about

Photo of Dana Reason playing piano by Daniel Sheehan EyeShotJazz.com

Dana Reason is a composer, improvisor, keyboardist, sound artist, producer and researcher, with a PhD in Critical Studies and Experimental Practices from the University of California, San Diego. Her focus is on performance, improvisation, composition, scoring, and research in new and emergent musical fields.

As a performing artist working at the intersections of twentieth and twenty-first century musical genres and intermedia practices, she moves easily between genres encompassing a dynamic stylistic range and repertoire. 

She has been featured on more than 17 commercially released recordings, including as a member of The Space Between Trio with American electronic arts pioneer, Pauline Oliveros.

As a film composer, performer and arranger, Reason has created music for a variety of genres including: film, theatre, games and large and small ensembles.

She created the original film score for: Back to God’s Country (1919) featuring Nell Shipman for Kino Lorber Pioneers: First Women Filmmakers.

Her piece Folded Subjects: Olive Rose premiered at McGill University in 2017. Her sound-art sculpture, UnHeard, premiered at CEI Artworks in 2016.

Her conceptual, social and political work: Tea & Fences: A Quiet Tea Party (2017) premiered at the Santa Monica library as part of a new collection of works: Propositional Attitudes (Golden Spike Press, 2018), edited by performance and visual artists: John Burtle and Elana Mann. Tea and Fences was also performed on the Heart of a Forest tour in 2016, by Paul Miller (aka DJ Spooky) and appears on additional soundtracks including, Within Our Gates and Body, Soul on Pioneers of African-American Cinema (Kino-2016) and the PBS documentary soundtrack – Birth of a Movement (2017). Birth of a Movement was nominated for an Emmy in 2018.

In addition, for work with Paul Miller, Reason was credited as arranger for the PBS Documentary series: Reconstruction: America After the Civil War by Dr. Henry Louis Gates (2019).

Dana Reason currently lives in Oregon, USA, where she holds the position of Assistant Professor of Contemporary Music, School of Arts and Communication, at Oregon State University.

”Dana Reason can play…with chops and creativity that bring to mind Jacky Terrasson, John Medeski, Vijay Iyer, and Satoko Fujii, Dana is a formidable talent”

Michael Gallant for Keyboard Magazine

Recent Career Highlights

Chanson de Fleurs – Eleanor of Aquitaine (2017) for oboe and soundscape by Dana Reason — composed for Catherine Lee and created through a collaborative process (RedShift Records, 2021). Performance on Youtube.

• Music Supervisor and lead composer for the Alice Guy Blachet, Vol. 2: The Solax Years film collection (Kino Lorber, 2020).

Silent Blaze — Performance by Dana Reason recorded in single take on Sept. 16th, 2020 during the Oregon Wildfires at Boxwood Labs, Corvallis Oregon. “Machinima” filmed in Second Life, Camera and edit by Melody Owen.

Mother and Daughter and the Benvenue Avenue Letters of 1918 — multimedia, collaborative improvisation with fixed elements between composer-pianist Dana Reason, visual artist Paris Myers, and architectural archivist Bruce Anthony. This work was created for IF Improv Festival of Canada August 7-8 2020.

• Performed on The Artist Studio concert series, curated by Jason Moran at the Armory in NYC, featuring 2020 NEA Jazz Master award winner, Roscoe Mitchell (2019)

•  One of four artists commissioned by the Oregon Cultural Trust for the award-winning Exhibition at the High Desert Museum series Desert Reflections: Water Shapes the West (2019)

• Musical arranger on Henry Louis Gates’ PBS series Reconstruction: America After the Civil War (2019)

• Premiered her film score for Back to God’s Country, a 1919 silent film directed by David Hartford and written by the Canadian pioneering female producer and director Nell Shipman (who also stars), performing it live at Brooklyn Academy of Music (BAM). (2019)

• Her album Angle of Vision was long-listed for a Grammy in 3 separate categories including Best Instrumental Composition; Best Arrangement and Best Jazz Instrumental Album. Additionally, her wind symphony:  Currents, was long-listed for Best Contemporary Classical Composition (Grammys, Mark Records, 2014).

Joe Tangari of Downbeat Magazine says “Reason’s voice as a composer and instrumentalist is firmly her own, and well worth listening to.”

Angle Of Vision, 482 Music