I began my professional musical life in the 1980’s as a modern classical composer, which led to the creation of many works, and international acclaim from musical artists and organizations. My own skills as a singer and performer began to be equally important to me, moving away from concert music, into the realm of electronics, and relocating to Paris in the 1990’s in order to work and study in the studios of pioneer composer Iannis Xenakis.

Melding the skills of classical, improvisation, electronics, digital recording and my own performance capabilities, I began to forge a new direction. I had by then been working on what I call the noncooperative ensemble, a poly-temporal music in which performers and musical tracks exist in their own time, breaking with the constraints of tempo, meter, verticality and tonality. All of this came to fruition in the studio, where I began to make recordings, drawing from broad sources of sound and music.

Since 2009, my creative energy has been centered on producing albums which are largely unclassifiable: imagining the music of lost cultures in Music of the Ancient Lost or Forgotten, moving around the equator following bird species in Equatorial, complex piano music using the rhythms of nature in Natura, imagining every way that a string can be played in String, multiplying the sound of the piano in Piano Forte Piano, redefining the expressions of jazz in Double Jazz, environmental activism through electronics in Stasis, performing settings of Jack London’s prose for the Jack London Museum in Ron Fein Sings Jack London, exploring the form of the Indian raga in Ocean Ragas, constructing an album around the U.S. National Park Service sound archive in Anima.

The Experimental Troubadour is a treatise on a new direction for music that embraces technology and the resources available to composers. It is also an outline for the direction I have taken. The albums on this site are all reflections of this approach to music. I hope you enjoy listening to them.

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Albums

Ocean Ragas

by | Jan 31, 2022 | Albums | 0 Comments

surf raga (10:27) arctic raga (10:34) fjord raga (11:04) pelagic raga (12:44) squall raga (11:50) reef raga (12:03) Ocean Ragas explores the tradition of the Indian...

Double Jazz

by | Jan 30, 2022 | Albums | 0 Comments

Colossus - two grand pianos (6:53) Wanderlust - studio piano, Rhodes piano (6:58) Heaven’s lonely gate - studio piano, B3 organ (7:45) Pulsar - studio piano, console...

String

by | Jan 29, 2022 | Albums | 0 Comments

Mallet - tenor ukulele, tenor guitar, violoncello (13:02) Plectra - mandolin, bass guitar (6:29) Apoyando - soprano ukulele, acoustic guitar, bass guitar (9:43) Una...

Equatorial

by | Jan 28, 2022 | Albums | 0 Comments

Equatorial is a reassembling of the natural world through field recordings by intrepid researchers and scientists. It is also a journey around the equator beginning in...

Anima

by | Jan 27, 2022 | Albums | 0 Comments

Anemone - coots, dippers, robin, geysers (2:31) Among flowers - double bass, voice (5:30) Mud rut - cranes, snipe, fumarole (4:03) I have seen water - assorted flutes,...

Push Pull

by | Jan 26, 2022 | Albums | 0 Comments

An exploration of keyboards, from rhythm and blues to Baroque, the breath, reed bellows, organs, harpsichords, melodicas, celestas and toy pianos. All ensembles are...

Natura

by | Jan 25, 2022 | Albums | 0 Comments

Tango reducido (6:22) Laisser (8:00) Trillium (11:59) Amoroso (7:44) Hydra (9:27) Berceuse (12:09) Natura sonata (22:07) This music is derived from the most simple...

Music of the Ancient, Lost or Forgotten

by | Jan 24, 2022 | Albums | 0 Comments

Mountain Lion Jina (9:45) Chavin Burial Drone (9:35) Transocean Water Dance (8:51) Man of Corn (8:39) Antelope Keep (9:17) Great Wall (9:53) Tibetan Bon Bonpo (9:13)...

Stasis

by | Jan 23, 2022 | Albums | 0 Comments

Forced Migration (9:09) To Polar Ice (26:10) Swarm Intelligence (6:33) Resistance (22:13) Tsunami Genshi (10:32) Double Helix (4:23) Stasis is an electronic album that...

