Michael Garfield – How To Live in the Future: Musician

Musician

Singer-Songwriter & Avant-Guitarist

"It takes creativity to make the next step in a newer, more shocking direction, but it takes a visionary to go beyond the breaking point and meet music on the other end of the spectrum. That’s what Michael Garfield does."
"Monstrously talented...an act the likes of which I have not seen in a long time."
Michael Garfield writes music for which new words must be invented.  Simultaneously tender and apocalyptic, chill and energetic, intensely technical yet vulnerable tunes that reimagine folk and psychedelic rock alike, updating "solo artist with guitar" to suit our age of planetary renaissance.

Marrying the singer-songwriter and electronic live producer, Michael's live sets nimbly shift from ecstatic instrumental improvs to deftly executed fretboard-tapping etudes to athletic songcraft of heart-breaking sweetness – pointing past the genre and techniques to bring his audiences into lush and atmospheric, driving and dynamic spaces spanning folk tradition and the avant-garde...

The sheer diversity of acts with whom he's shared a stage speaks for itself: Gaudi, Papadosio, Taylor McFerrin, Willy Porter, Random RabBluetechTim Reynolds of Dave Matthews Band, That 1 Guy, Zach DeputyThe Floozies, Rena Jones, Andreas Kapsalis Trio, DVS*, and for members of both Beats Antique and The String Cheese Incident.  He has jammed onstage with many more – including Fareed Haque, Entheogenic, Bird of Prey, The Human Experience, Ayla Nereo, and Erothyme.

A mainstay on the global festival circuit, Michael has also given notable performances at Boom Festival's Chillout Gardens, Burning Man's Fractal Planet Village, Australia's Rainbow Serpent & Earth Frequency Festival, Santa Fe Institute's InterPlanetary FestivalWakarusa Festival, SXSW, the MAPS Psychedelic Science Conference, Art Outside (five years), Sonic Bloom (five years), and Alex Grey's Chapel of Sacred Mirrors, among many others.

Exploring and embracing the creative possibilities of new media has always been at the heart of Michael's work.  In 2013, he became the first musician to stream point-of-view video from Google Glass through a projector on stage, allowing audience members to watch the show through his eyes. Passionate about interdisciplinary collaboration, he frequently co-improvises with fire dancers, aerialists, live painters, and visual projectionists.

Founder and curator of the groundbreaking Loopers' Night and Paint Jam monthlies in Austin (2013-2017), Texas, Michael leads an ever-growing cast of collaborators into daring and delightful multi-media adventures.  His music has been featured on PBS as the soundtrack to Arts in Context, as well as on myriad podcasts (including Expanding MindThe Psychedelic Salon, and The Invisible Room) and as the original score for numerous documentaries (including the award-winning Psychonautics with Shane Mauss, Psychedelic Science 2017, and Soldiers of the Vine).

But perhaps Michael's crowning achievement is finding out his music was used extensively in the therapeutic playlist for both Phase 2 and Phase 3 FDA trials for MDMA as a treatment for PTSD:


Instrumental Avant-Guitar




Cosmic Americana + Psychedelic Cyberballadry






"Intoxicating, rejuvenating, and unapologetically spiritual work...entertaining songs that completely upend the stereotypes of intelligent music...instantly memorable and utterly magnetic tunes whose authenticity and sweetness is boundary breaking."

"Michael Garfield's extraordinary acoustic work...finds the ears captivated and entranced in a dance of delightful sonic textures. A gifted instrumentalist, Garfield's vocal prowess should not go unheard either, resonating in haunting fashion, full of chills and thrills. This is wonderful, simple music for the listener's ears to feed on."

"A transcendent exploration of what one man can achieve with an acoustic guitar and some pedals...the glitched-out grooves [are] simultaneously calm yet very much switched-on."

"Michael Garfield has some absolutely amazing chops...
the musicianship on this album is truly wonderful."

"Welcome to the future...
Michael is a pioneer exploring the edge realms where the electric and old world meet."

"Phenomenal. I love the blurring of lines between performance-composition, space-time, etc. 
It's very moving too, and very strange. Awesome stuff."
- JF Martel (author, Reclaiming Art in the Age of Artifice)

"So so so SO Good!! Yay and wow."

"Wow...awesome!"

