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Mahogany is an electric music-based multidisciplinary media ensemble currently working in Philadelphia, New York, Chicago, and other locations. A combination of vocals, cello, massed guitars, pianos, melodicas, sequencers, synthesizers, samplers, tape, percussion, and other instruments makes for Mahogany's electro-acoustic sound.
Mahogany also uses film, video, animation, cinema, graphic design, photography, typography and other realization and rendering techniques for a cumulative effect known as the 'Hypercube'.
Performing live with Vampire Weekend, Spoon, Chairlift, Clinic, Bloc Party, Serena Maneesh, Interpol, Luna, Broadcast, and others, Mahogany maintains a cult status amongst the group’s listeners.
MAHOGANY is the brainchild of Andrew Prinz (b. 1974), formulated as a response borne of multidisciplinary generational precedent initiated by Prinz's great-grandfather Harry S. Will, and grandfather Vernon A. Will. MAHOGANY was founded in Michigan ca. 1995 while Prinz matriculated at Michigan State University in East Lansing, Michigan, initially studying music theory and composition, then photography, art history, studio art, and graphic design.
With concentrations in cello under Owen Carman and bass with Professor Peter Dominguez, Prinz had already performed with, and attended workshops and master classes led by, jazz greats like Maynard Ferguson, John Faddis and Dizzy Gillespie before forming the first iteration of MAHOGANY.
Vernon A. Will (1920–1973), violinist, artist, and designer, is a crucial key figure in establishing organizational tabula rasa for MAHOGANY, nearly 20 years prior to the inception of the ensemble. In his life as a designer, Will was responsible for interior design of the first Wendy's restaurant in Dublin, Ohio; mechanized and electronic displays at Lazarus department store in Columbus, Ohio; and many electrical and tool-and-die patents. Within the field of music, Will founded the Columbus Orchestral Society in 1959 and performed as principal. As Columbus' first multicultural orchestra, the COS counted in its ranks over 40 fellow multidisciplinarians and skilled trade workers of all ages to perform original works as well as classic orchestral material.
Harry S. Will (1886–1967), mathematician and guitarist, provided the theoretical, aesthetic and ethical basis for both COS and Mahogany in his 1961 doctoral thesis The Order of Freedom: An Inquiry into the Theory of Human Selection, in which Will proposes a series of formulae to distribute the Earth's resources, entreating cessation of the cyclical forced issues of poverty, war, malnutrition, greed, violence, and competition. Within 'The Order of Freedom' Will also notes deleterious psychological effects of dystopian philosophy and Malthusian practice and its presence in popular fiction taught at the secondary and collegiate levels. Will also served as trustee of the COS.
Prinz also accrued additional provenance previous to MAHOGANY beginning in 1995 with mentor Scott Cortez (b. 1969). Entreated by Cortez to join two of his musical projects, Lovesliescrushing and Astrobrite, Prinz contributed cover art photography to Lovesliescrushing's second album Xuvetyn and embarked on a 1995 Lovesliescrushing US East Coast live tour, playing stereo 12-string electric guitar with Cortez and vocalist Allysa Massais (née Browne). With Astrobrite, Prinz engaged in live shows and also recording sessions on guitar in 1995 and 1996, most notably at Noise Camp Studios with Warren Defever of His Name Is Alive, Godzuki, et al.
A Century Wheatfield
Prior to the inception of MAHOGANY and collaboration with Cortez, Prinz formed Century Wheatfield with Massais in 1994. This gestative group gave rise to key concepts later fully borne in MAHOGANY. Century Wheatfield debuted in 1995 at the Odeon Theatre in East Lansing, Michigan, with an algorithmic video presentation by René Corriveau, screened the same evening with Larry Clark's 'Kids' and 'Lyrical Nitrate.' These recordings and video are assumed lost.
About the name
MAHOGANY was named with these key precepts in mind:
- the antifascist Kurt Weill opera "Aufstieg und Fall der Stadt Mahagonny" in which a population escapes servitude to form their own metropolis
- the mahogany tree as a precious and beautiful living resource, essential to the Earth's biosphere
- mahogany as a superior material for the construction of both interiors and musical instruments, prized for its beauty and naturally harmonious resonant characteristics
MAHOGANY city concept
On November 18, 2009, MAHOGANY was declared a sovereign city-state canton-town within the country of Renovo, also declared sovereign. MAHOGANY recognizes the corridor concept city-state Newphilyorkadelphia and the wilds between and beyond. MAHOGANY seeks rewilding, cessation of egregious production of petroleum-based transportation, integration of city concepts and environs, and reification of both high-speed rail and interurban electric traction.
The provisional label SIMDISC was established ca. 1999 as an equity-driven concern to provide budgeting capital for MAHOGANY releases when little or no capital was available for printing, promotion et al. SIMDISC was subsumed by RENOVO and STUDIO RENOVO upon the inception of the RENOVO concept in May 2003.
- Dual Group 12" EP Split w/ Auburn Lull (Burnt Hair SINGE 9)
- Luminous Constructions 7" single (Tinseltones TINT 5)
- Solutions & Remedies CD compilation "Il Dynamo de Luce" (Clairecords FERN 2)
- What Will Become of the Key of Reason? single-sided 12" EP (Blackbean & Placenta Tape Club BBPTC 90)
- What Will Become of the Key of Reason? CD EP (Simdisc/Clairecords SIMDISC 1/FERN 8)
- Nocturnal Electrics 7" compilation "Mindful Contradiction" (Liquefaction Duske 01)
- Losing Today Volume I CD compilation "On The Threshold of the Absolute"
- Home Is Where You Hang Yourself "Singing Arc Lamp (Natural Satellites Mix)" (Tiger Style TS-007, Wichita WEBB002, Wichita WEBB002LP, Tiger Style TIG 2-61007)
- In The Presence of the Crepuscular 7" single (Amberley/Simdisc AMY 5/SIMDISC 2)
- In Search of the Radiant Sun 7" single (Elefant ER 205)
- Resonances UK Tour 7" single "L'ephemere est Eternel" (Amberley AMY 16)
- Little Darla Has A Treat For You Vol. 16 CD compilation "Soleil Radieux" (DRL 110)
- Little Darla Has A Treat For You Vol. 18 CD compilation "Accelerations" (DRL 120)
- Little Darla Has A Treat For You Vol. 24 CD compilation "Planar Cluster, Planar Burst" (DRL 175)
- Pretending To See The Future OMD tribute CD compilation (Shelflife LIFE 30)
- The Dream of a Modern Day CD Burnt Hair SINGE 23, Darla Records DRL 113)
- The Dream of a Modern Day LP (Clairecords/Simdisc FERN 18/SIMDISC 3)
- Memory Column 2xCD (Darla Records)
- Connectivity! 2xCD (Darla Records DRL 173, The Track & Field Organisation HEAT 47)
Mahogany Music in Films
• Composition 'Windmill International A' is featured in documentary of Chris Burden's Metropolis II installed at the LACMA. • Composition 'Windmill International A' is featured in Gary Hustwit's Objectified documentary film. • Synchromie #3 (an exclusive) is also featured in Gary Hustwit's Objectified documentary film.