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    "...a rising new music guitarist and composer."

    —David Hajdu, The New Republic

    "...a must for those seeking untamed new musical hybrids."

    —Ted Gioia, The Daily Beast

    "Andrew McKenna Lee, who is best known as a classical guitarist and composer... has thoroughly considered the electric guitar’s tone and sustain, and he knows his Hendrix. His lyrics ponder cosmic conditions and cycles — time, space, dissolution, regeneration — and they are sung by three women, often in cascading counterpoint that can invoke Renaissance polyphony or Minimalism."

    —Jon Pareles, The New York Times

    "I got [Electric Counterpoint] by Andrew McKenna Lee and it's great! A magnificent performance beautifully recorded."

    —Steve Reich


    "The inventive and exciting guitarist/composer Andrew McKenna Lee... is an astoundingly virtuosic guitar player... and far more importantly, he is a thoughtful and original composer..."

    —Jayson Greene, Wondering Sound

    "On purely sonic grounds, his playing tends as much towards elegant restraint as it does aggressive exuberance... At no time is Lee's obviously virtuosic command of the instrument gratuitously showcased; instead, the focus shines equally on his stunning guitar playing and his ambitious large-scale compositions."


    "The fretwork of guitarist Andrew McKenna Lee is nothing short of remarkable."

    —Doyle Armbrust, Time Out Chicago, December 31, 2009

    "Lee had the audience completely in his thrall within the first few measures: a fast-and-furious, largely-improvised display of technical dexterity that someone like McKenna Lee would call a warm-up and the rest of us would call, well, impossible. Underneath all the virtuosity, though, were thoughtfully interwoven melodic lines and a compelling harmonic sense. The use of a traditional Celtic tuning lent the first piece a folky feel, but there were hints of jazz and American blues, striking dissonance and percussive slaps to the body of the guitar. Nothing felt out of place."

    —Thomas Deneuville, I Care If You Listen, February 10, 2012


    The Knells

    "The songs aren't verse-chorus-verse; they sweep ahead, through passages of tolling solo electric guitar, of elegiac vocal melodies and harmonies, of note-bending quasi-Indian strings and guitar, of progressive-rock processionals. The classical training and female harmonies can make the Knells similar to Dirty Projectors, but this band looks toward Europe and tone poems rather than Africa and pop. Instead of hooks there are sustained dramatic arcs, meticulous and serpentine."

    —The New York Times

    "Finally, an album that Gentle Giant and Sufjan Stevens fans can agree to love: The eponymous debut concept LP by the Knells... mixes its myriad impulses and resources in glorious manner, with three angelic voices floating in harmony over a string-adorned backbeat."

    —Time Out New York

    "Punctuated by whip-cracking snare and emollient bass smoothing over fidgety time-signatures, the ten pieces resonate with the tintinnabulation of tremelo’d guitars and translucent three-part female harmonies whose scintillating, dissonant strands fuse into an intensely-detailed polyphony... Slippery yet sinewy, there’s a lot to grasp in the complex and ornate layers that make up each piece... a starkly beautiful and wholly remarkable debut."

    —PROG Magazine

    "The Knells' self-titled debut album must be one of the most original-sounding albums released in 2013. The hour-long recording captures the group... boldly collapsing whatever gaps are taken to exist between prog, rock, and classical genres."


    "Although innovative and groundbreaking is a term that is overused and most of the time inaccurate, in the case of progressive rock band The Knells the groundbreaking description is totally precise. The Knells prove that they are true to the progressive rock spirit by exploring new realms, creating state of the art music... The Knells is truly one of the finest progressive rock releases of the year."

    —Progressive Rock Central



    The Black Pool

    "The Black Pool... mixed rock rhythms with dense classical counterpoint under singers intoning a dark fantasy."

    —Geraldine Freedman, The Daily Gazette, June 4, 2017

    "Andrew McKenna Lee's The Black Pool... hit the mark at mixing together classical and pop. There were thick and driving orchestral textures, and snippets of rock borrowed from Yes and Pink Floyd..."

