Rage Thormbones will complete their residency at CNMAT this month and present a concert of works by UC Berkeley composers. They have worked closely with the duo over past months to develop pieces that range from ecstatic grim comedy to improvisatory murmurings. There will be a light reception to follow the concert.

The UC Berkeley composers involved in the project are: Andrew Harlan, Alfred Jimenez, Adrián Montúfar Herrera, Danniel Riberio, Curtis Rumrill, Hallie Smith, and Jon Yu.

RAGE Thormbones is a low-frequency duo whose work exists at the intersections of “fuck around” and “find out”. Both members, Weston from Vermont and Mattie from Los Angeles, are classically trained trombonists but jumped that ship a while ago and thankfully found each other in 2014. Their sounds bring together various de/re-constructed brass instruments and electronic synthesis + amplification, with many trips to the hardware store and the polyphonic hum of Mattie’s fabrication shop and Weston’s overworked CPU load. They produce sculpted masses of high-density sound, carving metallic resonance and subcutaneous tones to make rooms feel really heavy. They aim to shift the role of brass instruments away from vocal virtuosity and more toward their true selves as improvising organic air compressors - physically-modeled synthesis transcribed back into the acoustic domain.

RAGE has collaborated with a range of artists including Kevin Drumm, Sarah Davachi, Michelle Lou, and British pop maverick Scott Walker. They’ve tooted their trombones everywhere from Walt Disney Concert Hall, the Darmstadt Summer Courses, and ISSUE Project Room to their favorite basements/living rooms/warehouses/crypts and more recently, a charming community center deep within the Swedish countryside.


Weston Olencki is a musician, composer, and sound artist. Their current work is centered around questions of instrumental music and its contexts/constructs, various mediated practices of listening and improvisation, and the technological, material, and cultural histories of rural space/time.

Weston has performed and presented work at the Borealis Festival, ISSUE Project Room, REDCAT, bludenzer tage zeitgemäßer musik, Ghent Jazz Festival, Blanton Museum of Art, philharmonie luxembourg, Squeaky Wheel, Festival Musica, kalvfestivalen, the American Academy in Rome, Roulette Intermedium, Frequency Festival, Indexical, and the OPTION series, and was awarded the Kranichsteiner Musikpreis from the 2016 Darmstadt Ferienkurse.

Various recording projects have been released by HatHut, Not Two, Sound American, Carrier, New Amsterdam, Clean Feed, Anticausal Systems, Dinzu Artefacts, SUPERPANG, Notice, Creative Sources, Out of Your Head, and their first solo brass release SOLO WORKS, which featured on Bandcamp Daily’s Best Experimental Music of 2020. They are an active member of RAGE THORMBONES, Ensemble Pamplemousse, the Wet Ink Large Ensemble, and perform regularly as a soloist and ensemble member on low brass instruments, handbuilt contraptions, and various electronic media. They currently live on occupied, unceded land of the Abenaki Nation, in what is known today as Brattleboro, Vermont.

Mattie Barbier is an LA based musician and sonic researcher focused on experimental intonation, noise, and the physical processes of their instrument. Their playing has been described by the LA Times as being "of intense, brilliant, virtuosic growling that gave the striking impression that Barbier was dismantling the instrument while playing it," by the Wire as “exploring the nooks of instrumental tone far beyond the reach of most mortals,” and by the New Yorker as being a "diabolically inventive trombonist-composer."

Mattie engages in collaborative relationships with a range of musicians including Michelle Lou, Weston Olencki, Catherine Lamb, Kevin Drumm, Kaori Suzuki, Jacob Kirkegaard, and Katherine Young. As an interpreter they have given premieres by and collaborated with a broad spectrum of composers including George Lewis, Liza Lim, Lester St. Louis, Wolfgang von Schweinitz, Clara Ionnatta, Scott Walker, and Sarah Davachi.

Mattie is a member of RAGE Thormbones, wildUp, wasteLAnd music, echoi, and is an active soloist and improvisor on low brass instruments and bagpipes. They teach at CalArts and Los Angeles City College (LACC).

Mattie has presented and created work for the Museum of Jurassic Technology, Getty Villa, Monday Evening Concerts, San Francisco Exploratorium, Indexical, Roulette Intermedium, RedCat, and Issue Project Room as well as in collaboration with holographer Tristan Duke.  They have made festival appearances at Borealis, Maerzmusik, Bludenz Tage zeitgemäßer, Frequency Festival, and Kalv with upcoming engagements at Donaueschingen with the SWR and Musica Nova with the Helsinki Philharmonic. Various recording projects have been released on Sofa, Carrier, Populist, Mode, Hat Hut, Innova, Faux Amis, Domino, New Amsterdam, and Kairos Records. 

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Saturday, April 30, 2022, 8:00pm to 9:30pm
1750 Arch Street
Berkeley, CA
This Event is Free and Open to the Public