Mario Diaz de Leon (mdiazdel)

Mario Diaz de Leon

Assistant Professor of Music and Technology

Education

  • DMA (2013) Columbia University (Music Composition)
  • MA (2008) Columbia University (Music Composition)
  • BM (2004) Oberlin College Conservatory of Music (TIMARA / Technology in Music and Related Arts)

Research

Mario Diaz de Leon is a composer, performer, and recording artist, whose creative work explores intersections of sound, spirituality, and technology. He is concurrently active in modern classical music, experimental electronic music, improvisation, and metal, having produced over a dozen albums of his work in collaboration with chamber ensembles, as a solo electronic artist, in the duo Luminous Vault, and with the improvisation trio Bloodmist.

General Information

Diaz de Leon's music has been celebrated for its “hallucinatory intensity” (New York Times), “snarling exuberance” (Pitchfork), “remarkable textures and vivid atmosphere” (New Yorker Magazine), and coupling of “crystalline clarity with the disorienting turbulence of a sonic vortex” (Wire Magazine). His most recent album "Heart Thread" (Denovali, 2022) documents two extended live electronic performances, and has been featured in the New York Times, New Sounds (New York Public Radio), and Groove (Germany). Crafted with Max and scored for an ensemble of synthesizers, woodwind timbres, and electronic percussion, the album conveys a pilgrimage from the meditative to the kinetic and back, pursuing an immersive, ecstatic sound.

His works and performances have been presented at venues including Walt Disney Concert Hall, Ojai Music Festival, Roulette, The Kitchen, San Francisco Symphony SoundBox, Chicago Symphony Center, National Gallery of Art (Washington DC), Donaufestival (Krems AT), CTM Festival (Berlin DE), Sacrum Profanum Festival (Krakow PL), Mózg Festival (Bydgoszcz PL), FIMAV (Victoriaville CA), Hakuju Hall (Tokyo JP), Tokyo Metropolitan Theatre, Southbank Centre (London UK), Venice Biennale (IT), Lucerne Festival (CH), and Musica Nova Helsinki (FI).

Prior to joining Stevens as Assistant Professor in Music and Technology, Mario received a doctorate in music composition from Columbia University, where he studied with George Lewis and Fabien Lévy. From 2015-18, he continued at Columbia as a Core Lecturer in Music Humanities, while also teaching at the Computer Music Center.

Institutional Service

  • CAL Curriculum Committee Member
  • Music and Technology Seminar Chair
  • SCENE Lab Chair

Professional Service

  • TAK Ensemble member, Board of Directors
  • Roulette Intermedium member, Board of Directors

Appointments

Composer-in-Residence, Walden Online Young Musicians Experience, 2020
Core Postdoctoral Lecturer in Music Humanities, Columbia University, 2015-18
Adjunct Assistant Professor, Columbia University Computer Music Center, 2017-19

Professional Societies

  • SEAMUS – Society for Electro-Acoustic Music in the United States Member
  • ASCAP – American Society of Composers, Authors, and Publishers Member

Grants, Contracts and Funds

2022 Foundation for Contemporary Arts Emergency Grant with Bloodmist
2022 Avaloch Farm Music Institute Ensemble Residency with Bloodmist
2018 Alice M. Ditson Fund Recording Grant with ICE
2017 Alice M. Ditson Fund Recording Grant with TAK Ensemble
2017 International Contemporary Ensemble First Page Commission for Rebekah Heller - "Labrys" for bassoon and electronics
2016 Los Angeles Philharmonic Commission - "Lightmass" for brass quintet and synthesizer
2016 International Contemporary Ensemble First Page Commission - "Mysterium" for woodwind trio and electronics
2016 International Contemporary Ensemble First Page Commission - "Anima" for cello trio
2016 Tectonics Festival + Issue Project Room + BBC SSO Commission - "Standard Deviance One" (with Nate Young)
2016 Cello Solos Today Commission - "Cantus"
2015 Avaloch Farm Music Institute Ensemble Residency with TAK
2015 Chamber Music America Commission for TAK Ensemble - "Sanctuary"
2015 String Orchestra of Brooklyn Commission - "Veni Lumen Cordium"
2013 Jerome Foundation Award for Artist Residency at Roulette
2013 Roulette/NYSCA Commission for Talea Ensemble - "The Chapel Abyss"
2013 TILT Brass Commission -"Bellum" for brass septet
2011 Claire Chase Commission - "Luciform" for flute and electronics
2011 American Music Center Recording Grant
2011 Dissertation Fellowship, Columbia University
2010 International Contemporary Ensemble ICELab Commission and Residency - "Prism Path"
2009 Issue Project Room Emerging Artist Commission - "Vesper Sol" for eight channel electronics
2007 Tzadik Records Recording Grant
2006 Museum of Biblical Art Commission for Allsar String Quartet - "String Quartet No. 2: Psalterion"
2006 Faculty Teaching Fellowship, Columbia University
2005 Meet the Composer Van Lier Fellowship

