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Kurdi, Muyassar / Nicholas Jozwiak

Intersections & Variations [CASSETTE + DOWNLOAD]

Kurdi, Muyassar / Nicholas Jozwiak: Intersections & Variations [CASSETTE + DOWNLOAD] (Astral Spirits)

Interdisciplinary vocalist Muyassar Kurdi and Chicago-born, NY-based cellist Nicholas Jozwiak use the ambient sounds of their recording spaces in Brooklyn to add a presence to their introspective dialogs that take an almost devout approach to their calmly measured performances, making an intimate and evocative album of unorthodox improvisation.

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product information:

Label: Astral Spirits
Catalog ID: AS062
Squidco Product Code: 25472

Condition: New
Released: 2018
Country: USA
Packaging: Cassette
Recorded on November 12th, 2016 in Brooklyn, New York.


Muyassar Kurdi-voice, gong

Nicholas Jozwiak-cello, voice

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Artist Biographies:

"Muyassar Kurdi ​(b. 1989 in Chicago) is a New York City-based interdisciplinary artist. Her work encompasses sound, extended vocal technique, performance art, movement, photography, and film. She has toured extensively in the U.S. and throughout Europe. A versatile improviser, Muyassar has composed and performed music for voice, harmonium, piano, lyre, autoharp, and theremin in both solo and collaborative environments. She currently focuses her attention to interweaving homemade electronic instruments and sculpture into her vocal and dance performances, stirring a plethora of emotions from her audience members through vicious noise, ritualistic chants, and meditative movements.

Performance highlights include: The Rubin Museum of Art, Issue Project Room, Cafe OTO, Chicago Cultural Center, Center for Contemporary Art Laznia, Bond Chapel, Fridman Gallery, University Galleries, and Judson Memorial Church.

Recent collaborators include Daniel Carter, Diana Policarpo, Ka Baird, Tomomi Adachi, Arrington de Dionyso, Yasuno Miyauchi, Lucie Vitkova, Tyler Damon, and Patrick Holmes, among others."

-Muyassar Kurdi Website (

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"Nicholas Jozwiak was born in the Chicagoland area to a family of musicians. He studied classical piano at a young age followed closely by the double bass. His first teacher was young bassist educator Virginia Dixon, followed by the enigmatic former principle of the Honolulu Symphony, Tony Monaco. Discovering jazz and improvisation in high school, Nick was invited to study at the Dave Brubeck Summer Jazz Colony, (under Ingrid Jensen and Geoffrey Keezer), the Vail, Colorado Jazz Workshop (under John Clayton) and the Berklee Summer Jazz Workshop (under Terri Lynne Carrington). He also performed as principle bassist for the Chicago Youth Symphony's 2006-2007 season, performing Brahms, Strauss and Barber in Eastern Europe. In 2007 Nick moved to New York City to attend the New School for Jazz and Contemporary Music. There he studied with William Parker, Mark Helias, Ben Street, Richard Boukas and Ron Petrides, developing a strong appreciation for abstraction, experimentalism, free jazz and improvisation. Meanwhile, Nick participated in a rich DIY scene in the Bushwick, Brooklyn area, centered around two sister venues, the Freedom Garden and 1012 Willoughby, performing and organizing shows. Performances range from live collage art, conductions, free improvisations, experimental ensemble compositions and drone-based, throat-sung solos. As a prolific sideman he has made acid-country music on tour with Jolie Holland, burning straight ahead jazz with Kimberly Thompson, bubble gum folk with Oh! My Blackbird, pop-rock on tour with Dylan Gardner, improvised performance art with Jay-Zee Sushi Car and Muyassar Kurdi, neo-soul/r&b with José James, and forward-thinking contemporary jazz with Aaron Burnett."

-Nicholas Jozwiak Website (

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track listing:


1. Companions 15:44

2. Dew 3:39


1. What Does It Take 8:04

2. Chemicals 4:47

3. Alone 4:36

4. Clear Voices 1:27
sample the album:

descriptions, reviews, &c.

Muyassar Kurdi on Intersections and Variations:

"I was in Europe a bit before I decided to move to Brooklyn last spring, which is where I first met Nicholas Jozwiak. I started collaborating with many new people upon my arrival, and we improvised in my bedroom in the hottest and coldest of weather or at my rehearsal space in Ridgewood right under the M train. I would just set my ZOOM recorder in the center of the room, and press 'record' after an inspirational conversation, some wine, a joint, coffee, or tea..just feel it out and journey through new zones together.

Nicholas and I had our first session on a suffocating summer day in my bedroom in Clinton Hill...unbearable weather, but we felt moved by the spirit and recorded a few hours of cello, voice, and gong. It was the beginning of opening up, building trust, and just being able to lock into something, create form in space, surrender to playfulness, joy, and openness. We recorded another longer session over-night from 11pm to 4am at a church in Greenpoint called Park Church Coop..that was the time it was available to us after the performances that night had ended, and we weren't completely alone, as a friend happened to be sleeping in the balcony with her dog. We were really excited to utilize the space, the acoustics, piano, and the organ. I envisioned improvising and performing around the space so that it sounded spatially cinematic and textural as a live recording; I was focusing on connecting with the environment and each other. We were on the floor with the hymn books at one point opening and closing them, sliding around on hands and knees flipping through the pages or I would run in place while Nicholas played the cello, and then I started to sing and play organ. At one point I was singing in the balcony while descending the stairs; Nicholas was on the other side of the church dragging his cello. We embodied movement, theatre, sculpture, architecture, and silence..taking in sounds from the environment...the dog barked at one point when Nicholas played the piano, and we laughed a bit because we didn't expect the 'interruption' piercing the dark night's silence.

We built and expanded on these modes and sounds for several months leading up to the manifestation of Intersections and Variations this past November. I embodied movement in this album and Nicholas embraced silence- a sort of poetic mosaic. We both had a lot to give in the midst of feeling a sense of hopelessness; I believe that our trusting and listening to each other was very important to us. I am often thinking about what improvisation is: existing in a moment of trust with others with no judgment..just the freedom to exist and explore in time and space. For that, I am especially grateful to have gone on this boundless journey with Nicholas, and I look forward to opening up to more and more possibilities in the future."

Related Categories of Interest:

Improvised Music
Free Improvisation
Stringed Instruments
Percussion & Drums
Unusual Vocal Forms
Duo Recordings
NY Downtown & Jazz/Improv
New in Improvised Music
Recent Releases and Best Sellers
Physical Releases that include Download Codes

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