FONT @ Roulette, September 11th: John Zorn, Honoring Butch Morris, Henry Brant’s 52-trumpet ensemble

FONT @ Roulette
Wednesday, September 11 @ 8:00pm
509 Atlantic Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11217 [map]
20$/15$ (students) [tickets]


John Zorn
Antiphonal Fanfare for the Great Hall, preview performance

The one word virtually everyone can agree on in any discussion of the work of composer John Zorn is “prolific,” in the strictest sense of the definition. Though he didn’t begin making records until 1980, the recordings under his own name number well over 100, and the sheer number of works he has performed on, composed, or produced easily doubles that number. Though now an internationally renowned musician and the founder and owner of the wildly successful and equally prolific Tzadik imprint, Zorn is a cornerstone of New York’s fabled and influential downtown scene. In addition, he has played with musicians of every stripe. He is also a musical gadfly: genre purity, and pursuing the ends by which it is defined, are meaningless in Zorn’s sound world, thus making him a quintessential mirror of 21st century culture. He has mentored countless musicians in the U.S., Europe, and Asia, and has broadened the exposure of many other artists stateside via his Tzadik label. His compositions have been performed by hundreds of artists, including the Kronos Quartet and Medeski, Martin & Wood. In addition, he has composed literally dozens of film scores. He has been the subject of books and documentary films, as well.

Honoring Butch Morris and His Language:
Conductions® with Dino J.A. Deane and Colleagues, including Taylor Ho Bynum, Graham Haynes, Stephanie Richards, Kenny Wolleson, Brandon Ross, and others.

Conduction® (created by Lawrence D. “Butch” Morris) is a vocabulary of ideographic signs and gestures activated to modify or construct a real-time musical arrangement or composition. Each sign and gesture transmits generative information for interpretation, and provides instantaneous possibilities for altering or initiating harmony, melody, rhythm, articulation, phrasing or form.

Lawrence “Butch” Morris first became known as a lyrical, round-toned (if roughly hewn) free jazz cornetist. As his career progressed, his cornet playing took a back seat to his bandleading; Morris invented a style of organized group improvisation that was dubbed “comprovisation,” an elision of composition and improvisation. Morris’ organization relied on a conducting technique that he called Conduction®.

Henry Brant – Flight Over A Global Map, Spatial Assembly for 52 trumpets, 3 percussion and piano
Conducted by Neely Bruce. Trumpeters include Jonathan Finlayson, Nick Roseboro, Ted Daniel, Wilmer Wise, Nadje Noordhuis, Gareth Flowers, Nate Wooley, Greg Glassman.

One of the great iconoclasts within modern American music, Canadian-born composer Henry Brant is a radical figure whose work is impossible to classify. Born in Montreal, Brant began composing at the age of eight and studied at McGill University beginning in his 16th year. In 1929, Brant transferred to the Institute of Musical Art, later renamed the Julliard School wherefrom he graduated in 1934. Already by that time Brant had written Angels and Devils, a concerto for 10 flutes, that gained its 21-year-old composer publication in Henry Cowell’s periodical New Music Quarterly. Through the depression and war years, Brant kept himself afloat through conducting and arranging on radio, working on independent films (he was an orchestrator for Pare Lorentz’s unit at the WPA) and for swing dance bands, including that of Benny Goodman. With war’s end, Brant took concurrent positions teaching at Columbia University and at Juilliard, but in 1957 settled at Bennington College in Vermont, where he taught until retirement in 1980. In purely academic terms, Brant’s achievements are impressive, as he was the winner of two Guggenheim Fellows, the Prix d’Italia, NEA, Fromm, Koussevitzky, ASCAP, and Ford Foundation grants and election to the American Academy and Institute of Arts and Letters in 1979.