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Curran, Alvin: Shofar Rags (Tzadik)

Shofar, a ram horn, is the unifying sound in these experimental compositions performed by Alvin Curran, who also uses electronics, in a NY quartet with Arnold Dreyblatt (accordion), William Winant (large tam tam), Michael Riessler (clarinet).
 

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product information:

Personnel:



Alvin Curran-shofar, sampler, electronics

William Winant-large tam tam

Arnold Dreyblatt-accordion

Michael Riessler-soprano clarinet


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UPC: 702397817628

Label: Tzadik
Catalog ID: TZA-CD-8176
Squidco Product Code: 17840

Format: CD
Condition: New
Released: 2013
Country: USA
Packaging: Jewel Tray
Recorded by Luca Spagnoletti at Studio Luca Spagnoletti, Rome, Italy.

Descriptions, Reviews, &c.

"Active since themid-'60s, Alvin Curran is one of America's most courageous and outrageous musical mavericks. A true forefather to the Downtown scene, his music embraces the dialectics of composition/improvisation, tonality/atonality, minimalism/maximalism, electronic/acoustic and more. Alvin's use of the Shofar in experimental music making goes as far back as 1988, and this long awaited release features several compositions for Shofar and electronics, ranging from meditative Ambient environments to flamboyant, fast moving collage."-Tzadik


Artist Biographies

"Born December 13, 1938, Providence, Rhode Island. From five years: piano lessons, trombone, marching bands, Synagogue chants, Jazz, and his father's dance bands. Becomes an artist at age 13 in an apple tree at the house of his lifelong friend, poet Clark Coolidge. Hears Spike Jones, the Rhode Island Philharmonic, Satchmo, The Boston Symphony Orcherstra, Art Tatum, Charlie Parker, The Band of America, Thelonius Monk, Gerry Mulligan, Miles Davis, Coltrane, Bartok and Christian Wolff.

With a fortuitous bang, he begins his musical journey (1965 in Rome) as co-founder of the radical music collective Musica Elettronica Viva, as a solo performer, and as a composer for Rome's avantgarde theater scene. In the 70's, he creates a poetic series of solo works for synthesizer, voice, taped sounds and found objects. Seeking to develop new musical spaces, and now considered one of the leading figures in making music outside of the concert halls -- he develops a series of concerts for lakes, ports, parks, buildings, quarries and caves -- his natural laboratories. In the 1980's, he extends the ideas of musical geography by creating simultaneous radio concerts for three, then six large ensembles performing together from many European Capitals. By connecting digital samplers to MIDI Grands (Diskklavier) and computers, since 1987, he produces an enriched body of solo performance works -- an ideal synthesis between the concert hall and all sounding phenomena in the world. He creates a visually striking series of sound installations, some of them in collaboration with visual artists including Paul Klerr, Melissa Gould, Kristin Jones, Pietro Fortuna, Umberto Bignardi, Uli Sigg. Throughout these years he continues to write numerous pieces for radio and for acoustic instruments.

Studies composition with Ron Nelson (B.A. Brown University 1960) and with Elliott Carter and Mel Powell ( M.Mus., Yale School of Music 1963). During summer vacations, plays European crossings with the "Brunotes" on the Holland American Line, in a Greek Dance Band in the Catskills, and in the Dunes Hotel in Las Vegas.

Continues studies and friendship with Carter in Berlin (1964 Ford Foundation Grant), meets Stravinsky, Xenakis, Berio, Yuji Takahashi, Andriessen, Remo Remotti, and above all Rzewski. Goes to Darmstadt, hangs with Babbitt and Earl Brown, hears Stockhausen and Ligeti. Goes to Rome with Joel Chadabe and plays piano in bars on via Veneto, meets Franco Evangelisti and Cornelius Cardew.

In the Musica Elettronica Viva years (1966 -1971 in Rome), performs in over 200 concerts in Europe and the USA with Teitelbaum and Rzewski, Carol Plantamura, Ivan Vandor, Alan Bryant and Jon Phetteplace; and makes significant artistic encounters with Giuseppe Chiari, Edith Schloss, AMM, Cardew, Steve Lacy, Michelangelo Pistoletto, Steve ben Israel, Anthony Braxton, Simone Forti, Steve Reich, Joan La Barbara, Michael Nyman, La Monte Young, Trisha Brown, Ashley, Behrman, Gordon Mumma, Alvin Lucier, Larry Austin, Bill Smith, Ketoff, Robert Moog, Nuova Consonanza, MEV2, Meme Perlini, Mario Ricci, Maria Monti, Prima Materia, Ron Bunzl, Phil Glass, Charlemagne Palestine, Terry Riley, George Lewis, Evan Parker, Gregory Reeves, Serge Tcherepnin, Kosugi, Pulsa, Maryanne Amacher, John Cage, David Tudor, Morton Feldman. Scelsi becomes his friend and mentor.

