-Live For Live Music, September 2016
Interview: Reed Mathis ‘Bending Beethoven’
-TheWaster.com, September 2016
"Phish's Mike Gordon Contributed To Reed Mathis' Electric Beethoven Project"
-Live For Live Music, June 2016
"Electric Beethoven Shares Sample Featuring Phish Bassist Mike Gordon"
-JamBase, June 2016
"Reed Mathis Reveals Electric Beethoven Details, Shares Song Featuring Mike Gordon"
Reed Mathis and Electric Beethoven
"History Repeats Itself"
"History Repeats Itself"
#CDM (Classical Dance Music)
Reed Mathis (Billy & the Kids, Tea Leaf Green)
Jay Lane (Primus, Ratdog)
Todd Stoops (RAQ)
While on tour with various projects over the past few years, bassist extraordinaire Reed Mathis spent his spare time rearranging Beethoven (Symphonies 3 and 6), recording each newly reimagined movement with a long and impressive “who’s-who” list of his musical brethren, including Phish’s Page McConnell and Mike Gordon, Marco Benevento, Joe Russo, the Barr Brothers, Robert Walter and Galactic’s Stanton Moore.
The resulting double album, “Beathoven,” was released September 2016 on Royal Potato Family records.
When imagining what it would be like to tour these Beethoven masterpieces, Mathis rearranged his rearrangements a second time, this time welding Beethoven’s motifs and melodies to modern-era dance beats, with plenty of waypoints for the musicians to jump off into heavy, full-band improvisations. It’s jamtronica with Beethoven — hence, the world’s first CDM (“classical dance music”) band.
While the album’s many special guests will show up at various shows along the way, to tour the album for the next two years, Mathis assembled his very own dream team: Jay Lane (Primus, Ratdog) on drums, Todd Stoops (RAQ / Kung Fu) on keyboards, Cochrane McMillan (Tea Leaf Green) on percussion and laptop, and Clay Welch — a young guitar phenom who literally grew up studying Mathis as a bass player while following Mathis’ then-band, Jacob Fred Jazz Odyssey, from show to show as a fan.
LETTER FROM REED MATHIS:
"Beethoven's music, at its core, is about learning to love in a world in which hearts can break. We can know only the surface circumstances that made up Beethoven's broken heart. Rejected as a child performer, orphaned as a teen, deaf at 30 and unable to perform, a string of marriage proposals rejected, and his adopted son's suicide attempt, but the details of his life are not really the point. We all feel alike the sting of life's indifference to our wishes, of random tragedy, and ultimately of our own mortality. We are all angels surprised to find ourselves trapped inside monkeys. We’ve all seen that bad things happen to good people. So, what can be done with a cruel and unfair world? A profound, heartfelt answer to that question is what we hear in Beethoven's music, and it's why some of us return again & again to these evergreens of song. The archetypes that Beethoven articulated are in every newborn baby, in every broken heart that heals. They are in me, and they are in you. The real communication happens directly between you and him, without words, in our universal dream-language of sound.
We present here two of his nine symphonies. In the 6th, called “Pastoral,” he admits that his true religion is not Christianity, but the divinity of Nature, of skies, and trees, and rivers, and storms. In the 3rd, called “Eroica” or “Heroic,” he walks us through his suicidal anguish over his encroaching deafness, and his ultimate victorious decision to commit egocide rather than suicide.
It has been such an honor to improvise on these forms, and to chant these prayers. And it is my hope to discover new realms of joy, anger, surprise and triumph lurking in the many different universes of sound contained in each movement, as we put them on top of dance beats and bring them into the new world, in a live music setting.”