Matt Marks on Brooklyn Independent Television

A few weeks ago a video crew came to the apartment to film Matt talking about his music, how he composes and film a bit of  rehearsal. Although I spend most of Matt’s interviews and podcasts hiding in the bedroom, they asked me a few questions about how we had met and started collaborating. The whole piece ends with a modern dance performance of Matt’s “I Pretended” with the Brooklyn Brass Quintet. Totally worth a watch!



Friday Night – Music at First with Lorna Krier and friends

Music at First presents Provocative Vox and Saccharine Synths on March 25th

New York, NY – Brooklyn Heights-based Music at First Series announces its second concert of 2011, featuring sets from vocalist Mellissa Hughes and synthesizer player Lorna Krier. The “dazzling diva” (Time Out New York) Mellissa Hughes will perform works that explore topics such as death, sexuality, and Craigslist, by Jacob Cooper, Corey Dargel, Ted Hearne, Gabriel Kahane, Matt Marks, and Eric Shanfield. Lorna Krier continues to “break down the boundary between new classical and indie rock” (Lukas Ligeti) with Selected Saccharine Songs Without Words for synthesizers and drum machines, featuring special guests Dream Massage and bassist Eleonore Oppenheim.

Accompanied by the critically-acclaimed pianist Timo Andres, the first half of Mellissa Hughes’ set features a love poem by e. e. cummings set in dark tones by Ted Hearne, poems by Matthea Harvey—who enthusiastically endorses Eric Shanfield’s setting—and extractions from Craigslist posts, set by Gabriel Kahane. The second half of Hughes’ set draws inspiration from a Bashō haiku, set by Jacob Cooper for voice and track, the last words of executed offenders, set by Corey Dargel (also for voice and track), and Royce Vavrek’ s snapshots of a woman’ s sexual life, set by Matt Marks for voice and brass quintet.

Lorna Krier, founding member of Victoire and Love Like Doloreans, surrounds herself with electronics and guest musicians to present her genre-bending Selected Saccharine Songs Without Words. Joining Krier are the other two-thirds of LLD, as well as Stephen Greisgraber and fellow Victoire member Eleonore Oppenheim. Videographer Jon Williams complements the new wave-meets-minimalism songs with real-time editing in a Quartz patching environment.

Concert Details:
WHAT: Must at First Series featuring Mellissa Hughes and Lorna Krier
WHEN: Friday, March 25, 2011, 7:30pm
WHERE: First Presbyterian Church (Brooklyn Heights)
124 Henry St, Brooklyn, NY
2/3 to Clark St.; A/C to High St.; R/4/5 to Borough Hall

About Music at First Series
Music at First is an exciting new concert series that takes place at First Presbyterian Church in Brooklyn Heights. It features a diverse mix of some of New York City’s best new music ensembles, performers, and composers, accessible to a wide audience of both community members and seasoned new music listeners. Concerts take place monthly at First Presbyterian Church and begin at 7:30pm with a $10 admission.


Let Us Sample Protection

A few weeks ago I received an e-mail from The Notekillers guitarist and composer David First. We had collaborated together on a somewhat microtonal electronic piece in 2008, which we later went on to record. It’s an incredibly powerful piece to listen to, and one of my first attempts at blending classical and pop styles together. I found the following notes in an e-mail I sent to my parents about the piece:

“I had a stop watch, and a series of notes and text that I was supposed to get through to be somewhat in time with the music. You’ll notice that sometimes I line up with the changes and sometimes I blend through them. It was a blast to perform, and quite effective. To many people at the show, it was their favorite piece of the night. All of the musical changes corresponded to various lighting cues that I could never see, because my eyes were somewhat glued to my stopwatch…After every shift in the music, we rotate exactly 40 cents higher, which means after a while, I’m singing higher than I’m reading, which is why the under track sounds slightly out of tune, it isn’t tempered to be within a scale, the intervals are perfect, which we aren’t used to hearing… the result it somewhat “trippy” so I’m told..”

