Discography

Blarvuster (2010, Tzadik 8077)
“Matthew Welch is an exciting young composer, saxophonist and virtuoso piper who has discovered the hidden nexus of the Celtic and Balinese musical traditions. Matt’s second CD for Tzadik presents two exciting new projects: a beautifully orchestrated opera expanding on the language of minimalism with honesty and originality, and his dynamic touring band Blarvuster, which blends the complex skirls and rhythmic subtleties of the Highland pipes with a vibrant rock sensibility. Featuring the best out of yet another new generation of downtown musicians, this is lush and exotic new music from a fresh new compositional explorer.” – John Zorn

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Luminosity (2009, Porter 4037)
Review excerpt: “Matthew Welch’s reputation as a gifted young composer is sometimes compromised by his novel use of the bagpipes. The New Yorker’s sparse discography is full of Scottish winds, making it easy to mistake Welch as a one-trick pony. But his work often moves beyond the pipes’ polarizing and distinctive sound. Welch’s previous release, the excellent Dream Tigers, contained gamelan, a string quartet, and a minimalist composition for two clarinets. On Luminosity, Welch forces those familiar with his work to reconsider his pigeonhole by centering the disc around two pieces that stretch past 20 minutes each, with nary a note of the bagpipes’ signature tone in either.”

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Ikue Mori: Bhima Swarga (2007, Tzadik 3007)
“Years in the making, Bhima Swarga is a fascinating film project from one of the most creative electronic musicians around. Delightfully animating traditional paintings from the Kertha Gosa temple ceiling in Bali, Mori depicts the journey of the soul from hell to heaven in two versions: one scored using her signature laptop electronics and one scored by Matt Welch, featuring a full gamelan ensemble augmented by Ikue’s electronics and Welch on saxophone and percussion. A spectacular audiovisual presentation for all ages.” – John Zorn

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Dream Tigers (2005, Tzadik 8015)
“This first CD for Tzadik presents three pieces that should establish Welch as an important new voice in the contemporary music firmament. First is a remarkable new string quartet, complex and lyrical, taking the work of composers such as Aaron Copland, Lou Harrison and Ben Johnston into the 21st Century. Meticulously performed by the brilliant Flux Quartet, Siubhal Turnlar is a masterpiece. Also included is a subtle drone piece for multiple clarinets exploring difference tones and a spectacular concerto for bagpipes and percussion with Welch himself as soloist. A trio of three compositions from a young composer starting out strong on the visionary trail of contemporary composition.” – John Zorn

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Ceol Nua (2002, Leo 336)
“A debut recording by the incredibly talented young composer/conductor/instrumentalist and Anthony Braxton’s pupil and collaborator Matthew Welch, who writes opuses and symphonies for bagpipe and orchestras and performs them with Janacek Conservatory Orchestra in Czech Republic. His Symphony of Drones has been recorded at the Wesleyan University by an orchestra of fifteen musicians who are the next generation of stars of new music: Jackson Moore, Steve Lehman, Chris Jonas, Rees Archibald, to name just a few.”

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