- FranÃ§ois Couture, All Music Guide
"Wilson is able to create his magic through the aid of compatible and complementary musicians, and he does it with regularity regardless of the band configuration employed."
- Frank Rubolino, One Final Note
"[Wilson] has assembled an attractive quintet to perform his brand of radically improvised music, but what distinguishes the group is it's individual sound - something not always easy to achieve. . ."
- Steven Loewy, Cadence Magazine
". . . the band delves into a bevy of concepts and practices that intimate a personalized mode of attack. . ."
- Glenn Astarita, All About Jazz
"If you are ready to give up your preconceived ideas of what improvisational music can be, [the AJWQ] could be the challenging listening experience you have been searching for."
- Dan McAvinchey, Guitar9 Records
"Atonal dissonance never sounded so fresh. . ."
- Christopher Muther, The Boston Globe
". . . I have visions [laughter]. And its not because I haven't had breakfast yet, ladies and gentlemen - its not for lack of food. The music is penetrating."
- Masud Tariq-Towe, WHCR 90.3, Harlem Community Radio
Adam James Wilson: Who?
An active member of the experimental music community, composer/multi-instrumentalist Adam James Wilson tirelessly applies his eccentric musical powers in the arenas of spontaneous group composition and guided improvisation. Known for his pan-tonal explorations, Mr. Wilson creates music that can rarely be circumscribed within a single tuning or temperament, or within a single genre-specific harmonic structure; microtonal inflections designed to produce harshly dissonant intervals appear alongside shimmering just-intoned passages, and traditional modality mixes unobtrusively with free atonality.
On Tunings and Temperaments
"Lots of folks who fool around with tunings and temperaments decide to use only one or two subsets of the frequency spectrum, usually out of a bias towards just intonation, a bias towards ease of modulation, or based on practical instrumental considerations. I prefer to make the entire continuous audible spectrum my sandbox, and, accordingly, I choose to use instruments (fretless guitar, Harmonic Canon I, violin) that aren't constrained to the production of discrete pitches. Tension and release in music can be created through the use of intervals of variable dissonance, and using the entire audible spectrum gives us access to a wider variance in dissonance than is available within the traditional 12-tone equal-tempered system. Adding microtones to the musical palette provides sound combinations that can be used to evoke more subtle shades of emotion."
On Timbral Experiments and Improvisation
"Dissonance is not only a function of the intervals you're using, but also the harmonic spectra of the entwined instruments - the intensities and frequencies of the partials in the vibrating strings, air columns, woods, or metals. This means that creating a greater variability of dissonance can involve an exploration of timbre as well as an expansion of the pitch systems with which we play. Improv groups provide great laboratories for such experiments; as a composer, I began improvising with like-minded musicians because it enabled me to test artistic hypotheses quickly and informally. I found, however, that playing with sensitive listeners can also facilitate the construction of organic, breathing, intensely human forms that are difficult to achieve autonomously."
On Life and Music
"Truly exploratory music is always linked - often critically - with the social issues of its time. In our culture of rabid commercialism, the benefits of the arts are largely ignored. Despite this obstacle, it is important that artists continue to make music that is meaningful and relevant, and thus help to provide genuine experiences, for which people are starving. Cooperatively constructed music is more than just a unique aesthetic event: it is a metaphor for a type of connection with ourselves and our communities that has been lost. Through the proliferation of such music, we increase the potential for a collective re-discovery of that connection."
Visit http://www.adamjameswilson.com for more information.
- Oswald Main
Arto Artinian (flute/kaval), Queens
Arto Artinian was born in Bulgaria in 1975. A life-long proponent of the idea that music must constantly be expressed in the most direct and emotionally pristine form, New York City-based improviser Arto Artinian firmly believes in the need for constant re-evaluation and experimentation in achieving and maintaining musical freshness. The flute and the piano are his primary vehicles for musical expression, although he has recently begun playing the kaval, an instrument indigenous to his home country. Having started by composing music for various ensembles, he now focuses his attention on purely improvised and collaborative music, using a full palette of musical expression, including microtonal inflection, computer-generated sound, and extended flute techniques. In addition to Bulgarian folk music, he cites the music of John Cage, Morton Feldman, Sydney Hodkinson, and Joe Maneri as stylistic influences. Theoretical influences include Robert Morris, William Sethares, and James Tenney.
