The Squid's Ear Magazine


Vicens, Gabriel: Mural (Stradavarius )

Reflecting on the slow decay of Roman and Egyptian murals, New York City-based, Puerto Rican-born composer, guitarist, visual artist and No Base Trio member, Gabriel Vicéns, presents a collection of chamber works including two piano trios, a wind quintet performed by Nu Quintet, cello & violin and violin & piano duos, a solo piano work, and a sextet conducted by David Bloom.
 

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Personnel:



Gabriel Vicens-composer

Raissa Fahlman-clarinet

Joenne Dumitrascu-violin

Corinne Penner-piano

Adrianne Munden-Dixon-violin

Rocio Diaz de Cossio-cello

Mayumi Tsuchida-piano

Roberta Michel-flute

Wick Simmons-cello

John Ling-vibraphone

David Bloom-conductor

Kim Lewis-flute

Michael Dwinell-oboe

Kathryn Vetter-clarinet

Tylor Thomas-bassoon

Blair Hamrick-horn

Julia Henderson-cello

Mikael Darmanie-piano


Click an artist name above to see in-stock items for that artist.




Includes a photo-illustrated, 28-page booklet with liner notes by Tim Rutherford-Johnson.

UPC: 8011570372925

Label: Stradavarius
Catalog ID: STR 37292
Squidco Product Code: 34853

Format: CD
Condition: New
Released: 2024
Country: Italy
Packaging: Jewel Case
Recorded at The Bunker, in Brooklyn, New York, in August, 2022, by Nolan Thies, with assistant engineer Colin Bryson.

Descriptions, Reviews, &c.

"The compositions included in Mural are characterized by their embracement of dissonance, pointillistic textures, large intervallic leaps, gestural complexity, prolonged silences, great dynamic contrasts, and quiet sustained tones. On many occasions it's possible to encounter a ritualistic and mysterious aspect in his music that is distinguished by the way he uses repetition over melodic fragments and harmonic patterns. The influences of Webern and Feldman are perceivable in Vicens' works. Commenting on the evocative repertoire brought together in this album, Tim Rutherford-Johnson remarks in the CD's liner notes, "... although his music is often quite flat in its surface relations, in its unfolding over time it admits cracks into that surface, and slow transitions from one color to another."

The title of this recording came from Vicens' passion for Roman and Egyptian mural paintings. "I'm fascinated by how Roman and Egyptian frescoes have decayed slowly for centuries and how the cracks and layers of colors have become part of the current stage of the work, creating a complex and atmospheric character. "Music is a reflection of life; it comes from our experiences. We go through cycles and evolve as the years pass. Over time, we get our cracks and layers of colors, just like the frescoes, and from those experiences, we get the energy and the inspiration to write music that communicates something abstractly. Mural is what I have to say at this point of my life; my future cracks and layers will slowly tell what's next."

The seven works offered in Mural display Vicens' unique vision and voice as a composer and conveys a pivotal point that stylistically breaks his career free from the confines of a single genre description. The addition of this album to his discography expresses his immense creativity and wide range of skills, displaying how he shapeshifts magnificently across various musical terrains. Finally, the record reveals an idiosyncratic approach that captures his innovative ideas with brilliance and excitement."-Stradivarius


Includes a photo-illustrated, 28-page booklet with liner notes by Tim Rutherford-Johnson.

Artist Biographies

"Critically acclaimed guitarist and composer Gabriel Vicéns has been described as "a thoughtful improviser with a quiet tone who makes every note count" by Downbeat Magazine and as "an exceptional artist, with a shimmering sense of sonority and the ability to find a keen balance between poetry and intensity" by Latin Jazz Network. Originally from Guaynabo, Puerto Rico, Vicéns relocated to New York City after more than a decade of performing and recording with his group and other top artists from the Puerto Rican jazz scene and a four-year professorship at the Interamerican University of Puerto Rico.

Vicéns has been featured at venues and festivals such as Heineken Jazz Fest in Puerto Rico, SF Jazz Center in San Francisco, Ljubljana Jazz Festival in Slovenia, Uno Jazz San Remo Festival in Italy, and Havana World Music Festival in Cuba. He has worked with artists such as Eddie Gómez, Miguel Zenón, Alex Sipiagin, John Benitez, Paoli Mejias, Luis Perdomo, David Sánchez, and Will Vinson, among others. In New York, he has frequently performed at prominent venues such as The Cell Theater, Cornelia Street Cafe, Birdland Jazz Club, Teatro LATEA, Fat Cat, The Owl Music Parlor, and Terraza 7, both as a leader of his groups and as a sideman.

His debut album "Point In Time," independently released in 2012, features tenor saxophonist David Sánchez and legendary bassist Eddie Gómez who praises Vicéns as "a creative musician that displays a new vision on the guitar." The release gained rave reviews in many jazz publications around the globe. World-renowned jazz critic and writer Bill Milkowski noted in JazzTimes magazine, "Guitarist-composer Gabriel Vicéns, a leading light of Puerto Rico's jazz scene, flaunts a modernist sensibility on his impressive debut as a leader."