From 1975-80 taught vocal improvisation at the Accademia Nazionale d'Arte Drammatica (Rome) and from 1991 to 2006 was the Milhaud Professor of Composition at Mills College in Oakland, California. Currently teaching privately in Rome in addition to master classes, residencies, and lectures at Oberlin, Peabody, Brown, Berkeley, The Hague, Haifa, Bolzano, Northwestern, Yale, Beijing, etc."

-Alvin Curran Website (http://www.alvincurran.com/Curran_bio.html)
5/23/2024

Have a better biography or biography source? Please Contact Us so that we can update this biography.

"In 2016, Winant was awarded a large unrestricted grant from the Foundation of Contemporary Arts in recognition for his groundbreaking work as a contemporary percussionist. In 2014 he received a Grammy nomination for his recording of John Cage's historic solo work, 27' 10.554" for a percussionist, on Micro Fest Records.

He has collaborated with some of the most innovative and creative musicians of our time, including John Cage, Iannis Xenakis, Pierre Boulez, Frank Zappa, Keith Jarrett, Roscoe Mitchell, Anthony Braxton, Fred Frith, James Tenney, Terry Riley, Cecil Taylor, Gerry Hemingway, Mark Dresser, Barry Guy, Marilyn Crispell, George Lewis, Steve Reich and Musicians, Nexus, Charles Wuorinen, Jean-Philippe Collard, Frederic Rzewski, Ursula Oppens, Joan LaBarbara, Annea Lockwood, Danny Elfman/Oingo Boingo, Sonic Youth, Marc Ribot, Keith Rowe, Joey Barron, Bill Frisell, Yo-Yo Ma, Rova Saxophone Quartet, Lawrence "Butch" Morris, and the Kronos String Quartet.

He has recorded and toured worldwide with his own groups including ROOM, w/Chris Brown and Larry Ochs, CHALLENGE, w/Anthony Braxton and David Rosenboom, WAKE, w/Frank Gratkowski and Chris Brown, the ABEL/STEINBERG/WINANT TRIO, and the WILLIAM WINANT PERCUSSION GROUP.

He is principal percussionist with the San Francisco Contemporary Music Players, he has been closely associated with NYC composer John Zorn, and has made numerous recordings, and performed in many projects throughout the world with the composer. Starting in 1995 he has been the percussionist with the avant-rock band Mr. Bungle, has made two recordings ("Disco Volante" and "California" on Warner Brothers), and has toured throughout the world with this group. For many years he had worked with composer Lou Harrison, recording and premiering many of his works, and in March of 1997 he participated in the world premiere of Lou Harrison's quintet "Rhymes with Silver" featuring cellist Yo-Yo Ma and the Mark Morris Dance Group, and has toured the piece throughout the United States and Great Britain.

In the fall of 2011, he joined Mike Patton's Italian pop music project "Mondo Cane" which features a 12 piece band + string orchestra, and have recently completed tours of South America and Australia.

In the fall of 2003, celebrating the 50th anniversary of the Merce Cunningham Dance Company, Mr. Winant, along with composers Takehisa Kosugi and Christian Wolff, created music for a series of eight special "Events" staged by Merce Cunningham and Dancers at London's Turbine Hall at the Tate Modern. Winant continued to tour throughout Europe and the United States with the dance company until 2009

He has made over 200 recordings, covering a wide variety of genres, including music by Earle Brown, John Cage, Morton Feldman, Christian Wolff, John Zorn, Butch Morris, James Newton, Frank Gratkowski, Pauline Oliveros, Luc Ferrari, Karlheinz Stockhausen, Danny Elfman ("Batman Returns"), Siouxse and the Banshees, Secret Chiefs 3, ICP, Han Bennik, The Ex, White Out with Jim O'Rourke, Lou Reed, Thurston Moore, and Mike Patton.

[...]