    —Joseph Dalton, Albany Times Union, June 8, 2017

    The Dark Out of the Nighttime

    "While Lee is a fine guitarist, as a composer he is not limited to the instrument: flute, viola, guitar, and harp are each used idiomatically yet innovatively, with a marvelous exploration of the sonorities which can result from their combinations."

    —Al Kunze, Soundboard, Vol. XXXVI, No. 3


    Five Refractions of a Prelude by Bach

    "The Five Refractions of a Prelude by Bach is a staggeringly inventive and virtuosic set of variations... From the very beginning we hear a tremendous musical and guitaristic mind at work in the melodic shapes, harmonic ideas, and especially textural integration of notes played by both hands with those played by the left and embedded harmonics. Parts of the piece are delicately beautiful, while others are aggressive and violent, but integrated into a stunning whole..."

    —Al Kunze, Soundboard, Vol. XXXVI, No. 3

    "Taken as a whole, the composition [Five Refractions] was intellectually engaging... but also skillfully paced rhetorically to give the sequence of movements a sense of a journey that ends with an energetic toccata."

    —Stephen Smoliar, San Francisco Examiner

    “It’s audacious and effective… Lee capture’s the ear immediately with the sound of shared intimacy, and then proceeds through a series of imaginative, skillful variations that are clearly grounded in their formal Baroque antecedents; Lee is a master of contrapuntal playing and builds on that as each variation gradually moves away from counterpoint into more abstract, improvisatory playing. The music is intriguing and satisfying, opening new questions that seek answer within the piece.”

    —George Grella, The Big City, January 2009

    For Dear Life

    “... a flurry of notes from the strings and woodwinds builds until joined by the brass, which falls away to leave the violins on a tense spiccato (quickly bouncing bow) chord... the excitement is undeniable, the three-against-two feel in a late march-like section coming through...”

    —Symphony Magazine online, League of American Orchestras, May 2008

    Prelude: "Vignette"

    "Lee and his percussionist... spun out an imaginative frenzy of notes and effects... Lee showed considerable technical prowess as the piece was filled with devilishly difficult fingerwork. Dense, tight harmonies shifted along with strumming patterns and picked notes filled the air leaving precious little breath in the music, yet the whole was consistently engaging."

    —Gayle Williams, Sarasota Herald Tribune, September 21, 2010


    Scordatura Suite

    "I have absolutely no idea what the composer was going for in Scordatura Suite... There is ferociously violent playing followed by meditative, reflective moments, as well as highly original deployment of non-traditional techniques all over the instrument... I'm not sure if he was going for the rock/classical synthesis, but if he was, it's the best effort of its kind I have yet heard."

    —Al Kunze, Soundboard, Vol. XXXVI, No. 3

    "As implied by the title Lee seems to adopt non-standard tuning. The three movements provide a convincing sort of portrait of the artist as a near-perfect vehicle of inventive brilliance and technical mastery... Lee belongs in the ranks of the most skilled and most creative of those practicing today. The music soars."

    Gregory Applegate Edwards, Gapplegate Guitar and Bass Blog, March 31, 2010

    "What impressed me most was the amount of textures Lee pulled out of the guitar — rough, sensual sounds, full of percussive tapping and scraping strings; thick strumming; startlingly loud plunks done with the thumb; and lilting, flamenco-ish finger-picking... it was truly a captivating show."


    Sunrise from the Bottom of the Sea

    “The border with his electronic work is fluent: a piece like Sunrise from the Bottom of the Sea again relies on the electric guitar, albeit in combination with pre-recorded material, and fluently makes the transition to a more spacious mix of bent concrete sounds with long, sustained tones. This only goes to prove that Andrew not merely considers diversity as a goal for his overall career, but for the body of his compositions as well.”

    —Tokafi, July 2007



    "...Lee utilized electric guitar and three looping machines in a highly effective performance of his Unraveling."

    —Gayle Williams, Sarasota Herald Tribune, September 21, 2010


    “... Lee's command of his style must be respected. His orchestration is precise, the composition balanced with clear directional goals and the means to get there."

    —The New Jersey Star Ledger, July 25, 2002