In 2015, Vicéns released his second studio album "Days," on Greg Osby's influential record label Inner Circle Music. The record was co-produced by trumpet giant Alex Sipiagin, and features Sipiagin himself, David Sánchez, and percussionist Paoli Mejias. The recording also garnered acclaimed reviews including 4 stars in Downbeat magazine and 4.5 stars in All About Jazz by music critic Mark F. Turner who stated, "A rising jazz guitarist... Vicéns has provided a splendid recording that conveys a clear representation of his culture and individuality."

Gabriel Vicéns' most recent album, "The Way We Are Created,'' released in 2021 on Inner Circle Music, was co-produced by the great Puerto Rican saxophonist Miguel Zenón and explores a unique amalgamation of modern jazz with folkloric music from Puerto Rico. The record features some of today's most accomplished musicians in the New York City jazz scene: Roman Filiú on alto saxophone, Glenn Zaleski on piano, Rick Rosato on bass, E.J. Strickland on drums, and Victor Pablo on percussion. Music critic Roger Farbey from the British magazine Jazz Journal noted, "The meticulously constructed compositions benefit from canny arrangements utilising all the instruments in a perfectly balanced formation of tonality and harmonic colour."

In addition to Vicéns' releases as a leader, he is co-leader of the free jazz/experimental ensemble, No Base Trio. Formed in collaboration with alto saxophonist Jonathan Suazo and drummer Leonardo Osuna in 2010 in San Juan, Puerto Rico, NBT has released two albums under the radical label Setola di Maiale. Their debut eponymous album was released in 2020 and their second studio album, NBT II, in 2022. Both records received praised reviews in prominent publications such as The Free Jazz Collective, Avant Music News, and Percorsi Musicali. Music critic Paul Acquaro observed, "It will pleasantly surprise you with its mix of melody and exploration."

In 2022, Vicéns went to the studio to record an album of original chamber works including pieces for piano trio, wind quintet, and Pierrot ensemble. The record features some of the finest performers in the New York City classical scene and was released in Spring 2024 on the Milan-based record label Stradivarius. This is Vicéns' fourth studio album under his name and the first one to feature his work as a composer of contemporary classical music.

Gabriel Vicéns received a Bachelor of Music in Jazz and Caribbean Music Studies and Performance from the Conservatorio de Música de Puerto Rico where he studied with Fernando Mattina and graduated Summa Cum Laude as the first guitarist in the program. In 2017, he earned his Master of Music in Jazz Studies and Performance from Queens College, studying with Paul Bollenback. Between 2019 to 2021, Vicéns studied painting at The Art Students League of New York with color-field painter Pat Lipsky, occasionally assisting her in her studio.

In 2022 he received a Doctor of Musical Arts in Jazz Studies and Performance from Stony Brook University under the direction of Ray Anderson. In addition, during his doctorate, Vicéns studied composition and worked closely with Daria Semegen. He dual focused his studies on the exploration of merging modern jazz with Puerto Rican Bomba and Plena, and composing contemporary classical music. Other composition teachers include Carlos Cabrer and Lois V Vierk.

Vicéns is a recipient of the prestigious "New Jazz Works" grant from Chamber Music America, which he received in 2023."

-Gabriel Vicens Website (https://www.gabrielvicens.com/about)
5/28/2024

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

"Brooklyn-based flutist Roberta Michel is dedicated to the music of our time. Praising her "extreme adventurousness," New York Concert Review said she "riveted with her performance, inspiring one to want a repeated hearing." Michel is the Co-artistic Director of Wavefield.

A founding member of Duo RoMi and Cadillac Moon Ensemble, Michel has also performed with: Ecce Ensemble, Portland String Quartet, Newspeak, SEM Ensemble, Wet Ink Ensemble, Argento, Iktus, Wordless Music Orchestra, Bang on a Can All-Stars, Ensemble LPR, and Cygnus Ensemble among others. Recent venues include: Lincoln Center, Carnegie Hall, Alice Tulley Hall, Merkin Hall, The Kennedy Center, Roulette, Issue Project Room, and the Metropolitan Museum of Art. She can be heard on New Dynamic, Innova, Tzadik, and Meta Records. Michel has commissioned and premiered hundreds of new works and has worked with many notable composers of our day.

Michel holds degrees from the University of Colorado at Boulder, SUNY-Purchase College, and the City University of New York Graduate Center. She is a winner of the NFA Graduate Research Competition for her dissertation on the flute music of Salvatore Sciarrino, resulting in a presentation at the 2013 National Flute Association Convention in New Orleans. Her teachers include Robert Dick, Tara O'Connor, and Alexa Still. She currently teaches at St. Francis College, Sarah Lawrence College, and at her private studio in Brooklyn."

