Category Archives: Mason Jar Music

Finding Identity as an Electronic Musician

By Zubin Hensler – Producer, Programmer, Trumpeter

Creating a unique identity and sound is a crucial step to becoming an artist, but it is one often overlooked by electronic musicians. Sometimes it’s helpful to look to other disciplines for insights in to one’s own, so I wanted to share some ideas I’ve had that are influenced by the way composers and instrumentalists in jazz and classical music work to develop their individuality. This process is different for everyone (by definition) but these are some thoughts that have helped me as I try to develop my sound.  Continue reading

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Playing with Intention

By Zack Rosen, Session Bassist

For as long as I’ve been a performing musician, I’ve been interested in what makes certain performances inherently satisfying to me as a player and others less so. While the energy of a room, the audience’s response, and my mood are certainly factors, I’ve found that the most important quality that I look for in my own and others’ performances is something I will call “playing with intention.” This theme certainly echoes Jason’s recent post about crafting parts in the studio, but what I mean by playing with intention in a live context is something slightly different.  Continue reading

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Approaching Drum/Percussion Tracking with a Producer’s Mindset

By Jason Burger


Recently, Mason Jar Music was asked to produce and arrange three tracks for the Portland-based artist Josh Garrels’ newest record, Love & War & the Sea Between. (link: One of the tracks we worked on, “White Owl,” was particularly percussion intensive. As a session drummer, I am often told what and where to play, but for this song those decisions were left up to me. Crafting a solid musical foundation for a song you’re not very familiar with can seem a daunting task, and I find the best way to approach this challenge is to think like a producer: open up your ears to all of the musical elements of the demo and the references and let them directly inform your playing.  Continue reading

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Preserving Analog Principles in The Digital Age

By Dan Knobler & Jon Seale
Co-Founders/Principal Producers, Mason Jar Music

We recently did an interview with photojournalist, Michael George ( about technology, the internet, and whether its done more harm or good. Here’s what we had to say about our perspective on the digital age and how it’s affected our creative process:  Continue reading

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A Little Introduction

Hello Indaba! And thanks for the warm welcome.

At Mason Jar Music we enjoy bringing beautiful music into unexpected spaces. Our primary project, Mason Jar Music Presents, pairs talented musicians with historic New York locations that resonate with the artist’s vision. We arrange and reinterpret his or her music for an ensemble of strings, woodwinds and other assorted orchestral colors, highlighting musical textures that may have fallen out of favor in contemporary music. Each episode of Mason Jar Music Presents is conceived and brought to life wholly by the MJM team. We believe in preserving analog principles in a digital age, in assembling a room of talented individuals and working together to create and capture a singular musical moment. Our music video work with Josh Garrels, The Wood Brothers, Abigail Washburn, Laura Gibson and Alicia Keys has garnered hundreds of thousands of plays and features on NPR’s Weekend Edition, All Songs Considered, The Washington Post & The Village Voice. Collectively and individually, we’ve created content for such entities as Focus Features, The National Geographic Society, Musician Esperanza Spalding, Fela! The Musical, Director Ang Lee, and the Food Network.  Continue reading

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