Let Us Sample Protection

Music by David First

Lyrics by Anselm Berrigan

When I was little I cut off the heads of many lords
I can’t count on the energy that took to rise in me at will
But I’ve strengthened my ability to activate a stand firm surface
A steady gaze will drive conflicted info away
Back to the abyss from whence it came
But I’ll be right here the morning after
Wracked in a private shame
Too awful to admit and of no consequence at all
I work very hard not to let myself go
Any channel can tell
Due process appears in beauty and misgiving all at once
An agility borne from creative malice
A benign insecurity misleading
The plain truth is I forget the curtains are open sometimes
And the hands wander constantly
The room stares back from its things
They understand the end of the world will not waste time feeling your pain
And everything tragic
In between
Need not be known
I don’t want love or remorse to follow
I want them in the way somehow
Things to burst through
Corrolaries to be roped and tackled by
Surprise, get killed, and thank you
Would your God be bored if everyone was happy?
One fate transforms into another
But I won’t touch that bandaged story
I won’t belong to that scripted conversation
Though I may play along
Identity theft accepting renewal orders
Copy cat pre-emptive attacks
An obscure murder string on the public glide by sight
The victim was a Johndoughnut pining for leadership from the passenger seat
The threat of meaning reassures
‘Cause I know it’s being made for me
Am I supposed to believe we’re receiving information?
Can I defect back to curiosity in the moonlight stone rabbit?
Hit on by Echo
I go cold for the love of my own exile
And while I hope
My flesh explodes
Into an arrangement of stars pestered by darkness
Those aren’t birds you hear
Just corresponding holes in the sky
I know all the bottled water isn’t fooling anyone

Melly’s Top 5 recipes of 2010


Everyone was all abuzz talking about their top 5, 10, 15 albums of the year, decade, etc….I’m gonna blog about my 5 favorite recipes of the past year. And I’ll even include recipes for ya! In no particular order, and without pictures since we seem to have lost the camera… ahem…


Apple Pie

My apple pie is intense. I usually end up crying in the kitchen, but I’ve come to terms with the fact that I over stuff my pies with yummy filling, and that is the reason my top crust never fits…


3/4 c. Crisco
1 tbl. Milk
1/4 c. Boiling water
1 tsp. Salt
2 c. Flour

Pour boiling water over crisco & milk.  Combine with a fork until the consistency of whipped cream. Add flour & salt. Mix until crumbly. Form into 2 cakes and roll out between 2 sheets of wax paper. Makes 2 crusts. If you’re me, and you make DEEP dish pies, make an additional 1/2 recipe of the crust to prevent kitchen tears. It’s best to chill your dough 20 minutes.


6 apples peeled, cored, sliced (I use Granny Smith’s for the tartness)

1/2 c brown sugar (I don’t measure this exactly, its more of a color thing)

1 tbsp cinnamon

1/2 nutmeg

1/4c of butter sliced into little pats

Peel, core and slice your apples thinly. Set in bowl and top with the sugar mixture, cover with a towel. Place bottom crust in the pie plate, top with apples and juices. Place the butter in all the nooks and crannies of the apple layers. Top with remaining crust. I use a small cookie cutter on the top crust so the heat can escape. Bake 425 for 10 minutes, and 375 for 3o or until golden brown.

Goofy Rolls

Shortening (the size of an egg)

1/2 cup sugar

1 egg

1-2 yeast cakes broken up in 1 cup of luke warm water

Then sift together:

1 cup flour

1 tsp. ea. baking powder and salt

Add 1 cup lukewarm water

4 cups flour

Mix and knead together then let rise once, punch down and let rise a second time until doubled in size.  Mike into rolls and set in individual muffin tins and allow to rise once again.

Bake at 350 degrees 20 to 25 minutes. I served them with honey butter, but they were even better all week long as breakfast biscuits with bacon.


Carnitas with Green Sauce

4 lb pork shoulder

2-3 dried chilis

1tsp salt

1 tsp garlic powder

1 tsp cumin

1/2 tsp oregano

1/2 tsp corriander

1/4 tsp cinnamon

2 bay leaves

2 c chicken broth

Place bay leaves and chilis in a slow cooker. Combine all dry ingredients in bowl. Rub all over the pork shoulder.  Gently place shoulder in slow cooker and cover gently using a baster with the chicken broth. Cook on low for 18-24 hours, turning gently every few hours. Meat should fall off the bone. Don’t be surprised to find loved ones eating fat soaked meat directly from the crock pot. I wasn’t.

Green sauce:

olive oil

1 large onion minced

5-6 cloves of garlic, minced

2 green peppers chopped

2 jalapenos seeded and membranes removed if desired – I always leave mine in, live a little.

1 1/2 lb tomatillos, husked and quartered

cilantro – I usually use an entire bunch, but I have a cilantro thing.

1 1/2 tsp Kosher salt

1/4 tsp black pepper

1 tbsp cumin

4 c chicken broth

1tbsp sugar or to taste

Sautee onion garlic in olive oil until they smell amazing. In food processor combine green peppers, tomatillos, jalapeno and cilantro. Add chicken broth if necessary to make the blending easier. Process until it’s smooth. Put your tomatillo sauce in a slow cooker with your sauteed onions and garlic and cook on low with the remaining chicken broth all day. Or, if you’re in a hurry, combine all ingredients in a sauce pan and simmer for 20.

