Although she grew up in a very culturally diverse New York City neighborhood that has also long been a hotbed for artistic experimentation and rebellion, composer/violinist Jessie Montgomery most strongly identifies with European classical music.
Though born, raised, and compositionally trained in Southern California and currently pursuing a master’s degree at Juilliard under the tutelage of John Corigliano, 23-year-old Saad Haddad has been focused on creating music that incorporates traditional Middle Eastern musical aesthetics. But he is not at all dogmatic in his transfer of Arabic music theory to pieces that are designed to be interpreted by musicians trained in Western classical music and performed for its usual audiences.
Wohl’s talent for seamless integration of acoustic and electronic timbres generated significant buzz after the 2013 release of his album Corps Exquis, and it is praise that will likely only cling more tightly in the wake of his full-length follow-up Holographic.
Extended techniques and integrated theatrical elements are a hallmark of Kate Soper’s compositional style, and presenting her work herself is a good way to push the performer into new territory with confidence. “I will do anything as a performer that I as a composer ask me to do.”
With three guitars, fifteen balloons, a talking doll, and a serious commitment, composer and guitarist James Moore recorded John Zorn’s The Book of Heads, a challenging collection of 35 etudes now available on a CD/DVD set from Tzadik.
Bassist and jazz bandleader Linda Oh offers insights on bridging training and personal expression, ditching stifling preconceptions, and the fundamental value of truly listening to the people around you.
Being an astute listener to the world around him and playing in a wide array of styles throughout his career has enabled Andy Milne to operate fluently in all of them, whether its his hip-hop infused jazz combo Dapp Theory, a collaboration with traditional Japanese koto players, or his soundtracks for William Shatner’s series of Star Trek documentaries.
By combining data, algorithms, and sampled sounds, Brian Foo is using his computer programming skills to learn how to make music. In the process, he’s turning these raw materials into deeply engaging and memorable sonic experiences.
There’s a transformation happening in improvised music involving the embrace of a greater intervallic palette. Bay Area-based composer, saxophonist, and musical theorist Hafez Modirzadeh has been one of the key architects of this sonic expansion.
“It’s not your skill level, it’s how much you communicate,” cellist Erik Friedlander advises. “It’s how much you express that the audience really wants to hear. They come to hear you be real.”