HM People Features: Matt Silverberg
We are continuing our features on the people of Heartland Marimba. The new artists of the Heartland Marimba Ensemble are up next, and we're starting with Milwaukee native, MATT SILVERBERG.
2018 Intern and HME Artist, Matt Silverberg, is currently attending the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis for a masters degree in percussion performance. He has been working with HM director, Matthew Coley, and other artists and staff since December as an intern and now joins the HMEnsemble for their June tour. We asked Matt some questions to get to know him better, read below to find out more.
Be sure to also visit www.mattsilverbergmusic.com and his Instagram @marimbamatt913.
HM: Who is your favorite artist/composer and why?
MS: Video games contain some of my favorite tunes, but my favorite composer is Shostakovich. Not only are his compositions super intense and metal, but the fact that he was able to produce such amazing music that reflected the world he was living in blows my mind.
HM: Why did you start playing the marimba/percussion?
MS: It was kind of a fluke. When I was growing up in New York my mom gave me piano lessons and in middle school I played the trumpet in the school band. When I moved out to Green Bay I wanted to keep music in my life during high school. My education on the trumpet was really bad as I was never taught fingerings and piano isn't always utilized in band music. Wanting to be in the music department I figured I could play percussion because it's easy...right? Solo & Ensemble competitions eventually came along and my band director wanted me to play percussion for it instead of piano, so he gave me a marimba solo and now here I am.
HM: What was your favorite TV show/movie/video game growing up and how did it influence you musically or otherwise?
MS: It is really hard to pick one game as video games have been a big influence for me musically. But a few games that have been big influences on me are Super Mario 64, Banjo-Tooie, and Metroid Prime. The atmospheric and programmatic music in these games completely wowed me when I was growing up. Hearing music in these games wanted me to create something like that so that other people could get the amazing experience that I got from video games.
HM: Is there a teacher or individual in your life that was most influential to your development as a musician?
MS: My parents have been wonderful influences on me, but the biggest influence in my musical development was my high school band director Mr. Bill Hill. He introduced me to the marimba and was always super supportive and helpful to me. I would not be where I am today without him.
HM: In 20 years what do you hope to be doing?
MS: In 20 years I hope to be touring the world performing my own music, making the marimba a more recognizable instrument and helping to produce higher quality arts education.
Bio: Matt Silverberg is a versatile composer and well rounded percussionist. As a composer, Matt has written for film, chamber groups and concert band, and his music has been played internationally. His Percussion Quintet, "Hypnotic Crystals" was selected as a winner and was performed at the 2017 Wisconsin Alliance for Composers (WAC) New Music Festival. Matt made his international debut as a performer and composer when he toured in Costa Rica with the U of M Percussion Ensemble in 2017 where “Hypnotic Crystals" received its international debut. He was the featured music graduate at the Peck School of the Arts graduation ceremony performing Joseph Schwantner's “Velocities." As an educator he has taught at the French Woods Festival of the Performing Arts, coached numerous honors band and youth music programs in Wisconsin and Minnesota and is currently teaching the Percussion Methods course at the University of Minnesota. Matt arranges video game music for the marimba, most notable was his arrangement of "Dragon Roost Island" from The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker, which received over 48,000 views on Facebook. He is currently working on an album of Electro Pop Rock Marimba music. Matt earned his undergraduate degree from the University of Wisconsin - Milwaukee and is currently attending the University of Minnesota for his masters.
The People of HM Feature interviews are compiled and prepared by Matthew Coley and our 2018 intern, Matt Silverberg.