Sausage, Red Bean and Kale Soup

1 pkg dry red beans

1 large bunch of kale, washed, stems chopped and ripped

1 pound sausage

1 cup of shallots

4 cups of beef broth

hot sauce

Soak beans overnight, drain and rinse. Cook beans in 4 cups of water. Boil until soft, do not drain. Brown sausage and shallots in a pan, add to bean mixture with broth. Simmer on stove for 30 minutes, adding the kale for the final 10 minutes. Serve with fresh parmesan and crusty bread.

Sausage, lentil and squash salad

3/4 cup dry lentils

1 lb sausage

2 lbs butternut squash, sliced into small pieces

fresh basil

crumbled goat cheese

Soak lentils for 30 minutes before boiling until soft. Drain. In saucepan brown sausage, drain add to boil with lentils. Roast squash for 30 minutes, add to sausage and lentil mixture. Top with crumbled goat cheese and freshly shredded basil. This salad is amazing warm or cold, works great for a meal on the go in Tupperware.

Melly & Mafoo’s Christmas Menu

There. Will. Be. Food.


Christmas Breakfast


Jewish Apple Bread

Ham and Cheese Croissant Rolls

Mafoo’s Scrambled Eggs


Christmas Dinner

Crab-stuffed mushrooms with Gruyere

Cheese plate – Gorgonzola, Garlic crusted Goat, Roquefort


Goofy Rolls – my Great Grandmother’s recipe from Nova Scotia

Cilantro Herb Stuffing – apples, sausage, garlic, and fennel

Carmelized Carrots – hazlenut sage glaze

Potatoes Au Gratin

Sweet Potato Casserole – (NONE of that marshmallow shit either, mine has eggs, brown sugar and pecans)

Roasted Squashes with Rosemary

Sauteed Kale

Cranberry Sauce- whole berry

Roasted Cornish Game Hens (in an sweet garlic apricot glaze)


Christmas Dessert

Apple Pie (simple, but my apple pie is EPIC, and usually involves a slew of profanities when I roll out my crust)

Cinnamon Glass Cookies

Sherry Cake – Matt’s mother’s recipe


Beer – choosing tomorrow

Egg Nog – very spiked



December Concerts


I’ve been remiss in updating you all on some amazing concerts coming up, many of which are FREE, and most of which I at least have access to comps or discounted tickets, never hesitate to ask me. For what it’s worth, if you have family in town, the Guggenheim show is perfect for family and children, and is my favorite holiday concert, and I do a lot of them!  I’ve heard from many friends that within minutes all the holiday woes and stresses melt away.

December 9
Steve Reich: Music for 18 Musicians, Triple Quartet
Axiom Ensemble
Jeff Millarsky
8pm Alice Tully Hall, FREE

December 12
Handel: Messiah
Trinity Wall St
Trinity Baroque Orchestra
3:00 pm

December 13
Handel: Messiah
Trinity Wall St
Trinity Baroque Orchestra
7:30 pm

December 14
Composers Ensemble: Fancy That
Music of Dmitri Tymoczko and Paul Lansky
Princeton University Department of Music
Taplin Auditorium
8:00 pm FREE

December 15
Clarion Music Ensemble
Steven Fox, director
A Bach Christmas
Selections from The Christmas Oratorio, and Cantatas 16 and 133

December 19
Vox Christmas Spectacular
Vox Vocal Ensemble
Grahm Ashton Brass Ensemble
George Steel, director
Guggenheim Museum
Frank Lloyd Wright Rotunda
6:30 pm

December 20
Vox Christmas Spectacular
Vox Vocal Ensemble
Grahm Ashton Brass Ensemble
George Steel, director
Guggenheim Museum
Frank Lloyd Wright Rotunda
6:30 pm

Sweet Light Crude out on New Amsterdam Records

Yesterday was a very, very awesome day. Newspeak’s debut album, Sweet Light Crude dropped on New Amsterdam records. Head to our site and hear the entire thing streaming! Or, head to New Amsterdam’s site to download the very awesome B & E (with aggravated assault) by Oscar Bettison for FREE.


And now, for your viewing pleasure, our video single Sweet Light Crude. Special warm fuzzies to everyone’s favorite video crew Satan’s Pearl Horses.




Jonny Rodgers

I first met Jonny Rodgers in 2006 when I busted out a Line 6 and covered Bjork’s Desiring Constellations at Yale. We met again this spring under similar circumstances, this time he was doing the looping covers… We’ve been e-mailing back and forth, trading ideas, albums. He e-mailed me yesterday out of the blue, right when I was thinking about ditching a creative project that I’ve been working on, perfect timing!

Below is what Jonny does, georgeous singing, tuned wine glasses and guitar playing that seeps into every crack of your being like liquid gold….