TriAngular Bent is an electroacoustic project featuring Don Preston (piano and electronics), Jeff Boynton (cello and bent circuits) and Philip Mantione (guitar, custom software and analog synthesis). While a collaborative project involving three artists with distinctly different musical backgrounds, experience, and methods of music making, may seem like a challenging endeavor, it is precisely these differences that fuel a unique process and create a musical environment ripe with sonic possibilities. “What unites us is a shared adventurism, the desire to take risks, and the thrill of creative discovery.” (Philip Mantione – instigator)
Don Preston was born into a family of musicians in Detroit and began studying music at an early age. His father was the composer-in-residence for the Detroit Symphony Orchestra. During the early ’50s, Preston associated with pianist Tommy Flanagan and sat in with Elvin Jones and others at the city’s West End Cafe where Yusef Lateef conducted jam sessions. Preston moved to Los Angeles in 1957 where he hooked up with pianist Paul Bley, bassist Charlie Haden, and others who were hearing jazz in new ways.
Preston has played and recorded with the likes of John Lennon, Peter Erskine and John Carter. He has scored more than 20 feature films and was a sound designer on the legendary film, Apocalypse Now. He is the winner of numerous awards and has performed with the Los Angeles and London Philharmonic Orchestras. Known to jazz and keyboard aficionados for his pioneering contributions in the use of synthesizers and piano, John Carter dubbed Don Preston the “father of modern synthesis.” From his Cryptogramophone Records biography: “Often compared to Cecil Taylor for his style of attacking the keys with intense passion, Preston’s solos also reflect intellect, technical skills and a storyteller’s way with a line. His playing, like his compositions, ranges across panoramas of mood and emotion, all colored with the freedom that comes from possessing remarkable facility.”
Preston had a long collaboration with Frank Zappa as the keyboardist of the original Mothers of Invention and performed and recorded with Zappa until 1974. During that time he was also music director for Meredith Monk and started recording and performing electronic music.
In 2002, Don Preston joined forces with Frank Zappa alumni to form the Grande Mothers Re:Invented. Since then they have performed at festivals throughout North America and Europe.
Jeff Boynton is a DIY artist/musician living in Los Angeles.He studied Theory and Composition, and Electronic Music at Northern Illinois University from 1974-77. He joined I.R.S. Records recording artist Wazmo Nariz in 1978 as keyboardist, which toured the United States and Europe both as headliner, and in support of such groups as The Police, Devo, XTC and the B-52s. The band was dissolved in 1981. In 1993, Jeff composed music for “Super Illusion”, which toured 11 cities throughout Japan with the Bolshoi Circus from Moscow, Russia.
In 2004, he began to explore “circuit bending”, which is the art of opening up electronic sound generating devices and intentionally short-circuiting points on their circuit boards in search of interesting and perhaps never-before-heard sounds. Jeff has developed a prestigious international reputation in this field. The sounds generated by his devices have been used in compositions and live performances, including several collaborations with choreographer Rudy Perez. The first of these was “Double Play” (2004) The next was “Double Play Revisited”, performed at the REDCAT Theater in the Walt Disney Concert Hall complex in downtown Los Angeles, as part of the NOW Festival. Jeff currently performs as part of “Circuitry And Poetry” with wife Mona Jean Cedar, a dancer, poet and sign language interpreter. They performed “Bent Haiku” at the REDCAT Theater in 2007 in which he created a sonic backdrop using his circuit bent instruments over which Ms. Cedar performed original poetry while simultaneously interpreting it with dance and sign language. Jeff performs regularly with his circuit bent instruments, both in a solo capacity and in ensembles.
Philip Mantione has composed music for orchestra, chamber ensembles, computer, fixed media, bent circuits, interactive performance, multimedia installations and experimental video. He writes custom software in Max/MSP to create music that melds field recordings, sampling and computer generated sound into unique sonic textures. His Sinusoidal Tendencies (Innova Recordings 117) has been described as “austerely impressive” (Paris Transatlantic Monthly) and “a searing study in form and color.” Zane Fischer, of the Santa Fe Reporter, called his interactive sound sculpture, The Human Resistor, “…a satisfying, interactive rabbit hole, in which tactility becomes sound.” His latest collection of work called Salvatore, was recently released on the Norwegian netlabel, Petroglyph Music.
Selected venues/festivals that have presented Mantione’s work include: the Bing Theater at LACMA, Interpretations Concert Series at Merkin Concert Hall (NYC), Baltimore Contemporary Art Museum, Islip Art Museum, CCA (Santa Fe,NM), FILE (2010 and 2011) at the SESI’ Cultural Centre (Brazil), CCCB (Barcelona, Spain), Southwest Festival of New Music (NM), National Museum of Fine Arts (Cuba), the European Media Arts Festival (Germany), and Festival Futura 2013 (France). He recently formed The Autotelics, a group of eight composers that utilize their car stereo systems to disseminate sound in multichannel performance/installations. The group premiered in October 2013 at the Long Beach Sound Walk (CA).
Mantione has collaborated extensively with Alysse Stepanian on experimental videos, mutlimedia installations and performances. Their work has been presented worldwide in festivals, museums and galleries. (visit Box1035.com for details) He is currently a Full-time Professor of Audio Production at the Art Institute of California where he teaches Synthesis, Sound Design, Acoustics, Max/MSP and digital audio technologies.