Matthew Joseph Payne: Tension & Release

I met Matt Payne in 2011. He was writing instrumental parts for Jonathan Mann's "Song A Day: The Album" (see below!) and I showed up on the last day of tracking. Then at Jonathan's CD release show, Matt's band, The Glowing Stars, was one of the opening bands. I was blown away. Matt was (and still is) an incredible performer and this was my first exposure to chiptune music. I found out that he was responsible for The Glowing Stars' Gameboy sounds. After that performance, I knew that I needed Matt's music for the flute. I needed his flute and Gameboy music!!!! After that night I started sorta stalking him on Facebook and emailed him to see if he'd write a piece for me. I didn't hear anything for an entire month (I just confirmed this in my old emails!) and was starting to get a little worried. Then, one day, the ball started to get rolling on my first Matthew Joseph Payne commission.

Since then, Matt has written a couple more pieces for me and A/B Duo. I've been a part of his band off and on when he was just Matthew Joseph Payne, and after the band became The Mineral Kingdom. I'm sad to say that it's been quite a while since I've performed with Matt. I hope he will get the band back together one day! But for now, Matt has released another excellent album of tunes.

"Tension & Release is a collection of songs which date back as far as 6 or so years ago, featuring a wide variety of musicians and collaborators. Most are new, original songs, two are covers of songs by artists near and dear to me. They all offer a solid representation of the MJP/TMK era." - Matthew Joseph Payne

I play on a handful of tracks on this album but my favorite tracks have no flute in them. Track 4 is called "PAWHAMMER" and it has a delicious 80's kind of sound with some of the signature MJP banjo and noise bits mixed in. "Pandatron 20X8" (track 6) was one of the songs The Mineral Kingdom used to play but we never got around to recording it. This version is Matt's original solo version. My favorite part of Pandatron is the Mike Patton-esque section at the end. In the liner notes Matt explains that "T. H. E." (track 7) was written in response to an online challenge to create a song which incorporated the following in 48 hours: "Two different Lord of the Rings related songs (the title of this piece stands for "Taking the Hobbits to Eisengard"), A song written by the person delivering the challenge (unfortunately I lost the song and the person's identity when 8bc shut down), salsa (the style of music, not the food), jumpstyle (also a style of music, which I had to google), my drumset." I don't know anyone else who could compose and perform such a well-crafted mashup within 48 hours. This is why I became an instant Matthew Joseph Payne fan in 2011.


A/B Duo: Variety Show

My flute and percussion duo's first full-length album! Buy it now.

A/B Duo’s eclectic mix of flute and percussion instruments makes this a true “Variety Show” of an album. Math rock, pop remixes, avant-garde, and everything in between can be found in this American duo’s first full-length album.

Ned McGowan | Ricochet (2014)
for contrabass flute, floor tom, 3 suspended cymbals, 3 woodblocks, triangle, and flexatone

Ian Dicke | Isla (2012)
for flute, vibraphone, and live audio processing

Andrea Reinkemeyer | Wrought Iron (2012)
for flute, vibraphone, bongos, tambourine, triangle, china cymbal, and splash cymbal

Drew Baker | Limb (2013)
for contrabass flute, piccolo, vibraphone, Thai gong (E), Wind Gong, and 3 crotales (D, Eb, F)

Zack Browning | Sol Moon Rocker (2013)
for flute and vibraphone

Brooks Frederickson | Breathing Bridge (2014)
for flute with Glissando Headjoint®, glockenspiel, and vibraphone

Brendon Randall-Myers | Glitch (2015)
for flute, vibraphone, and drum set


Kong Must Dead: Psychopomp, CA

Kong Must Dead is Ben Hjertmann's band. I met Ben at the Bang on a Can Summer Festival in 2013. He asked me to record some alto flute parts for one of the tracks on this album, Follow Me. The entire album is fantastic. Check it out!


The Mineral Kingdom: The Mineral Kingdom

I'm in a chiptune/folk/doom/jazz band led by Matthew Joseph Payne. This is our first release.

While chiptune provides the backbone of The Mineral Kingdom's sound, the diverse musical population is displayed on this debut EP. Quintation establishes the interplay of woodwinds and squarewaves in a raucous jam that flits between time signatures in an ecstatic dance; Polish Cold War Neon is as much a tip of the hat to pop-doom rockers Boris as it is an expansive dance track, with layers of synths joining the fray; and The Norberto Fig Awesome Cat Competition is your daily dose of thickly orchestrated, pure chip-folk freakout! In just three tracks, any preconceived notions you may have had about what chiptune is, or can be, are left decimated.

The Norberto Fig Awesome Cat Competition features the following special guests: Nathaniel Browne, bass trombone - Sophie Huet, clarinet - Steve Lakawicz, tuba - Keith Penney, accordion - Ken Yee, trombone. 

All music and lyrics written and arranged by Matthew Joseph Payne.
The Mineral Kingdom logo by Keff.

The Mineral Kingdom is Michael Booker, Matthew Joseph Payne, Ryan Rey, Meerenai Shim, and VCO Vault.


A/B Duo: Things We Dream About

My collaboration with percussionist Chris Jones as A/B Duo. This is our first recording project as an official duo. 

(Also available on  iTunesAmazonCD BabyGoogle PlaySpotify, etc!)


Song A Day: The Album by Jonathan Mann

In 2011, I had the privilege of playing flute on one of Jonathan Mann's songs for the month of June. Very happy that it made it into his album!