepts he has collaborated with English instrument builder Tom Fox and other musical colleagues ranging from members of the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra and Minnesota Orchestra, to Twin Cities band Aaron and the Sea, to violinist/composer extraordinaire Todd Reynolds. Newly invented drone instruments, and spatial compositions where indeterminacy rides alongside detailed passagework have been the latest results of this line of work, which Gramophone magazine calls “A surreal (or super-real?) vortex. An astutely assembled montage that operates by setting up expectations it enjoys upsetting.”
In addition to his own music, Campbell has had the opportunity to produce or work directly on the promotion and distribution of over 300 projects, some of them appearing in publications such as Rolling Stone, Pitchfork, Newsweek, Gramophone, Downbeat, and USA Today. He also manages innova Recordings, the non-profit label of the American Composers Forum. For him, music continues to be a vehicle for community, for quiet, assertive communication, and for bold listening.
email: email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org
Campbell’s first album, “Sound the All-Clear”, was called “less a piece of music than an imaginary movie for the ear” by Absolute Sound while Tim Rutherford-Johnson praised its “beautifully relaxed, almost accidental vibe, like having great musicians on a teabreak in your workshop.” American Record Guide said, “As the title suggests: the danger is past. Let’s take a stroll, whether down memory lane or across the meadow. The whole world beckons, and we’re free to ramble as we will.”
In August 2013 Campbell released “Schooldays Over” with Grant Cutler.
His album “Things You Already Know”, a collaboration with musical friends including bands Zoo Animal, Aaron and the Sea and members of the St. Paul Chamber and Minnesota Orchestras, was released Jan. 2014.
For a list of past work and scores please contact email@example.com
For music licensing information or sound use please contact firstname.lastname@example.org or Nick D’Angiolilo at Naxos. Nick@NaxosUSA.com
my friend Steve McPherson who’s a talented musician and writer wrote a couple of things about the upcoming album: Any composer brings a new recorded project into being through a fundamental three-step process. It begins with the first stirrings of a way of seeing the world and the slimmest notion of how that connects to a way of hearing the world. As that seed begins to grow, the concerns of how to best build an ensemble, a human machine to share this vision, begins to come to the fore. And then, when all of the grit and sweat has been poured into it by every hand involved, we are left with the thing itself; if the work is good, it’s more a place than a recording, a space to sink into and explore. There are thus three parts to Chris Campbell’s Things You Already Know: the conception, the construction and the recording itself. As a concept, Things You Already Know represents the confluence of a set of interlinked questions and concerns. It stems in part from the idea of absorption, the question of how something becomes a part of your life. There’s an inescapable element of time involved in this question: things (ideas, concepts) outside of ourselves are first encountered as foreign, then challenged or understood in pieces until they eventually sink into the marrow of ourselves, becoming inseparable from us. Beyond time, though, that process of becoming also involves movement, even if it’s only internal. Represented musically, these concepts manifest themselves as a slow becoming, a gradual approach from an aural distance. In some ways, it makes Things You Already Know a demanding, yet not challenging listen. It demands your trust and your time and doesn’t push you so much as pull you. Bringing all these threads together into the music was the first step, but the hard part is finding the right people to realize the music in a collaborative way. In order to accomplish this, Campbell brought together members of local bands Zoo Animal and Aaron and the Sea with top players from the Saint Paul Chamber and Minnesota Orchestra. Thus the recording itself came to embody the bridging of certain distance between two musical worlds, between the unwritten and the written, the heart and the head. Campbell also brought in unique tonal colors thanks to instruments like homemade propane tank drums, bowed psaltery, singings bowls and other unusual objects to work alongside more traditional bowed instruments, drums kits, keyboards and guitars. Running all of this through amps and pedals further warped and softened or hardened the sounds and the formal structure [...]Read More
Doesn’t need me to say how great it is-it’s doing just fine without me cosigning. That said, Minneapolis/St. Paul is one of the most collaborative musical places I’ve ever encountered. Musicians and makers get together and talk, eat, drink, and create. It’s a very kind atmosphere. I couldn’t have actualized, absorbed or really done much [...]Read More