“a natural composer, a fresh voice and, from the evidence of his festival, a first-rate organizer with a broad range of musical interests”
-Mark Swed, Los Angeles Times

“McBane has a fantastic intuitive sense that is backed up by a serious amount of compositional craft”
-Jay Batzner, Sequenza 21

“McBane [is of] the new breed of contemporary classical musicians. Though steeped in years of traditional training, [he is] eager to integrate new technology and a wide range of musical influences.”
-San Diego Union Tribune

“…his music is often marked by a fanatically detailed sense of slow textural transformation. A new work, Drivin’, replaces rests with notes in a maniacal 5/4 rhythm demanding a concentration that only the fearless enthusiasm of youth could negotiate…”-Kyle Gann, Postclassic

“…his life since graduation is a pretty good paradigm for making it as a serious musician these days.”
-Alan Rich, LA Weekly


Carlsbad Music Festival:
“…marvelously enlightening…” (programing)
-Richard S. Ginell, Los Angeles Times


Included on Alex Ross’ list of Notable Younger Composers on The Rest is Noise


About Build:

“…a new quintet that straddles the increasingly permeable line between chamber music and instrumental rock.”
-Steve Smith, Time Out New York

“skittery, unpredictable and utterly charming musical inventions.”
-Alan Rich, Bloomberg News

“The tracks on this disc are familiar yet fresh, comfortable yet compelling. The music is not easily classified as being one thing or another and that might be the main reason I keep listening to it… McBane has a fantastic intuitive sense that is backed up by a serious amount of compositional craft…McBane’s music is somewhere between a lot of different influences. I hope he stays there for a long time because it is definitely worth hearing…”
-Jay Batzner, Sequenza 21

“…malleable music which doesn’t distinguish between classical and rock.”
-Mark Swed, Los Angeles Times

“Build’s self-titled first album is a risky, albeit exciting, little record. Not only does composer Matt McBane pull together jazz, bluegrass and instrumental rock, but each track throws you Lewis Carrol-style through the looking glass into a strange new landscape.”
“…the surreal wonderland Build leads you through is endlessly fascinating and often gorgeous.”
-Seattle Sound Magazine

“Throughout the album, the instruments and arrangements sparkle with energy and vitality. On their five-track, self-titled debut, Build creates some deep, intelligent music that remains extremely dynamic and beautiful.”
-Foxy Digitalis

“The band’s grooves, built around cycles of interlocking vamps, were the kind that you could either bliss out to or marvel at technically.”
-Hank Shteamer, Time Out New York

“Whereas a lot of modern post rock groups seem to always go with the ‘more is more’ approach, Build keep things fresh by letting things breathe a bit.”
“quite a fun little debut…you shouldn’t overlook Build”
-Almost Cool

About specific pieces:

Ghost in the Machine:
“The Calders…produced a warm, beautiful amplified string tone in the second movement of festival founder-director Matt McBane’s ‘Ghost in the Machine’ that the composer manipulated electronically with delicacy and restraint.”
-Richard S. Ginell, Los Angeles Times

Swelter movement 3
“a neat, jazz-like Minimalist groove”
-Richard S. Ginell, Los Angeles Times

“Drivin’ is the big piece on the disc…At first the music sounds like Steve Reich with a drumset. A hypnotic pulse groove in the piano drives away while flat drones in the strings emerge and start to groove in a very Reich-ian sort of way. As the piece evolves, though, McBane makes it clear that while he has clearly heard a lot of Reich, he is no wannabe. The piano transforms into a melodic entity that sounds more like a jazz solo than minimalistic process. Angular melodies sprout up everywhere. Spiky rhythms permeate the whole piece, binding it together, as every performer gets their own feature. If you listen, you hear that the rhythmic profile of the piece is treacherous. The performers make it sound easy, effortless, and improvisational.”
-Jay Batzner, Sequenza 21

“Drivin’ is not an imitative work and uses minimalism quite differently from the way Reich does – primarily as a point of continuity among different kinds of music and a bridge from one type to the next…it offers many effective moments along the way, and the performance (of this and all the music) by McBane’s group, Build, is everything the composer could have wanted…”
-Mark Estren (of the Washington Post)




Music Review: Build: Build (review of Build album)
Richard Marcus, Blogcritics (Canada), July 2, 2008

Album: Build (review of Build album)
Dez Ji, Music, Musings and Miscellany (UK), June 26, 2008

The Charm of the New (profile of the Carlsbad Music Festival )
Fred Cohn, Chamber Music Magazine, March/April, 2008

Luminosities (review of Carlsbad Music Festival)
Alan Rich, LA Weekly, October 11, 2007

Fest founder McBane’s hot, harried and on the rise (profile of Matt)
Fred Tracy, North County Times, September 27, 2007

A taste of the Carlsbad Music Festival in forward and reverse (review of LA CMF concert)
Richard S. Ginell, September 26, 2007

Soundscape Architects (preview of CMF)
Marcia Manna, San Diego Union-Tribune, September 20, 2007

Writer’s Block (article on cover of LA Times Sunday Calendar about young composers)
Chris Pasles, Los Angeles Times, July 22, 2007

My Magnificent Seven
Kyle Gann, Post-Classic, March 12, 2007

For Starters (a profile of Matt and fellow composer, Andrew Norman)
Alan Rich, LA Weekly, February 7, 2007

Classical Music with Alt Attitude Coming to Carlsbad
North County Times, May 4, 2006

Modern Composers Bring ‘Personality’ to Classical Music
San Diego Union-Tribune, April 30, 2006

Music Festival Stirs Ideas on What’s Classical
San Diego Union-Tribune, April 30, 2006

Music Festival Brings Innovation to Carlsbad
Today’s Local News, April 28, 2006


CMF: Multimedia and Rock Classics Highlight Second Annual Event
North County Times, April 28th, 2005

Ghost’ Riders, and More
San Diego Union-Tribune, April 28th, 2005

Carlsbad’s Music Festival Spotlights the Non-traditional
San Diego Union-Tribune, April 24th, 2005


Carlsbad-bred String Stars Return to Launch Music Festival
North County Times, May 6th, 2004

Classics Get a Fresh Face
The Coast News, May 11th, 2004


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