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An eclectic collection of compositions from clarinetist James Falzone based on his longstanding interest in semiotics, performed with improvisers Katherine Young, Amy Cimini (Architeuthis Walks on Land), Tim Mulvenna, Kevin Davis and Brian Dibble.

Falzone, James Allos Musica
The Sign and the Thing Signified

Falzone, James Allos Musica: The Sign and the Thing Signified (Allos Musica)
Label: Allos Musica    
Released in: USA    

"Chicago-based clarinetist/composer James Falzone's second CD, The Sign And The Thing Signified, is an eclectic collection of new original compositions that takes its name from his longstanding interest in semiotics (the study of signs and symbols). Inspired by the otherwise disparate musical legacies of figures such as Studs Terkel, Jimmy Giuffre and Olivier Messiaen, Falzone's inclusive music draws on a wide range of musical traditions while also seamlessly integrating solo and collective improvisation.

The Sign And The Thing Signified is an attempt to synthesize a few of the important elements in my work: composition, improvisation, and an openness to traditions and ways of making music that are not genre specific," Falzone explains. "There are several through-composed pieces here, as well as solo clarinet improvisations, a few group improvisations, and my version of the aria "When I Am Laid to Rest" (called "Dido's Lament") from the 17th century Henry Purcell opera, Dido and Aeneas. Like many musicians of my generation, I am very comfortable shifting concepts, but the hope is that my individual voice remains constant regardless of the setting."

"I believe any creative artist, especially a musical one, is the sum total of his parts," Falzone explains. "On this record, for example, 'free jazz' elements exist alongside Arabic percussion all happening to a carefully composed background of polytonality. It's important to stress, however, that this is not a pastiche. I'm all about making sense of the varied landscape of my influences via a unified vision by trying not to pigeonhole myself or limit my music in its reference points."

Like his eclectic compositions, Falzone's multi-faceted clarinet playing references a multitude of musical traditions from throughout history. This distinctive amalgam reflects his classical training as projected through the prism of his intensive study of Arabic, Klezmer and French music, as well as the influence of innovators such as Don Byron, John Carter and Jimmy Giuffre.

+ The individual pieces on The Sign AndThe Thing Signified range from freely improvised to pre-conceived compositions integrated with sections of individual and collective improvisation in a very intentional way. Falzone's over-arching vision for the record was to make it difficult for listeners to hear the difference. "The less the listener is aware of what is happening within a specific piece," he adds, "the more the music has the effect I'm looking for.""-Allos Musica

Related Categories of Interest:

Improvised Music
Chicago Jazz & Improvisation
Sextet Recordings

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Price: $11.86
In Stock


Shipping Weight: 2.00 units

Quantity in Basket: None

Product Information:

UPC: 700261203751

Label: Allos Musica
Catalog ID: AD 002
Squidco Product Code: 16716

Format: CD
Condition: New
Released: 2006
Country: USA
Packaging: Cardstock foldover, 3 panels
Recorded August 2005 at Strobe Studio in Chicago, IL by Todd Carter.


James Falzone-clarinet

Kevin Davis-cello

Katherine Young-bassoon

Brian Dibblee-double bass

Amy Cimini-viola

Tim Mulvenna-drums, percussion

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Track Listing:

1. The Sign And The Thing Signified.1 2:00 2. A Cord Of Three Strands . . Broken 6:10 3. Cut, Tear, Curl 0:33

4. Ten Months 2:32

5. Godric 2:24

6. Presser Le Pas 1:21

7. Dido's Lament 5:03

8. The Sign And The Thing Signfied.2 1:50

9. S'egarer Des Pas 0:39

10. Akrasia 9:11

11. Jean Valjean 1:51

12. The Tipping Point 5:31

13. The Sign And The Thing Signified.3 2:00