Iridas was formed in 2015 by composer/producer/multi-instrumentalist Matt Smith in an effort to explore the possibilities of his demanding musical style. Matt met violinist Megan Shung and former violist Sean Lyons while they were in school together at the Cleveland Institute of Music receiving classical training of the highest caliber. After moving to Los Angeles, they added cellist Pierre Derycz to their line-up, and the quartet sought to blend Matt’s background in contemporary classical music with rock and electronic dance music. In 2017, Mikala Schmitz joined the band, replacing Pierre on the cello, and in 2018, Sean was replaced by Dmitri Yevstifeev, a talented multi-instrumentalist who plays viola, mandolin, and guitar. The new line-up shares a passion for jazz and hip-hop, which has begun to have a profound impact on the band’s already unique voice.
The Iridas sound, shaped primarily by composer Matt Smith, reaches deep into music history for influence. The lush harmonies and colors of Maurice Ravel combined with the rhythmic and textural intricacy of Gyorgy Ligeti add fuel to the instrumental fire, but Iridas is far from a classical piano quartet. The band’s desire to engage with jazz, hip-hop, rock and a variety of other styles have all made an impact. The result is unrecognizable simply as classical crossover-Iridas is something new.