Now Hear Ensemble in Coastlines Magazine

Now Hear Ensemble was recently featured in the UC Santa Barbara alumni magazine, Coastlines. An excerpt from the article by Sophia Fischer is below. Read the full article at

“PEOPLE aren’t always sure what to expect when the Now Hear Ensemble, made up of five UC Santa Barbara alumni musicians, takes the stage. There was the piece played from behind a ping pong table to the popping and bouncing sounds of a ball being hit by two players; and the performance that combined live action and video of the instrumentalists, in red shirts, as they spun on revolving chairs, lights flashing. Now Hear Ensemble gives audiences a dramatic experience, involving multimedia, theatrical components, the use of bicycle wheels, paper shredders, megaphones and custom-made instruments. One performance series was aptly titled, “Not for the Ears Alone.”

“People may not walk out humming the tune we just played but they will say, ‘Wow, that was cool,’” said Jonathan Morgan D.M.A. ’14, from Albuquerque, New Mexico, who plays viola and violin.

Now Hear Ensemble’s goal is to introduce the public to “new music,” combining classical with other genres like rock and jazz. They take that approach a step further by adding technology and non-traditional instruments.

“I always think, ‘What would my mom say?’ Some things she might be freaked out by but that’s okay because what else could she grab onto in the show?” said Anthony Paul Garcia M.A. ’13, Ph.D. ’16, from Phoenix, Arizona, who plays percussion and electronics. “Our music is fun, playful and clever.”

The group enjoys watching audience reaction. During a recent UCSB show, two students seated in front had exactly the desired response.

“When they saw everything come together- us, the action, video and sound- one girl said, ‘What?!’” Morgan recalled. “We want people to have that ‘aha’ moment.””

Read more here.