Formally trained in drums, percussion from a young age, Mat also had stints performing clarinet and classical piano. In fact, a young MJ played in the under-18 drum concert band at the age of 11, a feat made spectacular by his early ability to improvise in lieu of reading music. Through his father’s interest in early electronic music and instruments, Matt discovered a new form of sound and musical composition, a form he began to tweak and fiddle with at 10 years of age, utilising keyboards, basic sequencers and sound modules. Between 12 and 17 years, Matt began experimenting with computer-based sequencing and sound—programming being the logical extension of his early box instruments.
A visit to the monolithic Vancouver World Fair in 1986 catapulted the youngster into a world of compu-based generation and musical exploration. The focus of this globally influential event was the transmission of humans and information in the digital age, a catalytic theme for the young Jonson and his already burgeoning sense for production. During his late teens and early twenties, Matt could be found performing regularly in Vancouver, Victoria and environs throughout. An increasingly personal interest in live performance prompted Matt to focus again on outboard equipment, old 70’s anologues with a primarily hands-on usage.
Mat’s deeply moody solo performances, combined with his impressive session playing in the Modern Deep Left Quartet and Cobblestone Jazz, served to build a reputation for masterful composition, riveting and intensely emotional musicianship and, ultimately, national and international acclaim. His solo productions for Itiswhatitis and a collaborative Perlon recording have brought him broad international attention and exposure, evident in his travels to Geneva, Switzerland to work with Luciano, Germany and his performance at Mutek’s Micro 7—a prelude to Mutek’s 3rd edition were he played with Cobblestone Jazz. Although Mat’s Itiswhatitis releases have been licensed by such luminaries as Dan Bell and Carl Craig, attracted the praise of Richie Hawtin, Laurent Garnier and Larry Heard, Mat’s understated modesty speaks through the deeply personal nature of his work, a testament to his artistry and genuine character.