John Zorn: Game Pieces

Saturday, May 6, 2017 @ 8:00 pm
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Doors 7:00pm
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Roulette once again welcomes composer John Zorn to present two of his game pieces, Cobra (1984) and Xu Feng (1985). Zorn has premiered or presented his game pieces at Roulette since the 1980s including the 2014 Cobra 30th anniversary performance. A concert experience of extraordinary vitality, the musical thrills and astoundingly visual interaction of the ensemble is deeply satisfying, seductive, and thought-provoking.

Zorn’s game pieces, a series of which these two are superb examples, rely on the use of tactics and strategy in a mix with musical imagination, communal and subversive instincts, personal style, and chutzpah wrapped inside a healthy set of rules. With no time limit, written musical material, or pre-arranged sequence of events, game pieces unfold freely under the prompter’s watchful eye. A number of methods are used to determine communication between ensemble members and the prompter and the direction and evolution of the music, including hand gestures and shuffled cards. Cobra, which has been recorded several times for various labels, can be performed by an ensemble of any size and composition. Xu Feng is for an ensemble of six, in this case all percussionists.

John Zorn’s untangling, extending, and illuminating of unresolved, highly potent concepts dangled by artists from Artaud to Braxton to Earle Brown to Hieronymus Bosch, his study of and immersion in Jewish culture, mysticism, military strategy and tactics, aural traditions, cartoons, cinema, and brutal noise has produced one of the most important bodies of musical work of the last century, and opened a path for the next. Beyond his compositions, Zorn is an accomplished saxophonist, bandleader, and an ardent promoter of experimental music. He founded the record label Tzadik in 1995 and has served as curator and artistic director at numerous New York music venues, including the Knitting Factory, Tonic, and The Stone, which he founded in 2005. A highly prolific creator, Zorn has hundreds of recordings and compositions to his name and has toured throughout the U.S., Europe, and Asia.

Cobra:
Eyal Maoz – Guitar
Taylor Levine – Guitar
Matt Hollenberg – Guitar
Ikue Mori – Laptop
Sylvie Courvoisier – Piano
Michael Nicolas – Cello
Trevor Dunn – Bass
TBD – Percussion
Ches Smith – Percussion
Kenny Wollesen – Drums
Brian Marsella – Piano
Okkyung Lee – Cello

Xu Feng (all percussion):
Kenny Wollesen
Kenny Grohowski
Ches Smith
Jim Black
Tim Keiper
Aaron Edgcomb

Tickets: $25/40 Premium Online $30/40 Premium Doors
Doors 7:00pm
Purchase Tickets