“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 is also the Director of Operations at 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.
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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.