About the Ensemble:

The Ex Mus concert series was founded in 2012 by Chaz Underriner, Andrew Miller, and Jonathan Jackson in order to bring experimental music and intermedia art to the North Texas area. “Ex Mus” was chosen as a name from a common abbreviation of “experimental music.” 

In the summer of 2015, Colton, Chaz, and Jolene began collaborating on multiple experimental music programs—a concert of Christian Wolff’s compositions, a score for Christie Nelson’s choreography, and original works of structured improvisation. 

They realized that their odd instrumentation led to some interesting combinations of timbre and sound. 

What began as a concert series evolved into both a concert series and an ensemble.  Ex Mus Ensemble, consisting of core members Colton Lytle, Jolene Masone, and Chaz Underriner, is a new music ensemble of flexible instrumentation specializing in improvised, notated, and experimental music. 

Concerts and presentations in the series have included improvisatory music, text based works, and intermedia performance.

ABOUT THE MEMBERS:

Colton Lytle

Colton Lytle is a percussionist specializing in 20th century and contemporary percussion, chamber, and improvised music whose performance credits include work with Grammy nominated and Grammy winning musicians.  Mr. Lytle has worked with ensembles such as Ex Mus Trio, Ring Storm, Veda Quartet, c.i.i.t., CalArts Percussion Ensemble, and Broadway on the Driveway Orchestra; he has also been a featured soloist with both the Webster University Chamber Orchestra and Webster University Percussion Ensemble.  Highlights from his performance credits include GLOW Santa Monica, REDCAT’s 2013 Christian Wolff Micro-Festival, and a concert preceding the Los Angeles premiere of the documentary film Lou Harrison: A World of Music.  Mr. Lytle also appears on harp virtuoso Susan Allen’s 2015 album, Postcard from Heaven, for the premiere recording of Perchance to Dream by composer Gloria Coates.  His most recent work includes collaboration with dancers, including Categories of Self, for which he wrote and recorded music for choreographer Christie Nelson, as well as an Ex Mus collaboration with Ms. Nelson that has been performed several times, including at 254 Dance Festival in Waco, TX. 

A St. Louis native, Mr. Lytle currently resides in the Dallas/Fort Worth area, but has also lived & worked in Los Angeles.  In his free time, you can likely find him reading, cooking, or watching the St. Louis Cardinals, St. Louis Blues, Golden State Warriors, or USA Curling.  Mr. Lytle holds an MFA in Music (Multi-Focus Percussion) from the California Institute of the Arts.

Jolene Masone 

Jolene Masone is a unique artist specializing in Contemporary and Experimental music for bassoon. Jolene works to explore and advance contemporary music in Dallas,Texas and bring organizations together through experimental art.  

Jolene came to music early in life, begging her parents for piano lessons at a very young age.  Due to her competitive nature, and a love of learning, Jolene was placed on the bassoon as a 14 year old, where she found the instrument that she would pursue for the rest of her life.  Jolene fell in love with interpreting the music of living composers while pursuing her masters at Peabody Conservatory.  While taking classes from David Smooke and  Michael Kannen, Jolene found that she drifted toward the more interesting challenges that experimental music had to offer. When pursuing her doctorate at the University of North Texas, Jolene’s main emphasis was on interactive music for bassoon and electronics. Jolene has premiered 17 new works in the past 5 years, and looks forward to many more.  

Jolene participates as a member of the Ex-Mus Ensemble, the Lone Star Wind Orchestra, the Odysseus Chamber Orchestra, the Caña Trio, and is an active freelancer in the Dallas-Fort Worth area. She can be heard on GIA, Klavier, and Naxos labels on bassoon and contrabassoon. She is also a devoted member of the community, and teaches throughout the DFW area. Jolene attended the University of Northern Colorado, Peabody Conservatory at Johns Hopkins University, and received her Doctorate of Musical Arts from the University of North Texas.

Jolene headshot

Chaz Underriner   

Chaz Underriner (b. 1987, Texas) is a composer, performer, and intermedia artist based in DeLand, Florida, USA. Chaz’s work explores the notions of landscape and portraiture through the juxtaposition of video projections, audio recordings and live performers.   

Chaz entered relatively late into studying music by teaching himself guitar beginning at 13 years old (at the encouragement of his father, a great lover of classic rock and a guitar player himself). At 17, Chaz began to take guitar lessons and at 18 enrolled as a jazz guitar major at the University of North Texas—notably, Chaz didn't learn how to properly read music until he was 18. After taking composer Joseph Klein’s course in Music Composition his freshman year, Chaz fell in love with composition and decided to change majors to focus on courses in both composition and performance. Chaz has earned a BA in Music from the University of North Texas, an MFA in Music Composition from California Institute of the Arts, and a PhD in Music Composition from the University of North Texas. Beginning in the fall of 2017, Chaz has been appointed Assistant Professor of Digital Arts at Stetson University.   

As a performer, Chaz plays music written before 1750 and after 1950 on multiple plucked string instruments including electric guitar, classical guitar, and lute. Chaz has performed the works of many living composers including Chaya Czernowin, Sofia Gubaidulina, Mark Applebaum, Michael Pisaro, Joseph Klein, Kirsten Broberg, Mike Winter, Mark Menzies, Josh Levine, Anastassis Philippakopoulous, Brent Farris, and Travis Weller, both as a soloist and in an ensemble setting. Chaz has performed at REDCAT in Los Angeles during the Sofia Gubaidulina festival, in a chamber performance the LA Times critic Mark Swed declared “[was played with] focused abandon,” Chaz has also performed with the UNT Baroque Orchestra, NOVA Ensemble and the Keith Karns Big Band.   

Chaz has collaborated with numerous choreographers, experimental filmmakers, animators, and writers. As a composer, Chaz has created works for solo instruments, chamber ensembles, chamber and symphony orchestras, jazz combos, choir, and electronics.   

Chaz’s work has been programmed at Gaudeamus Muziekweek (Utrecht, Holland), the Los Angeles Philharmonic’s National Composer’s Intensive, the Proyector International Video Art Festival (Madrid, ESP), the Alchemy Film and Moving Image Festival (Hawick, Scotland), the International Computer Music Conference, the Impuls Festival (Graz, AU), the Morley College Engine Room Sound Art Exhibition (London, UK), the National Building Museum (Washington DC), the Global Composition Conference (Dieburg, DE), Ostrava New Music Days (CZ), Champ dAction’s Laboratorium (Antwerp, BE), the Charlotte New Music Festival (USA), the Louisville New Music Festival (USA), Dogstar Orchestra (Los Angeles), and the Texas Dance Improvisation Festival (Texas).

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