My name is Robert Max Stoffregen, and everyone has always called me Max. I am a composer and piano player, among a few other things. I born in St. Paul, MN, raised in the SF Bay Area, and over the years I’ve lived in some other places like Austin, Texas and New York.
As a kid growing up in Contra Costa County skateboarding was a big part of my life, and I when I was 15 I bought an MPC2000XL sampling drum machine with my good friend Lyle so we could make beats for our friends to skate and freestyle rap to. This morphed into a serious vinyl buying habit, and Lyle and I spent many afternoons in thrift stores buying records by the crate. I listened through dozens of records a week, ranging from Art Blakey and the Jazz Messengers to Igor Stravinsky, digging for that magical 4 bar loop. Listening to so much diverse music in such a peculiar way was a magical experience that opened up a world of creativity to me.
When I was 17, my brother Nate took me on a backpack trip in the San Juan Mountains in Colorado. I had never seen so many glorious mountains, and since then spending time in the backcountry has become a passion and priority. Our natural world is a potent inspiration, and many of my compositions are inspired by the landscapes I have had the pleasure of immersing myself in.
Music has been an immeasurable gift in my life. It has given me the opportunity to work with smart, talented people and its abstract yet expressive nature has encouraged the pursuit of ideas and the expression of feelings that would have been otherwise vexing for me to convey. I earned my Master’s degree in Music Composition from the University of Texas in Austin, and I am stoked and grateful for every opportunity to practice a craft that is often as obscure and challenging as it is beautiful.