Selected Publications

Book Chapter

  1. Diaz de Leon, M.; Zorn, J. (2008). Scale and Ascent. Arcana III. New York, NY: Hips Road / Tzadik.
    http://www.tzadik.com/index.php?catalog=B003.

Magazine/Trade Publication

  1. Diaz de Leon, M. (2016). Tony Conrad 1940-2016: Systems of Oppression. Wire Magazine. London, UK: Wire Magazine.
    https://www.thewire.co.uk/in-writing/essays/tony-conrad-1940-2016-mario-diaz-de-leon.

album

  1. Diaz de Leon, M. (2022). Heart Thread (DEN 367 ed.). Bochum, Germany: Denovali Records.
    https://mariodiazdeleon.bandcamp.com/album/heart-thread.
  2. Diaz de Leon, M.; Cymerman, J.; Driver, T. (2022). Bloodmist: Arc (5049-011 ed.). New York, NY: 5049 Records.
    https://bloodmist.bandcamp.com/album/arc.
  3. Diaz de Leon, M.; Smith, S. (2022). Luminous Vault: Animate the Emptiness (PFL-270 ed.). Kitchener, Canada: Profound Lore Records.
    https://luminousvault.bandcamp.com/album/animate-the-emptiness.
  4. Diaz de Leon, M.; Cymerman, J.; Driver, T. (2020). Bloodmist: Phos (5049-010 ed.). New York, NY: 5049 Records.
    https://bloodmist.bandcamp.com/album/phos-2.
  5. Diaz de Leon, M.; Talea Ensemble; Heller, R.; Roberts, M.; International Contemporary Ensemble (2019). Cycle and Reveal (DEN 319 ed.). Bochum, Germany: Denovali Records.
    https://mariodiazdeleon.bandcamp.com/album/cycle-and-reveal.
  6. Diaz de Leon, M.; TAK Ensemble (2017). Sanctuary (DEN 284 ed.). Bochum, Germany: Denovali Records.
    https://mariodiazdeleon.bandcamp.com/album/sanctuary.
  7. Diaz de Leon, M.; Smith, S. (2017). Luminous Vault: Charismata (PFL-178 ed.). Kitchener, Canada: Profound Lore Records.
    https://luminousvault.bandcamp.com/album/charismata.
  8. Diaz de Leon, M. (2016). Oneirogen: Convivium (DEN 261 ed.). Bochum, Germany: Denovali Records.
    https://oneirogenvoid.bandcamp.com/album/convivium.
  9. Diaz de Leon, M.; Cymerman, J.; Driver, T. (2016). Bloodmist: Sheen (5049-005 ed.). New York, NY: 5049 Records.
    https://bloodmist.bandcamp.com/album/sheen.
  10. Diaz de Leon, M.; Chase, C.; Rubin, J.; International Contemporary Ensemble (2015). The Soul Is the Arena (DEN 234 ed.). Bochum, Germany: Denovali Records.
    https://mariodiazdeleon.bandcamp.com/album/the-soul-is-the-arena.
  11. Diaz de Leon, M. (2013). Oneirogen: Kiasma (DEN162 ed.). Bochum, Germany: Denovali Records.
    https://oneirogenvoid.bandcamp.com/album/kiasma.
  12. Diaz de Leon, M. (2012). Oneirogen: Hypnos (DEN144 ed.). Bochum, Germany: Denovali Records.
    https://oneirogenvoid.bandcamp.com/album/hypnos.
  13. Diaz de Leon, M.; International Contemporary Ensemble (2009). Enter Houses Of (TZ 8065 ed.). New York, NY: Tzadik Records.
    http://www.tzadik.com/index.php?catalog=8065.

