Madison Greenstone is a New York based clarinetist whose ‘beautiful and haunting’ playing ‘creeps noisily away from the void’ (Foxy Digitalis). They perform across a wide range of experimental music contexts as a soloist, improvisor, and chamber musician. Madison’s solo performance practice, exstatic resonances, pushes the limits of innate instrumental expressivities by treating the meeting of instrument and embodied technique as creative of a site of indeterminacy and generative instability. Their approach to the clarinet embraces and instigates chaotic timbral actions, difficult-to-reign sonorities, and the harmonically rich and noisy resonances that have a vivid inner life and movement. Their practice embraces responsive listening as a mediator between embodied technique and latent instrumental agency.
Madison is the clarinetist of TAK Ensemble, “one of the most prominent ensembles in the United States practicing truly experimental music” (I Care If You Listen), and a founding member of the [Switch~ Ensemble]. Madison performs as a guest with Alarm Will Sound, Nunc New Music, Either/Or, Argento New Music Project, Contemporaneous, Wavefield, amongst others in New York and abroad. They can be heard on labels such as Wandelweiser Editions, Another Timbre, TAK Editions, Unknown Tapes, New Focus Recordings, eë editions (AT), Impakt Collective (DE), and upcoming on Relative Pitch Records (solo) and Dinzu Artefacts (TAK ensemble).
As a soloist, Madison has been presented by the Vigeland Mausoleum (Oslo), ISSUE Project Room (NYC), Fire Over Heaven (NYC), Night of Surprise (DE), Silo City (Buffalo), Petersburg Art Space (DE). Other notable performances have been as a soloist in Brian Ferneyhough’s La Chute d’Icare (conducted by Steve Schick), as presented by the New York Philharmonic Kravis Nightcap Series with TAK Ensemble, as part of the Merce Cunningham Centennial in Los Angeles. Madison has performed in the KKL Luzern (CH), Elbphilharmonie (DE), and Walt Disney Concert Hall (LA).
Madison has been in residence as a guest artist and educator at Harvard University, Stanford University, Columbia University, University of Pennsylvania, Cornell University, Bard, University of Chicago, University at Buffalo, Wesleyan and many others. Madison is currently a doctoral candidate at UC San Diego, where they learn greatly from the mentorship of Anthony Burr, Charles Curtis, and Amy Cimini. They hold a Bachelor’s degree from the Eastman School of Music, where they studied with Jon Manasse and Kenneth Grant. Between 2012-2018, Madison pursued periodic studies with Ernesto Molinari in the context of the Lucerne Festival Academy and the Darmstadt Ferienkurse für Neue Musik.
As a writer, Madison has contributed a catalog essay for the Museum of Neuchâtel’s exhibit Sur Papier exploring surface, temporality, and material agency in the work of Sivan Eldar. Their writing also appears in Contemporary Music Review’s edition on Éliane Radigue in an essay co-authored with Charles Curtis and Anthony Vine titled Toward an Anti-Ideal: Radigue, Recording, and the Paradoxes of Representation.
Highlights from the 2023-24 season include the release of their first solo album Resonance Studies in Ecstatic Consciousness on Relative Pitch Records (9/22/23), touring as a soloist in the American Northeast, solo performances in Berlin (KM28), Vienna (knopfwissen) and Central Europe, touring with TAK Ensemble in Thailand, Ireland, England, and California, as well as premieres by Sarah Hennies, Eric Wubbels, Wilfrido Terrazas, Jessie Cox, Weston Olencki, and Bryan Jacobs. They will be in residence with TAK Ensemble at Princeton, Cornell, University of Chicago, and University of Southern California.
Madison plays on Schwenk & Seggelke (Bamberg) Bb and A clarinets made from mopane wood, a vintage Selmer bass clarinet that was played by Dave Breeden before his passing, and a Leblanc paperclip contrabass clarinet.
photo credit: Titilayo Ayangade