Composer/guitarist Thomas Echols will examine the idea of breath for his weeklong Trillium residency at a cottage up at Mount Sequoyah Center in Fayetteville during the week of July 13. His plan is to record various breaths, analyze their spectral content and create a filter to augment other sounds.

Using his own recording system, instruments and custom software, he will build a multi-movement composition, according to a press release. His work will premiere at 7 p.m. Saturday, July 18, in a livestream production that combines the sounds with visuals and include a Q&A between Echols and Trillium’s founding director Katy Henriksen. The event will be livestreamed on the Trillium Salon Series website and on the organization’s YouTube channel.

Echols was originally scheduled as Trillium’s first artist-in-residence back in March, a stay that was postponed because of the COVID-19 outbreak. This reimagined residency and livestream concert supports health measures of social distancing.


This residency and livestream event is made possible, in part, by Trillium Salon Series’ first grant, the Bridge Fund, awarded by the newly formed Regional Arts Service Organization (RASO) at the Northwest Arkansas Council. Trillium was one of 23 arts and culture nonprofits in Northwest Arkansas to receive funding that the Northwest Arkansas Council describes as support for “transitional and long-term planning for arts and culture organizations impacted by COVID-19.” Read the full statement here. Echols’ artist residency is also sponsored by Bridges Realty.

Trillium Salon Series is a 501(c) nonprofit that redefines the live music experience for classical, new music, and experimental sounds, to invite connection and build community. Your support today goes directly to musicians who’ve been severely impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic – check out this donation link.


Thomas Echols’ work is an amalgam of classical, modernist, and pop music forays. Accepted at age 16 into the College of Music at the University of Colorado at Boulder, he earned a Master’s of Music from the University of Texas and a Doctor of Musical Arts from the University of Southern California, and was a prizewinner in the Portland International Guitar Competition and the Donald Miller Concerto Competition.

As visiting artistic director for Austin Classical Guitar, he curated programs including traditional instrumental recitalists, experimental electronics, newly commissioned works, and interactive visual projections. His performances include working with the Grammy­-nominated choral ensemble Conspirare and the Houston Symphony Orchestra (our recording of Wozzeck recently won a Grammy and the prestigious Echo Klassik award for best operatic recording), and have had major engagements at the Walt Disney Concert Hall, Palazzo Chigi (Siena, Italy), The Whittier Bach Festival (LA, The Blanton Museum of Art (Austin), Jones Hall (Houston), and other venues around the world. Currently based in Austin, Texas, Echols grew up in Fort Smith, Arkansas.

His experimental-pop alter ego, Man, Woman, Friend, Computer, creates simple songs that unfold into meandering compositions, analogue synth fetishism, conspiracy pop, polyrhythmic laments, somnambulist visions, and process music. MWFC’s debut album received rave reviews from Austin Monthly and The Austin Chronicle, which calls it “Meditative and fetching . . . he ventures into a complex amalgam of analog and synth. Wistful, romantic. . . Echols’ vocals sooth to surrender.” A mainstay in the thriving classical guitar and experimental music scenes in Austin, he’s active as both a performer and lecturer.