Martha Mooke, composer/electro-acoustic violist, a pioneer in the field of electric five string viola, transcends musical boundaries by synthesizing her classical music training with extended techniques, digital effects processing and improvisation. She is a Yamaha Artist and leading clinician on electric and alternative approaches to string playing.
At the request of David Bowie, Mooke became founder and violist of the electro-acoustic Scorchio Quartet. Since 2001, Scorchio has served as “House String Quartet” for the annual Tibet House Benefit Concerts at Carnegie Hall, produced by Philip Glass. Besides performing live with Bowie, Scorchio is featured on his 2002 CD “Heathen”. Scorchio has also performed with Philip Glass, Patti Smith, Iggy Pop, Michael Stipe, David Byrne, Moby, Lou Reed, Trey Anastasio, Ziggy Marley, Rufus Wainwright, Vampire Weekend, and the Kronos Quartet among many others.
The Scorchio String Quartet played “Quantum” by the quartet’s leader and violist, Martha Mooke, with songful melodies accompanied by tremulous chords and Asian-flavored glissandos - The New York Times (Tibet House Benefit Concert at Carnegie Hall, 2010)
With her white hair and blue five-stringed viola, Mooke is a striking figure, with a Terry Riley-ish array of electronic enhancements and a wider range of styles (from Cagean to minimalist to free jazz and beyond) than many improvisers can boast. - The Village Voice
In performance, a relatively traditional-sounding solo passage will give way to a mesmerizing mood sequence and then, seemingly, half an electronic orchestra has arrived - but it's all her. - Staten Island Advance
Mooke shows off both an impressive dynamic range and a drop-dead-gorgeous tone on her custom five-string electric viola
Yamaha Artist/Clinician - Electric
"The Power of Strings: New techniques, electronics and improvisation"
This is a unique opportunity for string player, teachers and composers and to interact with Yamaha Artist/Clinician Martha Mooke as she discusses and demonstrates new and extended techniques, integration of electronics and improvisation in the rapidly growing field of electric and alternative approaches to string playing.