|John Zorn — Psychomagia (2014)|
John Zorn — Psychomagia
Ξ• Psychomagia is the new album by the fabulous quartet of Abraxas, the acclaimed Moroccan Rock arrangements for the Book of Angels series.
Ξ• Here they perform a complex new suite of music written expressly for them by Downtown alchemist John Zorn. Drawing inspiration from the magical writings of Giordano Bruno and Alejandro Jodorowski and others, Zorn has written a bold collection of compositions that challenge the musicians to the breaking point. With a program ranging from some of the most intense ritualistic sounds you are likely to hear to tender minimalistic odes, this is a surprising new volume in Zorn’s mystic series that matches the intensity and power of Moonchild, PainKiller and Naked City.
Born: September 2, 1953
Location: New York
Album release: February 18, 2014
Recording date: December 2, 2013 — December 3, 2013
Record Label: Tzadik
1. Metapsychomagia 7:31
2. Sacred Emblems 3:03
3. Circe 6:02
4. Squaring the Circle 5:51
5. Celestial Mechanism 2:33
6. Evocation of The Triumphant Beast 6:24
7. Four Rivers 3:54
8. The Nameless God 4:35
9. Anima Mundi 4:14
Ξ• Recorded at Orange Music and mixed by Bill Laswell.
Ξ• Aram Bajakian: guitar
Ξ• Shanir Ezra Blumenkranz: bass
Ξ• Eyal Maoz: guitar
Ξ• Kenny Grohowski: drums
Ξ• Chippy Cheung~Heung Chin Design
Ξ• Joseph Cornell Collage
Ξ• James Dellatacoma Engineer
Ξ• Aram Eajakian Guitar
Ξ• Shanir Ezra Elumenkranz Bass
Ξ• Kenny Grohowski Drums
Ξ• Bill Laswell Translation
Ξ• Eyal Maoz Guitar
Ξ• Kazunori Sugiyama Associate Producer
Ξ• John Zorn Arranger, Composer, Drawing, Primary Artist, Producer
Ξ• Psychomagia is the new album by the fabulous quartet of Abraxas, the acclaimed Moroccan Rock arrangements for the Book of Angels series. Here they perform a complex new suite of music written expressly for them by Downtown alchemist John Zorn. Drawing inspiration from the magical writings of Giordano Bruno and Alejandro Jodorowski and others, Zorn has written a bold collection of compositions that challenge the musicians to the breaking point. With a program ranging from some of the most intense ritualistic sounds you are likely to hear to tender minimalistic odes, this is a surprising new volume in Zorn’s mystic series that matches the intensity and power of Moonchild, PainKiller and Naked City. Recorded at Orange Music and mixed by Bill Laswell. Essential.
Tzadik news: http://www.tzadik.com/new_home.php?monthsback=-1%20-%2010k
Ξ• 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.
Ξ• 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.
Ξ• Zorn was born in New York in 1953. His parents and brother were avid music fans all; from an early age he was exposed to jazz, classical music, doo wop, country, and rock & roll. In addition, being a child of the ‘50s he was exposed to the music of television via its various program themes and especially cartoon music, which influenced him early on, and continues to. Zorn’s musical education began in adolescence, studying guitar and flute. He was exposed to European and American vanguard classical music in adolescence and was affected deeply by it. He also reportedly played bass in a surf band in his teens. He studied composition at Webster College in St. Louis, where he was exposed to the music of free jazz, and claims he picked up the alto saxophone after hearing Anthony Braxton’s seminal recording For Alto in 1969. Zorn’s early influences and experiments in integrating free jazz, improvisation, 20th century classical, and cartoon music can be heard on the album First Recordings 1973, released by Tzadik in 1995.
Ξ• Zorn dropped out of college, moved to Manhattan, and began hanging out with other improvisers and jazz musicians. He also began composing in earnest, but with his requisite sense of humor. His early compositions and recordings were all „game pieces“ named after, well, games. They include Baseball and Lacrosse (1976); Dominoes, Curling, and Golf (1977); Cricket and Fencing (1978), and Pool and Archery (1979). His most enduring and influential game piece, Cobra (1984), was issued in 1987 on the Hat Hut imprint; subsequent recordings of the work were released in 1992, 1994, and 2002, and it has been performed many times. These works were complete with cards, hand signs, cues, and strategies, and could employ the use of many musicians. His smaller group works are documented on Locus Solus (1983). He issued two completely solo albums of pieces for duck calls in The Classic Guide to Strategy. Most of these were issued on his own Parachute imprint.
