My 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, I went on to earn 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, I’ve curated programs including traditional instrumental recitalists, experimental electronics, newly commissioned works, and interactive visual projections. I have recorded and performed with the GrammyNominated choral ensemble Conspirare and the Houston Symphony Orchestra (our recording of Wozzeck recently won 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.
My 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 has garnered 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 scene in Austin, I’m active as a performer and lecturer, and have contributed scholarly articles to Soundboard Magazine.