Ron Fein Sings Jack London

by | Jan 22, 2022 | Albums | 0 Comments

Sea Wolf (5:40) Acorn Planter (4:27) John Barleycorn (9:00) To Build a Fire (6:21) Valley of the Moon (4:55) Call of the Wild (3:27) Northland (8:34) Burning Daylight...

Piano Forte Piano

by | Jan 21, 2022 | Albums | 0 Comments

Gesse of the Cotton Club (1:40) Follow Your Heart (1:56) Iambic pentameter (1:04) Soothing the Beast (1:56) Fugue (1:56) Whisper (2:09) Fallen angel (2:47) Fats (2:15)...

Vesuvio Jazz Trio

by | Jan 20, 2022 | Albums | 0 Comments

Janet Planet (5:55) Martini Glass Blues (4:13) Samba Conrado (4:12) Rebecca’s Journey (10:37) Night at the Troubadour (6:14) 6 a.m. Storm (2:54) Columbus Avenue (7:08)...

Drumming the Moon

by | Jan 19, 2022 | Albums | 0 Comments

If you have ever attended or played in a drum circle, a magical environment often emerges, while the session continues into the night. Here I create my idea of the...

Featured Track

Musical Works

CD release of Ocean Ragas

inspired by Indian ragas
piano, percussion
January 2022

CD release of Double Jazz

experimental jazz for keyboard duos
January, 2022

CD release of String

an exploration of the ways strings can be played
for 14 western and world string instruments
January, 2022

Ikaros, The Calf Bears Sacrifice

Recording collaboration with poet Constantine Contogenis
voice, Handsonic
Ancient Greek simulations
July, 2021

Writings

The Experimental Troubadour

by | Jan 30, 2022 | Writings | 0 Comments

21st century composers of serious music have a unique set of tools available to them - a complement to writing music in the traditional genres such as orchestra, opera,...

The Family Stereo

by | Jan 30, 2022 | Writings | 0 Comments

The offer was an eye-catching full page ad in the San Francisco Chronicle coaxing consumers to purchase a modern hi-fi set by throwing in one hundred long-playing...

Teaching Free Music

by | Jan 30, 2022 | Writings | 0 Comments

Sentient Music - Spontaneous Music - True Music - Personal Music - Improvised Music - Free Music - Not Really Music - Creative Music - Undisciplined Music - No Beat, No...

Art Forms

by | Jan 30, 2022 | Writings | 0 Comments

In Western culture there are three categories of art forms - popular, folk and serious. The popular, most clearly reflected in music and literature, is always creating...

First Music Years

by | Jan 30, 2022 | Writings | 0 Comments

My adult life, and a good deal before, has been governed by solitude and either the active or anticipatory attention required for making art - specifically music, and...

About

Ron Fein has toured internationally with his music installation works, to critical acclaim. He has lived and created new work in Paris at the CCMIX studios, one of the foremost music composition and research facilities, begun by composer Iannis Xenakis. He is Director emeritus of the Washington Composers Forum in Seattle, where he worked extensively to support the creations of Northwest and international composers, and was a featured lecturer for the Seattle Symphony and the University of Washington. As a journalist he has written music commentary for the Washington Post, Library of Congress and Independent Journal. His work in this area has chronicled many significant world premieres, radio broadcasts, and the advocacy of contemporary music.

He has devoted much of his creative life to what he has termed the noncooperative ensemble. He introduced this work in 1986 with the issue of the album “Music for Noncooperative Ensembles” on the Euphonic label, featuring instrumentalists of the San Francisco Symphony and soprano Judith Bettina. This music reflects the way that sound occurs in the natural world, by obscuring verticality yet maintaining strong compositional structure.

Formal musical studies in composition and theory were done at California Institute of the Arts, Dominican College, San Francisco State University, and the San Francisco Conservatory of Music. His teachers have been Morton Subotnik, Earle Brown, Jules Langert, Leonard Stein and William Hibbard.