KeLan (柯蓝) aka Matthew Kirschenbaum founded Zai Circle in March of 2009 after a long period of questioning the world around us and our tendencies to compartmentalize each unique culture and the contributions these cultures make.

“I have always been driven by the creative, collaborative world, whether that is in design, art, music, or just general thinking, I am a firm believer in {process} and in collaborating as way to expand our own limited perspective”.

What I do:
Creative director, art director, project management, educator, lecturer, facilitator, musician, performer, composer, improvisor. Chinese music cultural liaison/visionary, new sounds alchemist, idea generator, collaborator, academic director, graphic designer.Program/curriculum developer, concert/event producer, team leader, conceptual development, exhibition/lighting designer, interior architecture, healer, visual display builder, program advisor, traveler, dream curator.

My mission:
To make a difference in the world by bringing people and cultures together through music, communication, education, exploration, health, and the creative process.

Passion for:
Creating. Performing, practicing, improvising and composing music. Writing poetry.Teaching, riding bicycles, playing competitive badminton, training, being in nature, sailing, seeing my kids grow and learn, being immersed in Chinese culture. Traditional Asian musics and instruments, Italian bicycles-new and old, dogs, my basses and guitars, traveling to new places, ECM records, Chinese tea, design, typography. I am constantly 
re-evaluating myself and my place in the world, and how to make both better.

PHD: Musical Anthropology (in progress).
Xiamen University, Xiamen, China.

BFA / Graphic Design
California College of Arts & Crafts, San Francisco, CA.
Graduated with Distinction.

BFA / Interior Architecture/Drawing
Drake University, Des Moines, IA.

University of Missouri Conservatory of Music
Classical guitar performance.

University of Northern Iowa, School of Music
Classical guitar performance, composition, improvisation.

Jazz Studies
Drake University, Des Moines, IA.

Private study: Bill Connors, George Coleman, Benjamin Verdery, Greg Sinibaldi, Andy Jaffee, Song Ping (宋平), and every musician and student I meet and work with.

Current projects:
January, 2013
Co Founder of the Seattle Academy of Mobil Music.
Developing a nonprofit that will bring a full music education program via customized “classroom” bus to schools in the greater Seattle area that have lost their music programs due to funding and budget cuts. The program will launch in fall of 2014.

December 2012: Dream Curator for Ione’s 17th Annual International Dream Festival

Founder/Creative Director/Performer: Zai Circle Project:
Zai Circle was founded in March of 2009. I have conceived, created, produced and performed in over 20 concerts and recording sessions in the US and China. This quest for cross cultural collaboration has brought over 70 musicians together from countries including US, China, Tibet, England, Taiwan, Malaysia, Senegal, Venezuela, Armenia, Israel, Japan, Mongolia, Wales, Canada, France, Italy, and Poland with a task of building a cultural understanding through musical conversations that encourage peace, harmony, healing, and knowledge. For the past two yearsI have focused primarily on collaborations with Chinese musicians, traditional instruments and music. Blending this ancient sound with western instruments and modern pallets through improvisational dialogues and musical exploration is how our diverse cultures can truly come together.

Most recent Zai Circle Residency:
November 2012: Xiamen NanYin Ancient Music Troupe, Xiamen China.
Collaboration with full Troupe to create a performance and production called “NanYin Music in a Western Dream.” We presented new music in a collaboration with NanYin traditional music, musicians, and instruments, with electric bass, percussion, violin, voice, and piano. One primary goal is too expand the listening audience of NanYin music to a new and different group of followers without compromising the integrity of the Nan Yin music and culture. Residencies with the Xiamen NanYin Troupe will continue each quarter.

Past Experience:
Xiamen University, School of Music, Xiamen, China
Xiamen University, School of Art and Design, China
Fujian College of Art and Design, GulangYu, China
The Art Institute, Phoenix, AZ
California College of Art, School of Design,
San Francisco/Oakland, CA

Graphic Design/Art Direction/Exhibition Design:
London Bridge Studios, Seattle, WA
Zai Circle, Xiamen, China, Bellevue, WA
Jack Young Photography, Bellevue, WA
Eddie Bauer Retail Design Team, Redmond, WA
Exit Right, Oakland, CA
Trips–A Travel Journal. Oakland, CA
Fender Guitars, Scottsdale, AZ
Naomi Sushi, Menlo Park, CA
Asby Sports, San jose, CA
Drake University, Des Moines, IA
Rebecca Martin, NYC, NY
Trigve Siem, Oslo, Norway
Macy’s, windows, San Francisco, CA
San Jose Museum of Art
Oakland Museum of Art
San Francisco Museum of Modern Art