Composition has been a major component of Mark Taylor’s vision for his entire professional life, further stimulated by his experience as a protégé of the legendary composer, percussionist, NEA Jazz Master and MacArthur Fellow Max Roach. It was additionally enhanced through his work as a heavily in- demand French Hornist with such extraordinary contemporary composers as Anthony Braxton, Henry Threadgill, Wadada Leo Smith and Muhal Richard Abrams, being one of the few musicians to have successfully integrated the notoriously difficult instrument into the landscape of jazz and improvised music. When he was unfortunately stricken with Embouchure Dystonia bringing his career as a horn player to a halt, Mark turned potential tragedy into a blessing by shifting his full focus to the art of composing, setting in motion the fulfillment of a life-long goal.
Now fully focused upon composing, arranging and education, Mark has embarked upon a number of projects through the non-profit organization Interrobang Arts Inc. for which he serves as artistic and educational director. These include composing contemporary scores for silent films, particularly Classic Black films (the first being Oscar Micheux’ Within Our Gates), launching the chamber ensemble View from the Balcony while continuing to perform on piano with his jazz ensemble Secret Identity. He is also creating a large ensemble encompassing both groups, called Secret View(s). In addition to all of this Mark also composes, performs and produces music in his personal studio that is then licensed to cable television for channels like TLC and Investigation Discovery through a small group of boutique agencies in NYC, LA and the UK
Even while his Horn career was in full swing, Mark had often been commissioned to compose for theatre, dance, and the concert stage. In addition to several new chamber works, including “3 Songs About Puppetry” (commissioned by John A. Putnam, principal Hornist of the Michigan Philharmonic), Mark composed and recorded the score for “Last Days of Coney Island”, the 2015 film by famed animator/director Ralph Bakshi; placed two songs in the Dollface Productions independent feature film “The Girl” and scored the documentaries “9/11 Fear In Silence” for JadeFilms and Camille Billops’ “A String of Pearls”.
Other recent projects included “It’s Not Like He’s Never Been There Before”, a multi-movement orchestral work, commissioned by Anthony Braxton’s Tri-Centric Foundation and premiered by the Tri- Centric Orchestra in New York City, and a series of transcriptions of the work of seminal African American and pre-jazz bandleader James Reese Europe’s 369th “Hellfighters” military band for the Brooklyn Repertory Ensemble.
Taylor has released four CDs of all original material, QuietLand, Circle Squared, At What Age and Live At The Freight (co-led with composer/saxophonist Jessica Jones).
For more information, visit www.marktaylormusic.net