Mark Trayle

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Mark Trayle
Sea and space gray.jpg
Trayle at Sea and Space Gallery : photo Lara Bank
Background information
Birth nameMark Evan Garrabrant
Born(1955-01-17)17 January 1955
San Jose, California, U.S.
Died18 February 2015(2015-02-18) (aged 60)
Ventura, California
Genres Electronic, installation, improvisation
Labels Nonesuch, Artifact, Atavistic, Nine Winds, Tzadik
Associated acts The Hub, Calarts

Mark Trayle, born Mark Evan Garrabrant (January 17, 1955 in San Jose, California – February 18, 2015 in Ventura, California) was a California-based musician and sound artist working in a variety of media including live electronic music, improvisation, installations, and compositions for chamber ensembles. His work has been noted for its use of re-engineered consumer products and cultural artifacts as interfaces for electronic music performances and networked media installations. [1]

San Jose, California City in California, United States

San Jose, officially the City of San José, is the economic, cultural and political center of Silicon Valley, and the largest city in Northern California. With an estimated 2017 population of 1,035,317, it is the third-most populous city in California and the tenth-most populous in United States. Located in the center of the Santa Clara Valley, on the southern shore of San Francisco Bay, San Jose covers an area of 179.97 square miles (466.1 km2). San Jose is the county seat of Santa Clara County, the most affluent county in California and one of the most affluent counties in the United States. San Jose is the main component of the San Jose–Sunnyvale–Santa Clara Metropolitan Statistical Area, with an estimated population of around 2 million residents in 2018. It is also the most populous city in both the San Francisco Bay Area and the San Jose-San Francisco-Oakland Combined Statistical Area, which contain 7.7 million and 8.7 million people respectively.

Ventura, California City in California, United States

Ventura, officially the City of San Buenaventura, is the county seat of Ventura County, California, United States. The coastal site, set against undeveloped hills and flanked by two free-flowing rivers, has been inhabited for thousands of years. European explorers encountered a Chumash village, referred to as Shisholop, here while traveling along the Pacific coast. They witnessed the ocean navigation skill of the native people and their use of the abundant local resources from sea and land. The eponymous Mission San Buenaventura was founded nearby in 1782 where it benefitted from the water of the Ventura River. The town grew around the mission compound and incorporated in 1866. The development of nearby oil fields in the 1920s and the age of automobile travel created a major real estate boom during which many designated landmark buildings were constructed. The mission and these buildings are at the center of a downtown that has become a cultural, retail, and residential district and visitor destination.

Improvisation is the activity of making or doing something not planned beforehand, using whatever can be found. Improvisation, in the performing arts is a very spontaneous performance without specific or scripted preparation. The skills of improvisation can apply to many different faculties, across all artistic, scientific, physical, cognitive, academic, and non-academic disciplines; see Applied improvisation.



Mark Trayle studied composition at the University of Oregon with Homer Keller, and at Mills College with Robert Ashley, David Behrman, and David Rosenboom. Under Berhman’s tutelage he began building hybrid digital-analog electronics and used those (often with electric guitar and homemade performance interfaces) throughout the 1980s. From the late 1980s through the mid-1990s his work focused on the use of alternative performance interfaces to guide algorithmic compositions, as well as composing for and performing with The Hub. He also made his first sound/media installations during this period. In 1996 he moved from the San Francisco area to Southern California to teach at CalArts. Soon after, he composed a number of pieces for acoustic instruments with electronics. True North, Periodic Transmissions at Regular Intervals (are not allowed), and Propagation, Reflection, and Absorption are entirely acoustic in nature but use electronics and sensors to create real-time scores for the performers. Later works such as bitpool, sierranevada, and Bender use electronics that allow the players to trigger electroacoustic sounds.

University of Oregon Public research university in Eugene, Oregon

The University of Oregon is a public flagship research university in Eugene, Oregon. Founded in 1876, the institution's 295-acre campus is along the Willamette River. Since July 2014, UO has been governed by the Board of Trustees of the University of Oregon. The university has a Carnegie Classification of "highest research activity" and has 19 research centers and institutes. UO was admitted to the Association of American Universities in 1969.

Homer T. Keller was an American composer of contemporary classical music.

