PRESS (see below for press on percussion playing and Dhrupad singing.)
The New York Times: " The eerie harmonics of Payton MacDonald’s quartet version of “Radha” were hypnotically beautiful, with a viola melody spun over a background of slides and otherworldly effects. ”
L.A. Times: " . . .inventive, stylistically omnivorous composer and gifted performer . . .”
The New York Times: "Payton MacDonald's rich-textured Cowboy Tabla/Cowboy Raga . . . is nearly a percussion concerto, with Mr. MacDonald as energetic soloist."
Denver Post: " . . . one of the highlights, "Cowboy Tabla/Cowboy Raga" . . . The two pieces fuse into a 20-minute whole, creating an alluring, ever-changing exotic musical journey."
Percussive Notes: "MacDonald has created several interesting works that simultaneously meld the Western musical tradition with the emphasis on improvisation and repertoire demanded by the Indian tradition."
American Record Guide: ". . . MacDonald's works marshal a virtuosic tour de force from the performer. The rippling, shimmering textures he creates are hard to describe. I can't begin to imagine how he accomplishes them. Marimba wizardry? The cozy harmonies, the velvety propulsions, the gliding layers groove like some gauzy gamelan. As I listen, I'm drawn through a trance into the dizzying spell of MacDonald's Marimba-Oz. . . fantastic release . . . MacDonald's marimba is indeed super."
Textura Magazine:“Though Super Marimba includes remarkable performances, it's ultimately less noteworthy for its technical virtuosity and innovative instrument effects than for the strength of its compositions. . . . All credit to MacDonald . . . for once again single-handedly stretching the boundaries of percussion music in provocative manner."
FreeJazz.com:“It is during 'Payton Solo', that I gained my first real appreciation for the way MacDonald plays the marimba. There is a real earthiness that exudes from the instrument's resonance as sticks hit wood. Another great story weaving though the mind and hands of a percussionist who has also written chamber music and music for percussion ensembles."
American Record Guide:"His performance is strong and he displays a large range of dynamics and impeccable rhythmic precision . . . The finale's quickness points out MacDonald's dexterity with some extremely fast runs that he absolutely nails."
Grooves Magazine: "Marimbas are often stigmatized as mere entertainment for tots or fodder for broken-record minimalism. Payton MacDonald manages to trump both stereotypes with Super Marimba . . .[MacDonald] grew eight arms and concocts cats'-cradle melodies that seem to be performed by two musicians and offer new every time. . .Superhuman."
some random kid after a Super Marimba show: “I wasn't even high and that was awesome!”
The Hitaveda: "Dr. Payton MacDonald with his melodious voice spread the beauty of Dhrupad, its subtle finer points and the way he sang seemed to be spiritualistic. His solo Dhrupad performance was encouraging and not less than any young Indian Dhrupad singer."
The Times of India: "Lovers of Indian classical music from city had a gala time listening to Payton MacDonald's Dhrupad recital at Antarang hall of Bharat Bhavan."
Patrikaa Newspaper: "In an entertaining performance the artist presented in an amazing manner what is accepted as the most difficult form of Indian music." [translation from Hindi by Sajan Sankaran]
Hindustan Times: "Listening to Indian classical music in Bharat Bhavan by artists of USA and Italy was a moment of proud. It was amazing time to hear these artists who are learning Dhrupad style from Padmashree Gundecha Brothers in Bhopal. Dr. Payton MacDonald performed Raag Jog with traditional style of Dagar Gharana with alaap, jod, jhala elaborating the raag and a bandish in Chautal . . ."
Naidunia Newspaper: "In the development of Raag Jog he enraptured the audience with alaap and jor." [translation from Hindi by Sajan Sankaran]