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M. Sage

Matthew Sage is a musician, intermedia artist, recording engineer and producer, publisher, teacher, partner, and parent. Since the early 2010s, between Colorado and Chicago, he’s rendered projects with playful, nuanced velocity and a completist sensibility, assembling an idiosyncratic catalog of experimental studio music that sprawls in various directions.

While releasing solo music as M. Sage, he also, and often, engages in collaborations, namely his recent contributions to the improvisatory ambient jazz quartet, Fuubutsushi. His 2023 debut for RVNG Intl. Paradise Crick was designed patiently over five years, making it a compelling outlier for an artist whose work generally manifests quickly. Like a winding system of trails and paths, it is shaped by time, a pastoral fantasy that envisions the natural and fabricated worlds as one.

Born and raised in Colorado, Sage grew up playing drums, guitar, and any instrument he could find, joining bands throughout jr. high and high school before discovering the nascent DIY music culture on the internet. Between undergraduate studies, he founded the tape label Patient Sounds, releasing music from over one hundred  artists as well as his own work as M. Sage and under the pseudonyms Free Dust, Professional Flowers, Starling Murmurations, RxRy, and Wellington Downs.

In 2014, Sage moved to Chicago to attend graduate school at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, where he studied writing and intermedia arts. From his home studio practice, Sage became absorbed in the worlds of synthesis, dabbling with many generic tropes and styles, often incorporating field recordings and sound design elements fabricated with synthesizers and electronics. A steady stream of projects flowed through Patient Sounds and for a bevy of well-regarded experimental labels, including Geographic North, Florabelle Records, Noumenal Loom, Orange Milk, Moon Glyph, and Past Inside The Present, garnering attention from publications such as The Wire and NPR.

Sage closed Patient Sounds on its tenth anniversary in 2019 and a year later launched Cached.Media, an imprint for collaborative musical projects, print objects, and other broadcasting and publishing experiments. As a performer, Sage prefers libraries, museums, and other unconventional spaces; opening for Chihei Hatakeyama in a Japanese tea garden in Pasadena, CA was a recent highlight. Sage has also created sound design, installations, and original music for The MoMa, The Whitney, and The Art Institute of Chicago.

Sage and his family now live in rural Colorado, from which he finally offers Paradise Crick, a digital forest-scape destination first imagined five years earlier, and a culmination of his world-building electro-acoustic craft. It opens for conceptual visits in the early summer of 2023.