Payton MacDonald is a musician, filmmaker, and ultra-endurance cyclist. He explores the frontiers of art in a variety of settings, from Carnegie Hall to remote wilderness locations. He spent his early years drumming along with jazz records, while exploring the Rocky Mountains near his home in Idaho by foot, bicycle, and skis. Eventually he was shaped into a percussionist who plays marimbas, snare drums, bicycles, plants, pots and pans, and anything else that might produce an interesting tone. Along the way Payton discovered Indian classical music, and after 20 years of studying that ancient music he now sings it in concert halls, yoga centers, and ashrams. Payton studied music formally at the University of Michigan (BFA) and Eastman School of Music (MM and DMA), as well as with the legendary Gundecha Brothers (Dhrupad vocal) and Pandit Sharda Sahai (tabla). He teaches music at William Paterson University, and tours nationally and internationally as a percussionist, singer, and speaker.


Payton MacDonald will perform Nathaniel Bartlett’s “Cronometro,” for found percussion objects. Bartlett wrote this piece for MacDonald’s epic Sonic Divide adventure, in which MacDonald rode his mountain bike 2,500 miles from Mexico to Canada, along the Great Divide Mountain Bike route, and he performed 30 new pieces of music by 30 different composers, at the tops of mountains, near streams and rivers, and in the desert. MacDonald first performed Cronometro in the Gila Wilderness in New Mexico, one of the most barren and savage and beautiful wilderness areas of the U.S. Since then MacDonald has performed the piece in concert halls and university settings. The piece is scored for any combination of natural found objects, including logs, rocks, leaves, etc.



Posted on

August 30, 2019