Maxx McGathey Orchestra
"During the eerie early days of the pandemic, as I was quarantined in my studio apartment with only my piano to keep me company, music began pouring out of me like never before. It was dark, suspenseful and dramatic, like much of my previous work with Gramps The Vamp and other bands, but also more orchestrally ambitious and emotionally complex than anything I had done before. I soon understood that I had something different and distinct than my work with any other project. . . something that felt more authentically me. I decided this would be the first music I put out solely under my name.
Over the course of 3 years, I arranged, orchestrated and assembled an ensemble (Maxx McGathey Orchestra) to play this new music, and in 2023, I recieved a grant from the Illinois Arts Council to record it. The album is currently in production with an expected release in early 2024. This album is musically inspried by my love of suspenseful cinemtic music from the mid 20th century (composers like Bernard Herrmann and Lalo Schifrin), as well as idiosyncratic jazz composers like Thelonious Monk and Charles Mingus. However, it's not a throwback, also taking influences from more modern musicians like Nils Frahm and Olafur Arnalds. I'm very excited for you all to hear what I'm working on for this next chapter. Stay tuned!
- Maxx McGathey, 2023
Photos by Harvey Tillis