Satellite Ensemble is the in-house orchestra of Satellite Collective. As one of the composers, I wrote scores for ballet and film and occasionally played violin for performances. We wrote four full-length ballets, three modern dance works, three short films, and two song cycles. Primarily, these works were composed via collaboration, emerging from a band-style composition that is rarely applied to classical composition.
In reviewing one of our fall performances, the New York Times wrote: "Tucked in before this was 'Ensemble (A)," 11 minutes of pure, pungent, earthy music for strings, piano and percussion, by Nick Jaina, Mr. Langston, and Amanda Lawrence. These 'compositions for dance,' as they were subtitled, were the most physically bracing part of the night." - New York Times
Nick Jaina is one of the most brilliant writers and musicians that I know. My time playing with his band and touring to every corner of the country will always be with me. In retrospect, those adventures seem almost like a fable but the six albums to which I contributed have stood up over time.
The Maybe Happening:
Amongst the many bands I played with, this was my first and possibly my favorite. As a three-piece (violin, guitar, drums), the constraints of our timbre often drove us to write more creatively. I typically ran my violin through an octave pedal, delay pedal, and preferred tube amps for their warmth. When our first album debuted, Williamette Week wrote:
"Debut albums can often be hurried, sordid affairs. Rarely do they appear as fully realized visions. And most bands wouldn't dare attempt a concept record from the get-go. Then again, most bands don't have as much fun as the Maybe Happening."