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-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"
"History Repeats Itself"
Reed Mathis (Billy & the Kids, Tea Leaf Green)
Todd Stoops (RAQ)
Josh Raymer (Jacob Fred Jazz Odyssey)
Clay Welch (Go By Ocean)
While on tour with members of the Grateful Dead, bassist extraordinaire Reed Mathis spent his spare time rearranging complete Beethoven symphonies for a rock trio format, recording each newly reimagined movement with a long and impressive "who's-who" list of his musical brethren, including Page McConnell and Mike Gordon (Phish), Joe Russo and Marco Benevento (JRAD), Robert Walter (Greyboy Allstars), Stanton Moore (Galactic), and the Barr Brothers.
The resulting album, Beathoven, was released on double-vinyl, CD, and digitally via Royal Potato Family records in September, 2016.
When imagining what it would be like to tour Beethoven masterpieces such as "Ode to Joy," and "Moonlight Sonata," 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.
In the fall of 2017, Electric Beethoven released a free live album, Maps We Found in the Ground, digitally via their website as well as offering it on Spotify. The recording, which has quickly become something of an underground cult classic, showcases a band that has taken 200-year old material and made it their own... as they do every night in new and different ways every time.
In 2018, Reed Mathis & Electric Beethoven are set to perform only a limited number of engagements as they work on a new album -- the studio debut for the current lineup -- Beethoven's Greatest Hits.
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.”