MARIO DIAZ DE LEON BIOGRAPHY
Mario Diaz de Leon is a composer, performer, and educator, whose creative work encompasses modern classical music, experimental electronic music, extreme metal, and improvised music.
Noted for their bold combination of acoustic instruments and electronics, his compositions have been documented on several recordings, often produced in collaboration with the International Contemporary Ensemble (ICE). A debut album, "Enter Houses Of" was released in 2009 on John Zorn's Tzadik label, and praised by the New York Times for its "hallucinatory intensity". A second album, entitled "The Soul is the Arena", was released in 2015 on Denovali, and was named a notable recording of 2015 by New Yorker Magazine. Pitchfork wrote that the album "combined his interests seamlessly into music that throbs with snarling exuberance."
Recent live performances include events at Walt Disney Concert Hall (Los Angeles), Donaufestival (Austria), CTM Festival (Berlin), Chicago Symphony Center, Hakuju Hall (Tokyo), Venice Biennale, Lucerne Festival (Switzerland), Musica Nova Helsinki (Finland), National Gallery of Art (DC), Ojai (California), Roulette (Brooklyn), The Kitchen (NYC), and commissions from the Los Angeles Philharmonic, ICE, Talea, TAK Ensemble, and Chamber Music America.
In 2015 he co-founded the band Luminous Vault, which explores intersections of black metal and electronic music elements. A duo with bassist and vocalist Samuel Smith (Artificial Brain), their EP “Charismata” was released by Profound Lore Records in 2017. From 2012-2016, his solo electronic project Oneirogen (o-NI-ro-jen) toured internationally and released three full length LPs and two EPs on the Denovali label. Alongside Jeremiah Cymerman and Toby Driver, he is a member of Bloodmist, a trio devoted to electroacoustic improvisation, whose most recent release was given favorable reviews by National Public Radio and Downbeat Magazine.
Born in Minnesota in 1979, he played guitar in local hardcore punk bands before attending the Oberlin Conservatory of Music, where he studied electronic music and composition. He has lived in in New York City since 2004, and received his doctorate in music composition from Columbia University in 2013, where he studied with George Lewis and Fabien Levy. Mario served as Core Lecturer in Music Humanities at Columbia from 2015-2018, while also teaching music production at the Columbia Computer Music Center. He was recently appointed Lecturer in Music Technology at Stevens Institute of Technology for 2018-19.