The SM County Times has a great write-up about the SF Symphony's current "Beethoven and Bates Festival" highlighting a piece by B'gamer Mason Bates. I don't know Mr. Bates, but I like what I read about his composition and performance with the symphony. The article's author, Richard Scheinin, notes
I'm just guessing that some sort of Isaac Hayes fanaticism lurks behind Bates's piece, which the orchestra commissioned and premiered in 2009. Bates (who is 36, lives in Burlingame and shuttles to the Midwest as a composer-in-residence with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra) has made a name as the man with two careers. Also a club DJ, he isn't shy about describing his influences as a composer. They run, he has said, from Berlioz to John Adams and Swedish texturalists, from Pink Floyd to Radiohead, and from jazz keyboardist John Medeski to "micro house" techno minimalism.
That about covers the waterfront in terms of influences! I don't envy him the B'game to Chicago commute tho!
Update: Jan. 17th I had a great time at the SF Symphony last night. I got there early enough to hear the pre-concert talk by Mason Bates that really helped me grasp the innovations with natural and man-made pre-recorded sounds that he incorporated into the piece Liquid Interface. My front row seat gave me a spectacular view of MTT fiddling with his conductor's monitor for the pre-recorded part. You could really tell this was a guy accustomed to dealing only with live performers. The Playbill indicates that when they have the third and last Bates piece recorded a CD will be released. Here's a cameraphone photo of Mason taking a bow at the end.