Anthony Rasmussen

Tony Train

Memory is my medium. I am a self-taught musician who learned to play guitar and bass by absorbing and mimicking the music around me.  Scratchy records, distant radios, and the cacophonous buzz of the swamps near my Maryland home converge into a well of musical memory—a source that is continually enriched by the engagement of new ideas and the musical memory of others. Musical collaboration provides this enrichment by dissolving the barriers that separate genre, thus revealing the transcendent elements that connect all music.

During the last ten years I have fronted and been the primary writer for several band projects and I have performed extensively throughout the southwest. The experience of collaborating with many musicians of various backgrounds and skill levels as well as testing material in front of live audiences has given me a pragmatic approach to composition and performance. I am interested in facilitating the interests and abilities of my collaborators while framing my ideas in a way that is comprehensible to my audience.

I am fascinated by the convergence of different musical traditions; particularly in the way that seemingly dissimilar styles can blend to make a unique and cohesive whole. I am also interested in the way that technology can aid in this cohesion, by offering a new context for musical and cultural collaboration. This fascination became the inspiration for my graduate thesis project, Begin by Returning: a cross-cultural performance piece inspired by Jacques Derrida’s concept of “hauntology.” The ensemble included performers from jazz, western classical, and Persian classical traditions. For this project I composed, created improvisational framework, and provided voice, bass, conch, khaen, as well as two instruments I constructed: center-bridge guitar and resonance chamber. In addition to acoustic instruments, I created synthetic textural interludes derived from samples of organic materials and processed using Max/MSP and Ableton Live.

Currently I am completing an orchestral piece inspired by a recent visit to Romania, working as a freelance bassist, and continuing research in several areas of interest: the Dastgah theory in Persian music, the Central Avenue music scene of Los Angeles, and musical applications for e-textiles.

So Long, My Lovelies:

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