"The young composer Christian Mason, whose witty, gleaming arrangement of Huang Hai-Huai's Racing Horses galloped home in five minutes flat, must be just the sort of musical successor that Jonathan Harvey would have hoped for."
Claudia Pritchard, The Independant (23/12/12)
"It [Learning Self-Modulation] represents the sum of a thorough research in sound, in which the players are asked to hum and pluck the piano strings... Through this music the interpreters take the opportunity to construct a universe of sensations and invite the spirits of the listeners to wander. And if certain moments appear tense or tempestuous, both musicians complete their interpretation on floating notes, suggesting a voyage in some wild country, mythical or dreamt."
Daniel Fattore, La Liberte (05/03/12)
"This week, an unusual violin tuning and the world's oldest orchestra made for thrilling listening... The British premiere of a piece called Learning Self-Modulation, by Christian Mason (b1984), required both pianist and violinist additionally to hum, the pianist to play pizzicato and the violinist to retune her strings as she went along, before taking up a second instrument fitted with four variously tuned G-strings. There was a sort of new-age relish to this extremism, but a solid craft in evidence, too."
Paul Driver, Sunday Times (30/10/2011)
"Over the past four decades the London Sinfonietta has had an enviable record in identifying and nurturing new talent, so although it's impossible to predict whether the likes of James Olsen and Christian Mason will ultimately make the sustained impact of a Tavener or a Birtwistle, the Sinfonietta's seal of approval gives them the best possible start. Mason (b1984) is the youngest, and his In Time Entwined, In Space Enlaced belies its cumbersome title to offer a bracing exploration of a sound world which is sometimes brittle, sometimes lyrical. The spatial distribution of the players and 'the ethereal sound of 36 handkerchief-harmonicas, placed throughout the audience' go for less on disc than they do in the hall but the piece manages to be something more than the sum of its influences."
Arnold Whittall, Gramophone Magazine (December Issue 2009)
"[Discs 5 and 6] are the last and best in London Sinfonietta's Jerwood Series, which offers snapshots of young composers who otherwise might struggle to have their work properly recorded. Highlights? ... On the 6 disc, it's a toss-up between Christian Mason's elusive In Time Entwined, In Space Enlaced and Kenneth Hesketh's Detail from the Record, a birthday bouquet to conductor Oliver Knussen."
December 2009 edition of Wire magazine
"The very first sounds of the afternoon's premiere- Noctilucence by the young British composer Christian Mason -opened a door to a very different world, gentle and subtly coloured in a way the title might lead you to expect (noctilucent clouds are those rarely seen ones that glimmer high up at dusk). Then the music seemed to turn against itself, becoming sharp-edged and fierce, though the earlier mood somehow persisted alongside. It was intriguingly ambiguous in a way that made me want to hear it again, immediately."
Ivan Hewitt, Telegraph.co.uk (December 16th 2009)
"It says much for the 25-year-old Christian Mason that his new piece, Noctilucence, didn't suffer from comparison. He draws his title and inspiration from a mysterious cloud that hovers far above where clouds ought to be, and hence shimmers in sunlight on summer nights. That is exactly what his piece conveys. The first half is audaciously hushed very few notes, very slow, and lots of silence suggesting the Universe beyond the clouds. Then an ecstatic dance erupts, full of rude vigour, rushing scales and shuddering rhythms. Rarely can the cliche 'Every cloud has a silver lining' have been better conveyed. A work of high imagination, in every sense. Catch this fascinating programme in Birmingham Town Hall today or Norwich Assembly House tomorrow."
Richard Morrison, Times Online (December 17th 2009)
"Christian Mason's In Time Entwined, In Space Enlaced is scored for small ensemble, in fact three trios - each consisting of one woodwind, one percussion and one string player. The music sounds somewhat more modern but never extravagantly so, and the composer's fine ear for arresting sonorities is quite often brilliantly and tellingly displayed. It seems that "the ethereal sound of thirty-six handkerchief-harmonicas, placed throughout the audience" should be heard occasionally, but the recording does not make this quite obvious. This is a very minor reservation about an otherwise highly inventive score written for the ensemble's fortieth anniversary."
Hubert Culot, musicweb-international.com (November 2009)
"I have been moved by new works of Grainne Mulvey and Christian Mason - two of the most strikingly original composers of their respective generations"
Nicola LeFanu, New Notes (March 2009)
"The most engaging was Christian Mason's In Time Entwined, In Space Enlaced, in which the otherworldly sounds of the spheres echoed around the auditorium."
Richard Fairman, Financial Times (December 2008)
"Christian Mason's In Time Entwined, In Space Enlaced used spatial elements to beautifully imagined effect"
George Hall, The Guardian (December 2008)
"The latest (the seventeenth) of the UBS commissions proved energised and bracing, craggy and brilliant, the title of Clear Night (from David Gascoigne's poem "Tenebrae") vividly suggested in the music, the score itself being tightly organised and imaginatively orchestrated, compelling over its seven minutes and suggesting that Christian Mason (born 1984) is a composer to watch out for."
Colin Anderson, classicalsource.com (September 2008)
"Instead of the consoling intimacy that opens Beethoven's Fourth Piano Concerto the concert started by plunging into the glittering vortex of Christian Mason's Clear Night. Occasional flashes of Berg and Bartók, and quite a lot of Messiaen, light up the shimmering orchestral colours, though Mason mostly manages to forge them into a sound-world of his own. At five minutes the piece did not outstay its welcome. The challenge will be whether Mason can make his ideas work as consistently for longer."
Richard Fairman, Financial Times (September 2008)
"Christian Mason's Clear Night! came across as the most experimental of the three works. It is complex in texture and technique, and is cast in a single span. It uses many unusual musical effects, including deliberately wide vibrato and slow glissandos from strings and woodwinds, as well as sudden accents cutting across the texture. Mason noted that he was trying to convey something of the exhilaration of the clear night sky, punctuated by points of light from bright stars. The dense textures made this perhaps the hardest work to grasp, but maybe also the one which would repay the most from additional hearings."
Dominic Nudd, www.classicalsource.com (July 2007)
"Christian Mason succeded well in Under Heaven: sometimes..., elucidating relationships and connections between the instruments which formed his rich tapestry."
Musical Pointers (July 2006)
"The scores came from a wide spectrum of ages... with a young York University student, Christian Mason, only just emerging from his teenage years, providing a shimmering Aspects of Radiance."
David Denton, Yorkshire Post (May 2005)
"Christian Mason's Aspects of Radiance had a timeless translucence, slithering bluesily towards gentle disintegration. A young talent, and one to watch."
Martin Dreyer, York Evening Press (May 2005)
"This extraordinary concert ended with an even more extraordinary piece by Christian Mason, his Ether, three episodes of contasting mood plus coda. Mason's instrumentation was topped by the unearthly sound of his own solo Theremin the earliest of the experimental electronic instruments, now making a comeback a new and exotic experience for many of the audience. The overwhelming effect on the listeners is clear even in the CD which has been made as a permanent record of this excellent evening."
Jonathan Katz, The Elizabethan 2002 (Issue 721)