Suites for Dance (2001)
Christian Matjias’ 2001 release, Suites for Dance, Works for Cello and Piano, saw him collaborating with cellist Cripsin Campbell and electronics / laptop virtuoso, Chris Peck. This seventeen-track collection, released under the pseudonym of Phillip Carout (as with his debut CD, Standing Alone), featured fifteen original tracks and two miniature masterpieces from the 20th century repertory - Joe Zawinul’s \"In a Silent Way\", and Arvo Part’s \"fur alina\".
Christian and his collaborators created a mystical, voluptuous collection of pieces, where each movement yearned for some unknown thought or emotion. For this set of works, Christian was inspired by a flame-haired beauty, a muse known only as Anne (of a Thousand Days). The result - a rich collection of pieces that quickly became a favorite among choreographers in both ballet and contemporary dance. Disillusion, With Each Moment, Regret, Expire, and other movements from this collection have been utilized by choreographers throughout North America and Europe. Also notable is the artwork gracing the Suites for Dance six-panel package. For this, a series of evocative and mysterious photographs were created by Alissa Centivany. Listeners have said:
“.....I continue to be touched and inspired by Matjias’ music. Each note is a word that I’ve forgotten and each work, a story I’ve set aside. For me, this music transcends reality and conscious planes of existence. It is not the notes he chooses to play, but rather how they are played, with sensitivity and humility. I feel as if I know something more about the human experience and my own heart after listening....”
“It’s music that brings calmness - I find it particularly calming and balancing when I’m feeling homesick - that is missing some part of me, or missing the water and woods...or just missing feeling quiet and peaceful”
Christian Matjias is one of the leading Dance / Music Specialists in the field, and an Associate Professor of Dance and Music at the University of Michigan. A native of Los Angeles, he attended the University of Southern California, earning degrees in Harpsichord and Early Music Performance, with secondary studies in Conducting. Intending to become a vocal accompanist and opera repetiteur, he instead became one of the most active dance musicians in Southern California prior his 1991 move to Michigan. As both performer and scholar, he is sought out by dancers across fields seeking to collaborate on choreography, technique classes, in addition to consulting on musical matters as relates to the staging of classical ballets. He has worked with, among others, the Balanchine Trust, Balanchine Foundation, Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, Dance Theatre of Harlem, TUDance, Leopold Dance Group, and has played for Maria Tallchief, Edward Villella, Eliot Feld, Gail Gilbert, and numerous dancers for New York City Ballet, American Ballet Theatre, Paul Taylor Dance Company, David Parsons Dance Company, Cullberg Ballet, Jose Limon Dance Company, Jose Greco Dance Company, Boston Ballet, and Martha Graham Dance Company. Christian’s versatility also encompasses the vocal and instrumental repertory. He’s served as repetiteur for productions of La Boheme, Carmina Burana and The Cradle Will Rock, as well as having performed with legendary cult avant-garde musician, Jandek.