Mobius Trio has, since its inception in 2010, made its name as one of the Bay Area’s best and hottest young ensembles. Mobius Trio’s mission is to use the most popular, ubiquitous instrument in the world — the guitar — to create a new lexicon of music; one that freely combines the varied influences of musicians who grew up with unfettered access to the world’s entire musical library. To accomplish this, they collaborate with composers and other musicians to commission pieces that reflect this beautiful musical schizophrenia: “classical,” punk, bebop, metal, folk, hardcore, and many other genres form the DNA of this music, in which the walls between genres cease to exist and old dichotomies start to unravel. Are they a band or an ensemble? One minute, they are premiering a new classical guitar trio by Brazilian guitar legend Sergio Assad, the next they’re using electric guitars to create a droning wave of feedback in Nick Vasallo’s Dark Matter.
The Trio exclusively performs music that they have commissioned, and they commission some of the music world’s most interesting composers. They seek to expand the guitar ensemble’s repertoire to encompass all of the myriad currents passing through “contemporary art music,” whatever that means. Mobius Trio has commissioned over two dozen composers in their first three years of existence, and that pace isn’t slowing. Recent premieres include pieces by Samuel Adams, Belinda Reynolds, and Nick Vasallo, and the Trio looks forward to many, many upcoming collaborations with composers like Aaron Gervais, Ryan Brown, and Ian Dicke. Performance residencies with the trio frequently include workshops on the process of performer/composer collaboration.
Since recording commissioned works is an integral part of expanding and disseminating an ensemble’s repertoire, Mobius Trio’s debut album, Last Light, features all of the aforementioned commissions and more. The album was produced by Sergio Assad and Marc Teicholz and released in November 2012. Mobius has also toured widely with this new repertoire, performing at the Kennedy Center, the San Francisco Center for New Music, Old First Concert Series, the Hot Air Music Festival, as part of the Guitar Foundation of America Symposium, and more. Mobius appeared as featured alumni on NPR’s “From the Top” Radio Program in May 2013, opened for the Kronos Quartet at Z Space in February 2014, and have a featured concert performance at the upcoming Guitar Foundation of America Festival and Competition in June.