Boxhead Ensemble

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Boxhead Ensemble
Origin Los Angeles, California, United States
Genres Post-rock, ambient, chamber music
Years active 1991–present
Labels Atavistic
Members Jim Becker
Shahzad Ismaily
Michael Krassner
Fred Lonberg-Holm
Tim Rutili
Jim White
Past members Jessica Billey
Michael Colligan
David Michael Curry
Joe Ferguson
David Grubbs
Ryan Hembrey
Jacob Kollar
Glenn Kotche
Charles Kim
Doug McCombs
Jim O'Rourke
Will Oldham
Julie Pomerleau
Darren Richard
Frank Rosaly
Scott Tuma
Mick Turner
Ken Vandermark

Boxhead Ensemble is a musical collective founded by composer Michael Krassner. The project began in 1991 to record music for the independent film The Original Pantry Café. The group features an ever rotating line-up, which as included Edith Frost, David Grubbs, Glenn Kotche, Fred Lonberg-Holm, Jim O'Rourke, Doug McCombs, Scott Tuma, Mick Turner, Ken Vandermark, Jim White. Krassner is the only consistent member and Lonberg-Holm has contributed the most frequently to the project.


Boxhead Ensemble was formed Los Angeles, California, in 1991 when Michael Krassner was commissioned by Braden King and Larry Stuckey to record the music for their independent student documentary The Original Pantry Café. Krassner assembled local musicians who improvised the music comprising the score. In 1996, King invited Krassner to create the music for another documentary he had filmed, Dutch Harbor.[1] Having moved to Chicago, Krassner became familiar with the local music and decided that Gastr del Sol would fit with the mood he was looking to create with the music.[2] Reed player Ken Vandermark joined the group and the improvised score was released in 1997 as Dutch Harbor - Where the Sea Breaks Its Back.[3] The film and its soundtrack received some acclaim and Dutch Harbor began touring Europe, with Boxhead Ensemble providing improvised musical accompaniment to every screening of the film. Some of the music performed at the showings appeared in The Last Place to Go, released in 1998.[4]

After the tour of Dutch Harbor, Krassner drastically altered the line-up of the group and Boxhead Ensemble started recording studio albums. They produced Two Brothers in 2001, Quartets in 2003 and Nocturnes in 2006.

In 2010, Boxhead Ensemble composed the soundtrack to Braden King's feature-length dramatic film Here.[5] The group also performed for the movie's premier at the Museum of Modern Art, where they improvised the score while screening the film.[6]



  1. ^ "Boxhead Ensemble: In Association with Truckstop Media/NYC & Aurora Picture Show". March 13, 2004. Retrieved June 20, 2013. 
  2. ^ Gladstone, Neil (March 1999). "Dutch Harbor: Aleutians of Grandeur" (67). CMJ: 64. Retrieved June 20, 2013. 
  3. ^ Strong, Martin Charles (2003). The Great Indie Discography. Canongate U.S. Retrieved June 20, 2013. 
  4. ^ Gilman, Marc. "The Last Place to Go". Allmusic. Retrieved June 20, 2013. 
  5. ^ "Here: A Multi-Platform Motion Picture". 2013. Retrieved June 20, 2013. 
  6. ^ "Here [The Story Sleeps]". MoMa. 2013. Retrieved June 20, 2013. 

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