Mr. Winant has premiered many new works written specifically for him, by such noted composers as John Cage, Christian Wolff, Lou Harrison, John Zorn, Zeena Parkins, Bun-Ching Lam, Barbara Monk Feldman, Hi-Kyung Kim, Roscoe Mitchell, Wendy Reid, Ralph Shapey, Peter Garland, Michael Byron, Paul Dresher, Alvin Curran, Frederic Rzewski, Chris Brown, David Rosenboom, Larry Polansky, Gordon Mumma, Alvin Lucier, Terry Riley, Fred Frith, Somei Satoh, and Wadada Leo Smith.

Mr. Winant has been featured as a guest artist with the Los Angeles Philharmonic (under the direction of Pierre Boulez), the San Francisco Symphony, and the Berkeley Symphony (Kent Nagano, director), as well as at Cabrillo Festival, Monterey Jazz Festival, SF Jazz Festival, Central Park Summerstage, Ravinia Festival, Salzburg Festival, Donaueschingen Festival, Victoriaville, Holland Festival, Edinburgh Festival, Ojai Festival, Sonar Festival, All Tomorrow's Parties, Taklos, Other Minds Festival, Lincoln Center, Melt Down Festival, Royal Festival Hall, Library of Congress, The Barbican, The Kennedy Center, Paris Opera, Disney Hall, Miller Theater Composer Portraits Series, Merkin Hall, Guggenheim Museum, and Brooklyn Academy of Music.

For ten years he was principal percussionist with the Cabrillo Festival Orchestra (Dennis Russell Davies, director), and timpanist with the Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra 1985-1988 (Nicholas McGegan, director).

He is a Visiting Lecturer at the University of California at Santa Cruz, and teaches at Mills College and the University of California at Berkeley. For eight years Mr. Winant was Artist-in-Residence at Mills College with the critically acclaimed Abel-Steinberg-Winant Trio. Formed in 1984, the ASW Trio has premiered over 25 new works for violin, piano, and percussion at major festivals and recitals throughout the world. Their recordings can be heard on the New Albion, Tzadik, and CRI/New World labels."

-William Winant Website (http://williamwinant.com/#section1)
5/23/2024

Have a better biography or biography source? Please Contact Us so that we can update this biography.

"Arnold Dreyblatt (b. New York City, 1953) is an American media artist and composer. He has been based in Berlin, Germany since 1984. In 2007, Dreyblatt is deputy director of the visual arts section at the German Academy of Art (Akademie der Künste, Berlin). He was Professor of Media Art at the Muthesius Academy of Art and Design in Kiel, Germany from 2009 to 2022.

One of the second generation of New York minimal composers, Dreyblatt studied music with Pauline Oliveros, La Monte Young, and Alvin Lucier and media art with Woody and Steina Vasulka. His early activities in music and performance included the albums "Nodal Excitation", "Propellers In Love", "The Sound of One String" and the opera project "Who's Who in Central and East Europe 1933".

Arnold Dreyblatt has charted his own unique course in composition and music performance. He has invented a set of new and original instruments, performance techniques, and a system of tuning. Often characterized as one of the more rock-oriented of American minimalists, Dreyblatt has cultivated a strong underground base of fans for his transcendental and ecstatic music with his "Orchestra of Excited Strings".

His music has been performed by the Bang On A Can All-Stars in New York, Jim O'Rourke, The Great Learning Orchestra in Stockholm, Pellegrini String Quartet and the Crash Ensemble Dublin. He has recorded for such labels as Tzaddik, Hat Hut, Table of the Elements, Cantaloupe, Important, Choose and Black Truffle. Dreyblatt has taught music workshops resulting in performed compositions with musicians at "The Music Gallery", Toronto; MIT Boston, Serralves Foundation, Porto and many others. He has performed with and without his ensemble at the Whitney Museum, New York; the Maerz Music Festival, Berlin; the Angelika Festival, Bologna; The Lab in San Francisco , Berghain Berlin and countless other festivals and concert venues in Europe and in North America."

-Arnold Dreyblatt Website (https://www.dreyblatt.net/composer-1)
5/23/2024

Have a better biography or biography source? Please Contact Us so that we can update this biography.


Track Listing:



1. Shofar Puro Alap 6:29

2. Shofar X 17 13:10

3. Shofar T Tam 10:50

4. Alef Bet Gimel Shofar 4:42

5. Shin Far Shofar 1 11:22

6. Shofar Der Zeit 4:00

7. Shin Far Shofar 2 10:20

Related Categories of Interest:


Compositional Forms
Electro-Acoustic
Tzadik
NY Downtown & Jazz/Improv
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Electroacoustic Composition
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