Scott Johnson Composer


“Mind Out of Matter” is now available from Tzadik Records.  This major new work features the ideas of philosopher Daniel C. Dennett in a score built around his sampled voice, performed by the celebrated new music ensemble Alarm Will Sound.  This 74 minute, 8 movement work hybridizes musical DNA from the classical tradition and our modern electric popular music.

"Mind Out of Matter" is based on Dennett's book "Breaking The Spell (Religion as a Natural Phenomenon)", which examines the origins and evolution of of religion, extending Darwinian principles into the realm of belief itself. Just as living organisms evolve in the physical environment, ideas and traditions compete within the virtual ecosystems of human minds and cultures.  This work offers an alternative and celebratory vision of human consciousness arising naturally from the physical universe, with no need for supernatural forces.

Chicago's Fulcrum Point performed "Americans" in Chicago on December 19.  This work for electric ensemble is  based on the recorded voices of immigrants from Afghanistan, Romania, and China.

Alarm Will Sound gave another performance of "Mind Out of Matter" in St. Louis on September 21, and another performance is planned for April 5 at Lawrence University in Appleton, Wisconsin. 

Also in the pipeline is a complete recording of “Pact”, performed by members of the Paul Dresher Ensemble, and an upcoming recording of “Up and Back”.

I performed "Up and Back" at the Japan Society in New York City on October 5, with shamisen virtuoso Hidejiro Honjoh and members of ICE. 

My 2012 work "Last Time Told", based on Samuel Beckett's play "Ohio Impromptu", was performed by the Cygnus Ensemble in Madison, Wisconsin on March 21.  This was of particular interest to me, because I spent a large percentage of my college years in the elevators of that building, shuttling between the art department on the top floor and the music department at the bottom.



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