-Roberta Michel Website (http://robertamichel.com/about/)
5/28/2024

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

"David Bloom (he/him) is a conductor equally at home in orchestral repertoire, opera, and new music, noted for his "dazzling precision and grace" (San Francisco Chronicle), "intelligence, elegance, and passion" (Opera News), "ferocious and focused" (The New York Times) performances, and "breathtaking and inspired programming" (Shepherd Express). He dedicates his work to collaborating with artists and communities to inspire creativity, empathy, and joy.

In such venues as Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, Walt Disney Concert Hall, Kennedy Center, and Park Avenue Armory, Bloom has guest conducted the Los Angeles Philharmonic, American Composers Orchestra, Washington National Opera, Bang on a Can All-Stars, Jacaranda, The Crossing, Ensemble Connect, Choir of Trinity Wall Street, and Kronos Quartet and worked with soloists Dashon Burton, David Byrne, Anthony Roth Costanzo, Helga Davis, Isabel Leonard, Iarla Ó Lionáird, Courtney Love, Hila Plitmann, Dawn Upshaw, Andrew Yee, and many more. In June of 2024, he will conduct the opening of Lincoln Center's 2024 Summer for the City festival with a program of operatic standards and original songs with famed drag artists Sapphira Crystál, Monét X Change, and Thorgy Thor.

He is Principal Conductor of the orchestras at New York University, where he conducts core orchestral literature, opera productions, and new works and teaches conducting. In 2023, he became Artistic Director of Queer Urban Orchestra, the only orchestra in the Northeast rooted in the LGBTQ+ community. He has focused on increasing the orchestra's impact and visibility, diversifying the programming, and collaborating with leading soloists. As a cover conductor for the New York Philharmonic, he has worked with such conductors as Susanna Mälkki, Santu-Matias Rouvali, and Dalia Stasevska and soloists Brandford Marsalis, Anthony McGill, and Golda Schultz.

Especially active as an opera conductor, among the productions Bloom has led are Washington National Opera's American Opera Initiative, Don Giovanni (Teatro Grattacielo), Philip Glass' Les enfants terribles (Opera Omaha), Michael Gordon's Acquanetta (Beth Morrison Projects), Kamala Shankaram's Miranda (Tri-Cities Opera and Opera Omaha), Idomeneo and Amahl and the Night Visitors (NYU Opera), Dido and Aeneas (Kaufman Music Center), Matt Marks' Mata Hari (PROTOTYPE Festival), and numerous productions for the American Opera Project, Opera on Tap, and Experiments in Opera, for whom he conducted Everything for Dawn, an opera by 10 composers created as a 10-episode TV series that streamed on the Opera Philadelphia Channel and PBS. He has premiered over 50 operas, including the orchestral version of Glass' La Belle et la Bête with Jean Cocteau's 1946 film.

In new work, he has conducted over 450 world premieres and collaborated with such composers as Clarice Assad, Courtney Bryan, Raven Chacon, John Corigliano, Donnacha Dennehy, Du Yun, inti figgis-vizueta, Michael Gordon, Nathalie Joachim, David Lang, Tania León, Andrew Norman, and Julia Wolfe. He is Co-Artistic Director of Contemporaneous, which he co-founded with composer Dylan Mattingly in 2010, and has built the group into one of the finest new music ensembles in the country. In 2023, he conducted the group in the premiere of Mattingly's six-hour opera Stranger Love at Disney Concert Hall, in a performance lauded as "exact and detailed, but also lively and openly dancing" (The New York Times). He is also Co-Artistic Director of Present Music, a legacy new music ensemble in Milwaukee. His work has strengthened the organization, revitalizing its programming and connection to the community. In 2021, he led the ensemble in the world premiere of Raven Chacon's Voiceless Mass, which went on to win the 2022 Pulitzer Prize.

Bloom has served as an artistic advisor for activist orchestra The Dream Unfinished since the organization's founding in 2015. He taught at Kaufman Music Center for eight years, serving as conductor of new music youth orchestra Face the Music and launching the orchestra program at the Center's public high school, Special Music School. He has been a clinician for Carnegie Hall's Music Educators Workshop and led residencies at such institutions as Princeton University, Mannes School of Music, City University of New York, Williams College, and his alma mater, Bard College. He has recorded for the Sony Masterworks, Cantaloupe, New Amsterdam, Innova, New Focus, Starkland, Kairos, and Navona labels."

-David Bloom Website (http://www.davidbloomconductor.com/#bio)
5/28/2024

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


Track Listing:



1. Mural 11:54

2. Suenos Ligados 7:57

3. El Matorral 14:34

4. Una Superficie Sin Rostro 8:14

5. Carnal 6:25

6. Ficcion 10:24

7. La Esfera 10:32

Related Categories of Interest:


Avant-Garde
European Improvisation, Composition and Experimental Forms
Large Ensembles
Chamber Rock
Solo Artist Recordings
Duo Recordings
Trio Recordings
Quintet Recordings
Sextet Recordings
NY Downtown & Metropolitan Jazz/Improv
New in Compositional Music
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