Mills College United States national historic site

Mills College is a private liberal arts and sciences college in Oakland, California. Mills was founded as the Young Ladies Seminary in 1852 in Benicia, California. The school was relocated to Oakland, California, in 1871, and became the first women's college west of the Rockies. Currently, Mills is an undergraduate women's college with graduate programs for students of all genders. In 2014, Mills became the first single-sex college in the U.S. to adopt an admission policy explicitly welcoming transgender students.

Trayle's music has been the subject of articles in Strumenti Musicali and Virtual (Italy), Keyboard, and "Escape Velocity: Cyberculture at the End of the Century" (Grove/Atlantic), and he has written articles for Leonardo Music Journal (US/UK) and MusikTexte (Germany). He has recorded for the Artifact, Atavistic Records, CRI, Creative Sources, Inial, Los Angeles River, Elektra/Nonesuch, and Tzadik labels. He taught in the Herb Alpert School of Music at CalArts from 1996 - 2015.

Atavistic Records is an American record label based in Chicago, Illinois, known for its no wave and free jazz recordings.

Composers Recordings, Inc. (CRI) was an American record label dedicated to the recording of contemporary classical music by American composers. It was founded in 1954 by Otto Luening, Douglas Moore, and Oliver Daniel, and based in New York City.

Nonesuch Records American record label, owned by Warner Music Group, and based in New York City

Nonesuch Records is an American record company and label owned by Warner Music Group, distributed by Warner Records, and based in New York City. Founded by Jac Holzman in 1964 as a budget classical label, Nonesuch has developed into a label that records critically acclaimed music from a wide range of genres. Robert Hurwitz was president of the company from 1984 to 2017.

Mark Trayle died on February 18, 2015, of pancreatic cancer, in his home in Ventura, CA.


Trayle has performed and exhibited at experimental music and new media venues and festivals in the U.S., Canada, and Europe. He has received grants from Arts International, American Composers Forum, The Japan Foundation and the National Endowment for the Arts. Commissions have come from Radio Bremen, Champs D’Action, Ensemble Zwischentoene, Kammerensemble Neue Musik Berlin, and Ensemble Mosaik. He has been an artist-in-residence at Mills College, STEIM, and The LAB.

United States Federal republic in North America

The United States of America (USA), commonly known as the United States or America, is a country comprising 50 states, a federal district, five major self-governing territories, and various possessions. At 3.8 million square miles, the United States is the world's third or fourth largest country by total area and is slightly smaller than the entire continent of Europe's 3.9 million square miles. With a population of over 327 million people, the U.S. is the third most populous country. The capital is Washington, D.C., and the most populous city is New York City. Most of the country is located contiguously in North America between Canada and Mexico.

Canada Country in North America

Canada is a country in the northern part of North America. Its ten provinces and three territories extend from the Atlantic to the Pacific and northward into the Arctic Ocean, covering 9.98 million square kilometres, making it the world's second-largest country by total area. Its southern border with the United States, stretching some 8,891 kilometres (5,525 mi), is the world's longest bi-national land border. Canada's capital is Ottawa, and its three largest metropolitan areas are Toronto, Montreal, and Vancouver.

Europe Continent in the Northern Hemisphere and mostly in the Eastern Hemisphere

Europe is a continent located entirely in the Northern Hemisphere and mostly in the Eastern Hemisphere. It is bordered by the Arctic Ocean to the north, the Atlantic Ocean to the west, Asia to the east, and the Mediterranean Sea to the south. It comprises the westernmost part of Eurasia.


Günter Müller is a German sound artist who originally performed as a percussionist and drummer, active primarily in free improvisation. He was born in Munich, West Germany, but has lived in Switzerland since 1966.

Toshimaru Nakamura Japanese musician

Toshimaru Nakamura is a Japanese musician, active in free improvisation and Japanese onkyo.

The Hub is an American "computer network music" ensemble formed in 1986 consisting of John Bischoff, Tim Perkis, Chris Brown, Scot Gresham-Lancaster, Mark Trayle and Phil Stone. "The Hub was the first live computer music band whose members were all composers, as well as designers and builders of their own hardware and software."

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  1. "Obituary for Mark Evan Garrabrant - Hood River News".

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