Spotlight

Jessie Montgomery: Conjuring Memories

Jessie Montgomery standing against a red wall.

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.

Saad Haddad: It’s Not Going to Be Exact

Saad Haddad

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.

Daniel Wohl: The Seamless Ideal

Daniel Wohl

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.

Kate Soper: Real Communication

Kate Soper

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.”

James Moore: The Hunt for Sonic Solutions

James Moore

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.

Linda Oh: Lean In and Listen

Linda Oh

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.

Andy Milne: Putting the Theory Into Practice

Andy Milne

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.

Data-Driven DJ Brian Foo: Statistics That Sing

Brian Foo poster

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.

Hafez Modirzadeh: Crossing The Bridge

Hafez Modirzadeh playing his alto saxophone sitting on a piano bench in front of an upright piano.

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.

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