Ξ• The first larger public acclaim for Zorn’s work occurred when he signed with the Warner Bros. Nonesuch imprint in 1984, and released The Big Gundown: John Zorn Plays the Music of Ennio Morricone. He later issued two similar tribute recordings, Spillane (in tribute to the crime author) and Spy vs. Spy: The Music of Ornette Coleman, where he performed Coleman’s works in thrashing hardcore punk style (most pieces lasted only a minute or two) in a quintet with Tim Berne playing the other alto, drummers Joey Baron and Michael Vatcher, and bassist Mark Dresser. The album was praised by some and raised howls of often vicious criticism, ironically mirroring, of course, the same kind of treatment given Coleman himself when he appeared on the scene in the ‘50s. Zorn followed this with the self~titled recording by a new band he put together called Naked City, with guitarist Bill Frisell, Baron, bassist Fred Frith, and keyboardist Wayne Horvitz. This band combined everything from punk and jazz to funk and improvisation in a unit that could play beautifully articulated and complex melodies composed by Zorn and let loose with fury and reckless abandon. Only this debut appeared on Nonesuch; four other studio recordings and a live album were issued on a variety of labels in both the United States and Japan until Zorn released them as a box set in the early 21st century. Also during this period, Zorn issued his first compilation of film scores; it was his final effort for Nonesuch. Film Works 1986 — 1990 was the first installment in a series that numbers almost two~dozen volumes.
Ξ• During this period, Zorn was releasing albums on various European and Japanese imprints, including Avant and DIW. These include Ganryu Island and his vanguard jazz~metal group Pain Killer with bassist Bill Laswell and drummer Mick Harris. Zorn continued releasing records of many stripes in the ‘90s, including the harrowing Kristallnacht, his first engagement with his Jewish heritage on record that later became part of the Radical Jewish Culture series on Tzadik, a musical and cultural movement Zorn helped to found and steer. It radicalized him and prepared the way for Masada, a jazz quartet modeled after Coleman’s original quartet. The band included Zorn’s alto, Dave Douglas on trumpet, Baron on drums, and bassist Greg Cohen. The group issued ten limited edition studio recordings beginning with Alef (the first letter of the Hebrew alphabet, though they didn’t follow consecutively). They also released a handful of live dates from various places on their groundbreaking and widely acclaimed world tour. Zorn’s compositions by this time had begun to incorporate Coleman's ideas of melody with Jewish folk music and improvisation.
Ξ• Zorn established the Tzadik label in New York — after what he considered to be a disastrous relationship with Warner and Nonesuch — to control his own destiny as a recording artist, producer, and composer, and has since purchased back all of his masters from Warner/Nonesuch. Tzadik has been the flagship of the Radical Jewish Culture movement, and has also introduced many important composers and musicians, as well as younger talents first arriving on the scene from all over the world. According to legend, no title has ever lost money — which is saying a lot since there are literally hundreds of releases in its catalog.
Ξ• Zorn’s own releases throughout the ‘90s and into the 21st century include many hallmarks of his career: his chamber pieces, Bar Kohkba (1996) and The Circle Maker (1998); the first recordings from his Masada Songbook series; a larger work, Aporias: Requia for Piano & Orchestra (1999); String Quartets (1999); the fabulous Cartoon S&M album (2000), and Madness, Love and Mysticism (2001). Also in 2001, after a steady string of issues of his film scores, Masada recordings, and his more classically oriented works, he surprised listeners again with The Gift, an album that showcased his own love for exotica, influenced by the music of Martin Denny, Les Baxter, and Esquivel, among others. The set was played by a group that included all the members of Masada, percussionist Cyro Baptista, Jamie Saft, Ned Rothenberg, Mike Patton, Trevor Dunn, and others. The ninth volume of Zorn’s Film Works series was issued in 2001 as well; it was the score for the award~winning film Trembling Before G_D, a documentary about gay Hasidic (Orthodox) Jews.
|John Zorn — Psychomagia (2014)|