Trombonist Michael Dessen in a trio of works drawing inspiration from Pablo Neruda's "Ars Poetica", with the computer used as a 4th voice in several tracks.
Label: Clean Feed
Catalog ID: CF 106
Squidco Product Code: 9700
Packaging: Cardstock Gatefold Sleeve
Recorded April 17 & 18 at Brooklyn Recording, Brooklyn, NY by Andrew Taub
Michael Dessen-trombone, computer
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1. Between Shadow and Space
2. Chocolate Geometry (for MSD)
3. Restless Years
4. Duo Improvisation
7. Water Seeks (for AC)
All compositions by Michael Dessen (Cronopio Music, ASCAP) except track 4 by Dessen/Sorey
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"Composers drawing on visual arts or literary works for inspiration and guidance are nothing new. Think Mussorgsky's "Picture at an Exhibition" or even Scott Fields' Clean Feed release "Beckett." This CD by trombonist Michael Dessen and his trio continues the tradition. The disc is inspired by Pablo Neruda's poem "Ars Poetica." The album's title (and of the first piece) is from one of the poem's verses. These kinds of inspirations continue throughout the CD. "Chocolate Geometry" comes from Dessen's appreciation of the abstract and conceptual art of Mariángeles Soto-Diaz. "Anthesis" alludes to botanics, which is the flowering period of a plant. And "Granulorum," even if the musician didn't consider it when writing this composition, reminds us of the miniature rice paintings of Korean traditional artists. This is one of the few Clean Feed editions that includes electronics; the computer is Dessen's second instrument. This example of electroacoustic jazz combines African-American traditions with 20th-century experimental techniques. Michael Dessen and his partners, Christopher Tordini on double bass and Tyshawn Sorey on percussion, work with strong collective sense on two planes, one temporal, with a flowing drive that enhances the nature of music as an art of time, and the other spatial, in a granular, organic way, transposing to the sound world characteristics associated with visual arts. Active on the southern California scenes, this disciple of musicians such George Lewis, Anthony Davis, and Yusef Lateef has developed partnerships with the likes of Mark Dresser, Vijay Iyer, Susie Ibarra, J.D. Parran, Marty Ehrlich, and many more. The rhythm section members are just as busy, with Sorey achieving acclaim for his subtle approach to skins and metals, and Tordini known as a bassist who can be depended on."-Clean Feed Records
• Show Bio for Michael Dessen
Michael Dessen is a composer/trombonist who creates music for improvisers and explores the artistic potentials of technologies including live electronics, telematics and networked scores.
Dessen's electro-acoustic trio features bassist Christopher Tordini and drummer Dan Weiss, and has been praised by critics for its unique blend of otherworldly electronics, dynamic improvisation and wide-ranging compositions. His compositions for the trio have been supported by awards and commissions from New Music USA, Chamber Music America and the Fromm Foundation, and he has released three trio albums on Clean Feed Records, the first featuring Tyshawn Sorey on drums. Dessen's most recent work for the trio, Somewhere In The Upstream (2014), is a concert-length composition dedicated to Yusef Lateef that will be released in 2017.
Both with his own trio and many other collective projects, Dessen has focused on creating works for improvisers, including networked "scorestreams" that are displayed dynamically on screens for performers to interpret. As an improviser, he collaborates with diverse bands in addition to performing solo on digibone, an animistic world of slide trombone and live electronics. Dessen has also been involved in numerous telematic concerts that link performers in distant locations via high-definition networking technologies. He has composed new works specifically for the telematic stage, and has co-directed many large-scale telematic projects, including Virtual Tour 2013, a 3-concert series recently released on DVD that Dessen co-directed with Mark Dresser, featuring a core quartet in California with Nicole Mitchell and Myra Melford performing with other renowned musicians in Zurich, New York and Massachusetts.
Dessen's teachers include Yusef Lateef, George Lewis, and Anthony Davis, and he is a graduate of the Eastman School of Music (BM performance), the University of Massachusetts, Amherst (MM jazz composition), and the University of California, San Diego (PhD in Music, Critical Studies and Experimental Practices). His writings on music include articles in The Other Side of Nowhere: Jazz, Improvisation and Communities in Dialogue (Wesleyan University Press), the online journal Critical Studies in Improvisation / Etudes Critique en Improvisation, and Musicworks magazine, as well as a Preface to Yusef Lateef's Songbook. His publications have focused especially on the role of African American traditions within late-twentieth century experimental music worlds. Since 2006, Dessen has been a faculty member at the University of California, Irvine, where he co-founded a new PhD program in Integrated Composition, Improvisation and Technology (ICIT).
Michael Dessen lives in southern California with visual artist Mariángeles Soto-Díaz and their son.-Michael Dessen Website (http://mdessen.com/)
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• Show Bio for Tyshawn Sorey
"Tyshawn Sorey (born July 8, 1980 in Newark, New Jersey) is an American musician and composer who plays drum set, percussion, trombone and piano.
Since graduating from William Paterson University, Sorey has been a sought-after musician in many different musical idioms. He is both a performer and composer, and has had works reviewed in The Wire, The New York Times, The Village Voice, Modern Drummer and Down Beat. In August 2009, Sorey was given the opportunity to curate a month of performances at the Stone, a New York performance space owned by John Zorn. He was selected as an Other Minds 17 (2012).
Sorey recently completed a Master of Arts in composition at Wesleyan University in Middletown, Connecticut. In the fall of 2011, he began pursuing doctoral work in composition at Columbia University.
To date, Sorey has released four albums as a leader: That/Not (2007, Firehouse 12 Records), Koan (2009, 482 Music), Oblique (2011, Pi Recordings) and Alloy (2014, Pi Recordings). He has recorded or performed with musicians including Wadada Leo Smith, Steve Coleman, Anthony Braxton, John Zorn, Steve Lehman, Joey Baron, Muhal Richard Abrams, Pete Robbins, Vijay Iyer, Dave Douglas, Butch Morris and Sylvie Courvoisier, among many others."-Wikipedia (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tyshawn_Sorey)
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