Copyright ©2001-2023 Marshall Rendina. All rights reserved.

Marshall Rendina (born May 27, 1986) is a composer, songwriter, visual artist, designer, poet, and author whose writings span many subjects, though he strives for wholeness and dislikes categorization, labeling, references to others, and attempts at authoritative commentary.

He was born early on a Tuesday morning the day after Memorial Day in Manhattan. His birthplace is exactly one block west of the zero mile marker for the United Nations Headquarters District and New York City. It is in close proximity to Lincoln Center, Juilliard, Carnegie Hall, and many Broadway theaters, all of which he was unaware until after college, and is yet to perform. Rendina views competitions, awards, and honors as trite, and geographic locations with special meanings similarly, as they separate oneself and parts of the earth from the wholeness that permeates the universe. His first home as an infant was the New Yorker Hotel, where Nicola Tesla once lived.

His parents left New York in the late 1980s and they settled in Worthington, Ohio. He showed an early interest in the arts and took classes at the Columbus College of Art and Design as a child. His work was first displayed in the Worthington city hall when he was nine years old. His interests changed to music when classes were offered at his school in sixth grade, playing trombone, then flute, tenor saxophone, guitar, and eventually dedicating most of his time to piano. One early influence on him was an alternative class in mathematics in sixth grade, where he studied various forms of probability and advanced geometry, later influencing his ideas about the distribution of colored points, musical notes, and gravitational energy around a sphere, the writings about which can be found in his book, On Spheres.

He studied Western philosophy his freshman year in high school taking an interest in the generation that included Carl Jung, Albert Einstein, and Martin Buber. He also did independent projects in the psychology of both art and music in high school, one of which was with Don Jones, one of the founders of the American Art Therapy Association. He played jazz in a group at the arts magnet school Ft. Hayes in Columbus, Ohio, performing at the Columbus Museum of Art and other locations around the city. He then became interested in Fluxus, Minimalism and other experimental genres, favoring mostly solo piano music, and studying composition.

His neighborhood teacher, Dr. Marshall Barnes was a Juilliard alumni and former chair of composition at OSU, and thought that although he could play anything he wanted to, it would be more meaningful for him to pursue a variety of styles and musical activities, having a range of influences from folk, rock, jazz, and electronic music, as well as classical music. Rendina remained friends with Dr. Barnes’ wife, sculptor and natural materials artist Dorothy Gill Barnes after his death in 2006. In college he studied piano with Joanne Brackeen, having been awarded a scholarship. He participated in seminars by Meredith Monk and other visiting artists, studied electronic music, performed improvised works, and recorded with musicians from several different countries. He is doubtful that any academic institution is an authority on knowledge or the actual truth.

During the period following college he performed in venues around Columbus, Ohio, moved into a performance space after seeing Lukas Ligeti, and formed a collective of musicians to perform with that included Rocco di Pietro. In Columbus he also conversed with David Ornette Cherry during his tours, who advised him not to concern himself with what styles people may categorize his music as. Gyorgy Ligeti and Don Cherry remain among his favorite avant-garde musicians. His own work from this period integrated subjects from meditation and the natural world, especially those involving the relationship of spatial and visual aspects within music. He was awarded his first grant to complete a world music project in 2011. He also continued to write songs and record often, being influenced by jazz - especially Bill Evans, Miles Davis, and John Coltrane, folk music from the 60s and 70s - especially Nico, Nick Drake, and Joni Mitchell, various electronic music records, soul music from Ohio, and music from outside Europe and the United States.

He had considered attending Mills College in Oakland, but left just as the Occupy Oakland riots and general strike broke out. Over the next few years he furthered his interests in mysticism, psychology, sociology, ecology, physics, physiology, and anthropology, in developing a philosophy influenced by Kabbalah, Tarot, I Ching, Yoga, Zen, Alchemy, and Shamanism, to use as a basis for workshops. The essays compiled in Towards a More Complete Understanding include a library cataloging system which can be simplified as having 22 subjects or Major Arcana. While residing in Los Angeles at the end of his twenties it took three months to catalog all of his work, which included over 2000 pages of visual and written materials and several days of audio recordings, much of which has been released on his Alphabet of Sound label.

Rendina has also written poems for 100 states of being, Other Ways of Being, an unrealized play with notes for choreography, sets or installations, and music, The Rooms based on archetypes and “keys”, and an Unwritten Constitution for a future United Nations based on his ethical writings which he hopes to use to write a novel about a fictional utopian world.

His current writings concern the idea of religious prophets and spiritual teachers, their role in society, the problem of belief in them, as well as their fulfillment of existing or written beliefs. He views himself as helping others to come to an ethical truth about their own thoughts and actions (self-awareness), a metaphysical truth about the soul and energy within and without (cosmic awareness), and an epistemological truth regarding the meaning behind a mythology and set of beliefs (prophetic awareness). On Oneness is his forthcoming book on mysticism elaborating on these ideas. He publishes his writings under his Alphabet of Light press.

He created his Codex of design materials after doing a permaculture workshop in Ojai using primarily circles aimed at sustainability in architecture and transportation, as well as numerous media designs utilizing sound and light, the most important of which is the only perfectly even color projection map of the world and that of the sky. While spending time in Ojai he absorbed many of the surrounding cultural, artistic, and literary influences that have resided there, especially Jiddu Krishnamurti, Aldous Huxley, Marcel Duchamp, and Beatrice Wood.

