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.”
Violinist Miranda Cuckson embraces even the sharpest, most unapproachable-seeming pieces, conveying the music with such palpable control and insight that it’s as if she’s holding the door into these worlds open for the audience.
With a background that spans music theater, woman-at-the-piano club shows, and the presentation of experimental work, Gelsey Bell finds herself most at home in spaces of creative risk and vulnerability.
Composer, conductor, and Trinity Church music director Julian Wachner believes that all music is meant to induce a transformative experience upon the listener and believes that changing listeners’ lives through music is a “moral responsibility of the compositional craft and the performative craft as well.”
Thomson’s often-complex work is carefully designed and communicates powerfully in live performance without exhausting the audience. We chat with him off stage about how he navigates multiple projects and genres while keeping listeners on the edge of their seats.