Copyright ©2001-2017 Marshall Rendina. All rights reserved.
Marshall Rendina (born May 27, 1986 in New York City) is a composer, songwriter, visual artist, and author.
He grew up in Worthington, Ohio and showed an early interest in the arts. His work was displayed in the city hall when he was nine years old. He took classes at the Columbus College of Art and Design later in grade school, also studying flute, tenor saxophone, trombone, guitar, and piano, eventually dedicating most of his time to piano. One early influence on him was taking an advanced class in mathematics in sixth grade, where he studied combinatorics and polyhedra and was able to use a computer to play a musical score.
He studied western philosophy his freshman year in high school taking an interest in the generation that included Carl Jung, Albert Einstein, Martin Buber, and Bertrand Russell. He also did independent projects in the psychology of both art and music in high school, one of which was under the guidance of pioneering art therapist Don Jones. He played jazz in a group at the arts magnet school Ft. Hayes in Columbus, Ohio, performing at the Columbus Museum of Art and other locations around the city. He became interested in Fluxus, Minimalism and other experimental genres, favoring mostly intimate piano music, and studying composition with Dr. Marshall Barnes, whose wife Dorothy Barnes is a sculptor working with natural materials.
In college he studied piano with Joanne Brackeen at Berklee, having been awarded a scholarship. He participated in seminars by Meredith Monk and other visiting artists, studied electronic music, performed improvised works, and recorded with musicians from several different countries. His earliest experiments were a chessboard of intermedia projects with a circle as a reset button to return to the top, intended for anybody to be able to participate in and add a project as a square, and having several subsequent versions, including one with 16 squares. It is re-conceptualized in his painting Reunion (2013), named after a chess game played by Marcel Duchamp and John Cage. He has collected numerous archival materials for musicians and artists to use.
During the period following college he performed in venues around Columbus, Ohio where he grew up including the Urban Arts Space, It Looks Like It’s Open Gallery, Wild Goose Creative and many nightclubs. He moved into a performance space, Skylab, after seeing Lukas Ligeti perform there and formed a collective of musicians to perform with. In Columbus he also conversed with David Ornette Cherry during his tours on occasion. Gyorgy Ligeti and Don Cherry remain among his favorite musicians. His own work from this period integrated subjects from meditation and the natural world, especially those involving the relationship of spatial and visual aspects within music. He was awarded his first grant to complete a world music project in 2011.
He had considered attending Mills College to study with Fred Frith in Oakland but left just before the Occupy Oakland riots and general strike broke out. Over the next few years he studied various forms of mysticism, ecology, psychology, sociology, physics, physiology, and anthropology in developing a philosophy based on Kabbalah, Tarot, I Ching, Yoga, Zen, Alchemy, Shamanism, and sustainable living, which he intends to use as the basis for his work. The philosophy encompasses 22 subjects and are outlined in his essays. He created a book of design materials after doing a permaculture workshop in Ojai using only circles aimed at sustainability in architecture and transportation, as well as numerous media designs using sound and light. While spending time in Ojai he absorbed many of the surrounding cultural, artistic, and literary influences that had resided there in the past, especially Jiddu Krishnamurti, Thich Nhat Hanh, Aldous Huxley, and Marcel Duchamp.
While residing in LA at the end of his twenties it took three months to catalogue all of his work, which included over 2000 pages of visual and written materials and several days of audio recordings. He gave Terry Riley, a formative influence, one of his first scores, having begun writing the piece as an homage to In C while he was in high school and finished many years later. He continues to develop literary works, compose music and songs, and create visual art.