Mr. Artinian studied composition at the Eastman School of Music, and computer music at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. He practiced the flute at the Juilliard Pre-College, as well as in Plovdiv, Bulgaria. Recent musical collaborators include Dan Breen, Katt Hernandez, Jonathan Vincent, Aaron Trant, and Adam James Wilson.
Katt Hernandez (violin), Boston
Katt Hernandez was born in Michigan in 1975. She studied music at the University of Michigan, where she helped create a program of study for improvisers. After spending several years playing in the Detroit area, she moved to Boston, and began playing throughout the East coast. Ms. Hernandez has worked with a great number of musicians and dancers, known and not, amongst some and not others, including Arto Artinian, Jeff Arnal, Marc Bisson, Alissa Cardone, James Coleman, Dan Dechellis, the Eurasia Ensemble, Zack Fuller, Joe Maneri, Jonathan Vincent, John Voigt, and Adam James Wilson. In the last year she has been particularly involved with the Zeitgeist Gallery in Cambridge, in playing, programming, protesting, and mayhem.
Aaron Trant (percussion), Manhattan
Aaron Trant was born in Oregon in 1975, and has been playing percussion since 1985. He received a BA from the University of Oregon and a Master of Music degree from the New England Conservatory. He is an experienced performer in both jazz/improvisatory and orchestral settings. Outside of working with orchestras in the Boston area, he performs with the Afterquartet, Endy Emby, and the Adam James Wilson Quintet, and gives frequent solo recitals. He has premiered works by composers Curtis Hughes and Lee Hyla, as well as his own solo percussion work for the Chris Marker film La JetÃ©e.
Jonathan Vincent (piano/accordion), Boston
Jonathan Vincent was born in Maryland in 1974. He studied composition with Stuart Saunders Smith at the University of Maryland at Baltimore County and with Joseph Maneri at the New England Conservatory. He has studied piano most recently with ethnomusicologist Josef Pacholczyk at the University of Maryland at Baltimore County, and with Debra Adams in Brookline, Massachussetts. He has performed with Jeff Arnal, Nicole Bindler, Alissa Cardone, Mike Cherry, Un Cuerpo Exquisito, John Dierker, Zack Fuller, Katt Hernandez, John Hughes, Alla Kovgan, Eric Myers, Kenta Nagai, Tatsuya Nakatani, Dillon Paul, the Pinecone People, Will Redman, Mark Swift, Toby Twining, Dedalus Wainwright, Adam James Wilson, and many other people. He has performed in a few festivals and has made some CDs. He wants you to be happy.
Adam James Wilson (fretless guitar/7-string electric violin), Brooklyn
Adam James Wilson was born in New York in 1975. He studied composition and classical guitar at the Oberlin Conservatory and computer music at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. These days he can be found playing fretless guitar, 7-string electric violin, Harmonic Canon I, or any other instrument he can get his hands on, with various groups - and in various tuning systems - throughout the northeastern United States. His collaborators have included Jeff Arnal, Arto Artinian, Linda Gale Aubry, Gordon Beeferman, Marc Bisson, Mike Bullock, Dan DeChellis, Katt Hernandez, Brad Kemp, Joe Maneri, Tatsuya Nakatani, Vic Rawlings, Aaron Trant, Jonathan Vincent, and the Zen Bastards. Mr. Wilson has released several recordings, documenting his performances with combinations of the aforementioned artists. He gratefully acknowledges the influences of Harry Partch, Iannis Xenakis, and Joe Maneri. He is also quite fond of the theoretical works of Morris Berman (esp. Reenchantment of the World) and William Sethares (Tuning, Timbre, Spectrum, Scale), which "justify much of [his] musical and non-musical babbling."
Check out the artist's website:
2. Steam Engine
4. Cry For Me
8. Two Plus One
9. Turn Away
10. The Slow Crucible
11. Under Your Thumb
12. Until the Beginning