His writings include a cosmological system that eschews variations in time and extra dimensions, theorizing that the present exists throughout the universe at a given instant, though the present on a timeline containing the past and future is by necessity a short segment of that line, rather than a point on it. He introduces the node as a single concept unifying all forms of energy. Variations in time are attributed to changes in the speed of the orbits and exchanges of nodes and other particles. He has demonstrated a basic correspondence with the accepted theories of Einstein, Newton as to how the field forms around an object and decreases with distance squared, and has provided potential models of how particles in the Standard Model are comprised of nodes, making it what he considers to be a working quantum gravity model and potentially bridging the gap between particle physics and gravity.

As with Einstein he has given three consequences of his theory: that the effect of gravity ends at a certain elevation within a spherical object, where the energy is then converted to radiation and the weak force, thus explaining why the core and crust of the Earth are cooler than its mantle, and ultimately how a star radiates light; that an excess of energy apart from that causing gravity, in the order of pi around a spherical object, is responsible for the rotation of the earth and other objects, as well as the orbits of objects around them; and that the effect of gravity is uneven around the Earth and a perfectly spherical object will not have an even gravitational field, often being greater at the poles. Fundamental to his theory of gravitation is that the potential gravitational energy surrounding an object is equal to the amount of energy within it, and that only a small fraction of the gravitational field acts upon an object at a given time, explaining the disparity between the strength of gravity and that of the other forces of nature. Another important consideration is that an object may need a minimum mass or energy content and relatively spherical shape for a gravitational field to form. He has also written about several novel ideas in set theory and logic, and about the definitions of fundamental concepts in mathematics, which he used to create a map of the subjects in his library system as a Tree of Knowledge.

He posits that because the potential gravitational energy around an object is equal to the energy within the object in this conception, the same must be true of the human body, though a gravitational field does not form, and thus explaining concepts such as the etheric double in Theosophical writings, or simply the energy body, as well as auras and other universally experienced phenomena in parapsychology and mysticism, especially synchronicities and precognitive phenomena, clairvoyance, and channelings and readings of the Akashic, or etheric records, the ether being required for not only a physical body, but thought itself to exist.

His work with musical harmony has demonstrated that 33 modes can be harmonized, having a third on each step of the scale with one note between, and of these, 17 correspond to the 72 melakarta ragas of Southern Indian music, leaving 55 additional melakarta ragas that cannot be harmonized, for a total of 88, each of which may correspond to the 36 black keys, for half the ragas, and 52 white keys on a piano for the remaining ragas and scales, as well as the 36 modern constellations of the Northern and 52 of the Southern sky. This discovery is the basis of his book on musical composition, On the Elements of Music.

His Constellations recordings unveil the mystical numerology of music, having 12 pitches (zodiacal signs) yielding the 24 known major and minor keys (hours); 28 scales with seven notes that can be harmonized (lunar months) leaving 60 others (minutes), five additional scales constructed from either two augmented triads or two diminished seventh chords for 33 (the master healing number), seven notes in the four parent scales of major, melodic minor, harmonic minor, and harmonic major (days of the week). The 28 modes can be transposed to the twelve pitches to complete a year, with exactly one month and one day unaccounted for. He sees the piano as a subconscious symbol that represents the culmination of our collective human knowledge about musical harmony, that its design was not an intentionally kept secret nor was there any conscious reason for it, otherwise having been brought to fruition in the 1880s by Steinway, at a time when such knowledge would have been in existence in its separate parts but not have been put together completely. The piano also is representative of a basic means to understand the passing of time in its relationship to music, and implies that our world is unique amongst others.

He has developed a method demonstrating the correspondences between the visual and music for one of his workshops and has also made investigations into the three dimensional localization of sound and its relationship to harmony in his music, as harmonics present in sound lend themselves to its localization. He believes that ultrasound will eventually be the primary means to eliminate invasive illnesses from the body, with few negative side effects. He also supports the idea that audible sound has general health benefits, especially in reducing stress and for overall peacefulness of mind.

He gave Terry Riley, a formative influence, one of his first scores, Moon Phases, early in 2017, having begun writing the piece as an homage to In C while he was in high school and finished in 2010. His music has also come under the influence of Terry’s son Gyan Riley after seeing him perform at the Harrison house in Joshua Tree. He recorded three double records of piano music in 2018 for the first installment of his workshops among many pieces of visual art and written materials. In 2020 he set up an electronic music studio in Pasadena where he currently resides.

He continues to write songs and make visual art. His recent piano music is a potpourri of Indian ragas, folk, jazz, classical music, and Eastern melodies, intended to invoke the alternate states of being in dreams and meditations. He has begun a series of pieces for each instrument family, having been collecting instruments since at least 2011. He also has begun his Melakarta sonatas, a set of 18 piano sonatas, each written in the new chakras described by harmonizing the Melakarta ragas, with one additional chakra not in the Melakarta system, each containing the raga that can be harmonized and all other ragas that differ by one note that are not better suited to another chakra.

Rendina is a vegan and enjoys spending time in nature, especially the ocean.