compilation album

  1. Conquer, J.; Baldassare, F.; Merlet, C.; Menet, J.; Strauch, P.; Diaz de Leon, M. (2022). "Trembling Time" for string trio. Ensemble Alternance: On The Move (STR37218 ed.). Milan, Italy: Stradivarius.
    https://naxos.lnk.to/STR37218Na!product_page#.
  2. Cahn-Lipman, K.; Diaz de Leon, M. (2022). "Sumna" for viola da gamba. Kivie Cahn-Lipman: Sumna (FCR 325 ed.). New York, NY: New Focus Recordings.
    https://newfocusrecordings.bandcamp.com/album/sumna.
  3. Chase, C.; Diaz de Leon, M. (2020). "Luciform" for flute and electronics. Claire Chase: Density 2036 parts i & ii (2013-2014) (CD076 ed.). Chicago, IL: Corbett vs Dempsey.
    https://clairechase.bandcamp.com/album/density-2036-parts-i-ii-2013-2014.

film score / sync

  1. Elkins, S.; Diaz de Leon, M. (2021). Echoes of the Invisible. Cronanland Media / Jan Cieslikiewicz Film.
    https://echoesoftheinvisiblefilm.com/.
  2. Deans, Z.; Tezla-Gorsun, M.; Raymond, C.; Colston, M. L.; Diaz de Leon, M.; AUJIK (2017). Alien: Biotic. Los Angeles, CA: 20th Century Fox.
    https://www.facebook.com/watch/?v=1894250030815538.

music video

  1. Diaz de Leon, M.; Larsen, A. (2021). Sacrament.
    https://youtu.be/tZwzXdjy0dY.

score

  1. Diaz de Leon, M. (2022). String Quartet No. 1: "Moonblood". New York, NY: Project Schott New York / EAMDC.
    https://www.eamdc.com/psny/composers/mario-diaz-de-leon/works/string-quartet-no-1-moonblood/.
  2. Diaz de Leon, M. (2022). String Quartet No. 2: "Psalterion". New York, NY: Project Schott New York / EAMDC.
    https://www.eamdc.com/psny/composers/mario-diaz-de-leon/works/string-quartet-no-2-psalterion/.
  3. Diaz de Leon, M. (2021). "Anima" for cello trio. New York, NY: Project Schott New York / EAMDC.
    https://www.eamdc.com/psny/composers/mario-diaz-de-leon/works/anima/.
  4. Diaz de Leon, M. (2021). "Cantus" for solo cello. New York, NY: Project Schott New York / EAMDC.
    https://www.eamdc.com/psny/composers/mario-diaz-de-leon/works/cantus/.
  5. Diaz de Leon, M. (2020). "Altar of Two Serpents" for two flutes. New York, NY: Project Schott New York / EAMDC.
    https://www.eamdc.com/psny/composers/mario-diaz-de-leon/works/altar-of-two-serpents/.
  6. Diaz de Leon, M. (2020). "Labrys" for bassoon and electronics. New York, NY: Project Schott New York / EAMDC.
    https://www.eamdc.com/psny/composers/mario-diaz-de-leon/works/labrys/.
  7. Diaz de Leon, M. (2020). "Mysterium" for flute, clarinet, bassoon, and electronics. New York, NY: Project Schott New York / EAMDC.
    https://www.eamdc.com/psny/composers/mario-diaz-de-leon/works/mysterium/.
  8. Diaz de Leon, M. (2020). "Sacrament" for flute, clarinet, marimba, and electronics. New York, NY: Project Schott New York / EAMDC.
    https://www.eamdc.com/psny/composers/mario-diaz-de-leon/works/sacrament/.

Courses

HMU 195 History of Electronic and Experimental Music
HMU 211 Introduction to Electronic Music
HMU 231 Sound Recording I
HMU 232 Sound Recording II
HMU 265 Programming in Max
CAL 301 Seminar in Writing and Research Methods
HMU 498 Ensemble
CAL 498 Thesis Preparation
CAL 499 Senior Thesis