"You made me cry."
- Lauren Bruno (director, Solstice Live)

"The perfect opening act."
- Michael Travis (String Cheese Incident, EOTO)

"Unique and amazing....something sorely lacking in the world in which we live where cookie-cutter boys and girls are given stardom on a daily basis. In this world, [Michael is] a supernova."
- Penny Moon, HireABandStLouis.com

"If you are like us, then [in you] lies a yearning to discover something DIFFERENT and new, something that floors you, something that moves you, something that gets you excited to go home and download everything of theirs available online and to tell all of your friends about it...Michael Garfield could do that for us this summer."
Sparkleberry Lane

"Michael Garfield paints the world with sound...some truly mind-bending improvs. Fans of art and performance will find a lot to love."
The Horn (on A Million Anniversaries)

"Don't jump to conclusions based on 'acoustic guitar improv'...this sounds more like some of the sonic explorations that came out of the Robert Fripp/Brian Eno collaborations than some hippie 'jamming' on an acoustic in a park somewhere. [It's] full of odd timbres and textures, but the occasional splash of melody erupts and there's a strange, sci-fi psycho-Western feel to a lot of it – let's just say if they'd ever done a psychedelic drug sequence on Firefly, this would have worked perfectly as the accompaniment...frequently evocative and never less than interesting."
– Denver Westword (on Daylighting EP)

"'Golden Hour' slides into my veins and spreads its claws deep, holding me with unrelenting insistence and a funk groove plowed clean, deep and dangerously direct."

"Amazing. I have not seen that before...you obviously put some hours in. I was hypnotized."

"The twisting braids of sound he can generate with such a simple rig is incredible, as is the simmering energy that comes through even the quietest moments, a feeling of suspense that something you don't want to miss is about to happen.  The inventiveness and the passion that drives all of the meticulous work that goes into such projects is evidence of a deep and interesting well of ideas...memorable and beautiful."
- Caeli La for LostInSound (on The Body Electric)

"While I MEAN to give helpful, rational feedback, all I want to do is run around and throw copies of your CD at people, photograph their faces upon listening, and give THAT to you instead. The music makes me FEEL too strongly to be able to THINK about it enough to speak on it in a way that would be useful to you."

"Astonishing...insane guitar talent."

"Amazing to watch and even more amazing to listen to."

"Dope. Evolving cyberacoustic experimentation recorded in a geodesic dome..."

"A Million Anniversaries has put me in a more spiritual place than I have been in quite some time...I highly suggest grabbing this album. It will make your day."

"Electic elegance. You got it, keep it up, the world is hungry for the real deal."

"Watching your show the other day was a PROFOUND spiritual experience for me...a highlight of my musical experiences up till this point. Dude, you hit me on the deepest soul level."

"This music makes me high. [Michael's] guitar talks. It tells stories and laughs and enters into shamanic fits…but it also weaves together a blanket of the familiar." 

"Esoteric and intricate, I found myself struggling to describe his sound and style...some surprisingly pleasurable heartbreak."

"The only reason this album might not be appreciated is if you don't have a musical ear."
Scene Magazine, Fort Collins CO (on A Million Anniversaries)

"An amazing artist.  The diversity of sound on this album is incredible considering he only used an acoustic guitar and various pedals.  You could enjoy it on a Friday night, or a Sunday morning."

"[Michael] is leading the charge in bringing a more human and soulful aspect back to electronic music."

"Michael has mastered a method of playing on a pedestal all its own. Ultimately [his work] is an exploration into what you perceive music, the guitar, and technology can do…then completely altering it." 

"Great vibe, masterful looping. Hypnotic and wonderful sounds. Looking forward to hearing more."

"An insanely moving spiritual experience in sound. His intricately developed soundscapes delve into the internal harmonies of what it means to be human: the percussion our pulse and the melody the flow of our spirit, like blood vessels serpentinely traversing through the labyrinthine veins of the body."
- Bridget Chaney for LostInSound

"Here is my frank review, Michael: I think you love babies. And you want everyone making them so you go around giving people this music. You're like the Johnny Appleseed of a whole new crop of children."

"I've chosen [this] as the music I will conceive my first child to...in all seriousness."
- Jeremy Judkins of Deep Blip Records (on A Million Anniversaries)

"Your sound is totally sunkissed Cali psych mysticism. That sound is classic and cannot be faked."

"If you've never seen [Michael] perform live before, it's something between a front row seat at a paradigm-shifting TED talk, and sharing the archetypal wonder on display when a modern child first interacts with a mechanism of artificial intelligence, grappling with the intriguing chasm between its utilitarian function and its subtle humanity."
-Jared Buschbaum

"Michael Garfield is simply too multi-talented to be categorized, too out-of-the-box to be typed. Along with being a musician he's also a masterful thinker, poet-philosopher, and visionary artist."

"Show me someone who believes they have an original idea, and I will invite them to meet Michael Garfield.

Michael Organized These Benefit Albums: