Out Beyond Ideas
Mandir has been performing throughout the Northwest since the mid 90's. It's members are: Matthew Marsolek: classical and acoustic guitar; Beth Youngblood: violin; Lawrence Duncan: soprano sax, bassoon and flute, and Michael Marsolek: percussion and didgeridoo. Mandir's music is a joining together of world influences; jazz, classical, and folk idioms blend with melodic and rhythmic elements from India and West Africa. The group's signature sound references far away places while also evoking a sense of the Montana landscape and sky. Mandir's performances feature compositions by Matthew Marsolek which highlight the group's unique instrumentation and the improvisatory abilities of it's players. Points of interest: Three members of Mandir (Matthew, Michael and Lawrence) are also in Drum Brothers world percussion ensemble. Mandir's CD, Out Beyond Ideas was produced by Sweetgrass Music artist, Philip Aaberg. 'Intensely artistic compositions exquisitely crafted and eloquently phrased. .' -Peggy Randal NAPRA ReView Review from 'Point of Light' winter 98/99 By David Lesondak The most exciting new world fusion group hails from the exotic port of Missoula, Montana? That's right. Welcome to Out Beyond Ideas the debut of Mandir (Satsang). While utilizing the expected array of exotic percussion there is also the unexpected delight of the musical colorings of bassoon, soprano sax and recorder. The anchor of Mandir's sound is the rhythm and classical guitar work of singer/bandleader Matthew Marsolek. Possessing a warm and friendly voice and a keen melodic instinct I dare you to listen to this and not sing-along. It helps that most of the vocals are wordless and it's nice to hear a male other than Michael Stipe singing 'in tongues.' The key word here is joy. This is some of the best driving-with-the-top-down-on-a-sunny-day-music that I have ever heard. Tracks like 'Crossing the Divide' and 'Flying to Varanasi' are made for such moments. Another highlight includes the slow and beautiful 'Asatoma' where Matthew's voice is perfectly complimented by the vocals from band violinist Beth Youngblood as their voices weave in, on and around each other and the music. To sum up this CD in one word: Blissful. Get it for everyone on your list. Bios Matthew Marsolek has received awards of excellence from the University of Montana for his musical work with theater and dance. He has studied East Indian and West African music for the past 12 years with a variety of teachers, including Mukesh Desai from India and Abdoul Doumbia from Mali, West Africa. Matthew has experience and training in jazz, classical, and Hindustani vocal technique and is also an accomplished jazz and classical guitarist. As a recording artist, he has released projects with Drum Brothers and Mandir as well as two solo recordings, the most recent entitled, 'The Bhakti Road'. A dedicated and charismatic educator, Matthew has a passion for rhythm, harmonic relationships, and the healing and community building potentials of music. He teaches classes and clinics in voice, rhythm, and hand drumming throughout the Northwest. Beth Youngblood spent eight years touring as violinist and vocalist with The Howard Hanger Jazz Fantasy, and is featured on four of the ensemble's albums as well as on numerous recordings with the Baroque ensemble, The Early Light Consort. Both Beth and Lawrence Duncan performed on John Floridis' recent CD, This Year. In addition to her years of classical training, she has studied improvisation with renowned jazz educator David Baker and Eugene Friesen, cellist with the Paul Winter Consort. Beth is a Suzuki violin teacher and lives in Missoula. Lawrence Duncan's contribution to the Mandir ensemble is anchored in 25 years of professional woodwind and vocal performance. He is comfortable in diverse musical idioms on instruments that include saxophone, harp, flutes, and ethnic percussion. As well as performing with Drum Brothers, Lawrence has collaborated with videographer Dick Ostheimer in the award-winning series Open Spaces and with Michael Marsolek on their recent 2002 release, A Musical Dreamtime Journey. Michael Marsolek has performed as a vocalist and percussionist in various ensembles including The Marsolek Brothers and Mandir. He's currently the program director for KUFM/KGPR Montana Public Radio. Michael has produced and performed on the The Stories Project (1996) and A Musical Dreamtime Journey with Lawrence Duncan released in 2002. A student of the didgeridoo and Native American flute, Michael continues to follow a fascination with exotic percussion instruments, including the riqq, tar and udu-drum.