December 31, 2008

Evan Ziporyn

Evan Ziporyn (bcl,cl): [Bang on a Can & Don Byron: A Ballad for Many]

Evan Ziporyn (b. Chicago, Illinois, 1959) is an American composer of post-minimalist music and music for Balinese gamelans. He plays the clarinet, bass clarinet, and metallophone, borrowing from classical music, avant-garde, and jazz. A member of Bang on a Can All-Stars and a former member of Steve Reich and Musicians, he is Kenan Sahin Distinguished Professor of Music at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology(MIT), where he directs Gamelan Galak Tika, an ensemble made up of 30 MIT students, staff and community members, in the study and performing of traditional and modern Balinese music.
He has released albums on Cantaloupe, New Albion, New World, and CRI Emergency Music. As a performer, he has recorded for Nonesuch, Sony Classical, and Point Music. He has also composed music for Yo-Yo Ma's Silk Road Project, the American Composers Orchestra, the Boston Modern Orchestra Project, the Kronos Quartet, and the MIT Wind Ensemble.
(from Wikipedia)

It is quite interesting to hear one clarinetist (Don Byron) compose/arrange for another ensemble with clarinet-player (Bang on a Can with Evan Ziporyn). In general you can hear why Don Byron's always insisting that he doesn't want to be seen only as a jazz improviser: His insistance on not being labelled too easily is not only justified by his explorations of klezmer, funk, soul etc., but also by this compositional effort. And concerning the aforementioned clarinetist-relationship: I think both could let go. Ziporyn doesn't try to sound like Byron, but at the same time he cannot deny Byron's handwriting. And vice versa: Byron as composer and producer of this disc doesn't force Ziporyn to sound like he himself.

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