Harley Magsino and Charlie Weller in the groove
  • Harley Magsino and Charlie Weller in the groove
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"My music is a fusion of styles, really,” says multi-instrumentalist Harley Magsino. “With Moth & Sons, it’s a style drawn from trip-hop, drum ’n’ bass, ’90s R&B, grunge, and jazz concepts and principles. I’m also working on a new project that borrows from EDM with classical and jazz aesthetics, or vice-versa. I’ve always leaned toward the melting-pot idea. Not exactly to make it just homogenous, but to find ways to connect similarities and differences without alienating the core concept of a particular style.” Moth & Sons also includes saxophonist Ian Tordella, guitarists Joey Carano and Jeff Miles, and drummer Charlie Weller. 

Past Event

Orchid Mantis

  • Friday, October 27, 2017, 7:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.
  • 3rd Space, 4610 Park Boulevard, San Diego
  • $5 - $7

Originally from the Philippines, Magsino earned his master’s from SDSU and went on to play with local groups such as Dark Lumen, Applebrown Jazz Ensemble, bLUMPY, Samba de Toquali, and Ensemble Off ’N’ On. “Music is basically my day-job and my night-job. At the moment, I’m very fortunate to be doing music full time.”

His band Orchid Mantis also features drummer Isaac Crow (a San Diego native known from bands like Latin Jazz Quartet, bLUMPY, and Humankind), cellist Caitlin Crow (A Thousand Butterflies), cellist Cliff Thrasher (Mid-Century Cello Quartet, the Bonita Trio), singer-keyboardist Nina Deering, singer-violist Rebecca Matayoshi, and violinist John Smith. The group debuted a new self-titled album inspired by jazz, classical, and drum ’n’ bass on October 27.

What's in rotation on your playlist?

Bernard Wright, ’Nard. “This is the [1981] album where Snoop Dogg’s GZ and Hustlas sampled the main groove. This whole album is funky, with Marcus Miller and Barry ‘Sonjon’ Johnson on the bass.”

Raekwon, The Wild. “Hard-hitting album, I love the classic grooves.”

Wayne Shorter, Speak No Evil. “This album is always on rotation. I’ve heard it many times, and there’s still a lot of things to listen for. Not just musicianship, but also recording nuances. I love the wide dynamic range of this album.” 

Joe Hisaishi, Howl’s Moving Castle. “Joe has written for almost all of the Hayao Miyazaki films. He understands how to conjure out and elevate the feelings and emotions in a lot of Miyazki’s epic scenes. I’m a big fan of his compositions. Hisaishi and Miyazaki are a great combination of visual and sounds.”

Takemitsu, A Flock Descends into the Pentagonal Garden. “I’m always intrigued with textures and timbre manipulation, and the use of lengthy space and silence as an integral part of a composition. This one is a great example. I’ve read an analysis of this piece and his compositional concepts. It’s a fun read but more fun to listen to.”

Anything you were embarrassed to mention?

“The Monster Ballads double-disc edition.”

Best and worst band names?

“Weezer is the best, Winger is the worst.”

Beatles or Stones?


Best concert?

“Iron Maiden, Brave New World Tour at Irvine Amphitheatre, circa 2001. It was so metal!”

Interesting but useless trivia?

“A blue whale’s penis is called a ‘dork.’”

Biggest regret?

“That I can’t stop regretting.”

Favorite movie or show based on a book?

“Game of Thrones, for the dragons, White Walkers, and Peter Dinklage.”

What would your grade-school teachers remember about you?

“Hyperactive smartass.”

What remains on your bucket list?

“Interplanetary space travel.”

Something we don't know about you?

“I love to make rice and chicken adobo.”

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