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Artist Profiles

Tyshawn Sorey

By Published: August 16, 2009
The opportunity to study under Prof. Braxton was, no doubt, a considerable draw in applying to the composition program at Wesleyan, but he is quick to point out (showing the breadth of influence Lehman cited) that Alvin Lucier and Pheeroan akLaff both teach there as well. And, he adds, he is also excited about the expansive library of music from around the world the university houses. He is especially interested in studying Indian and Tibetan music and while his studies of Asian music haven't yet been formal, the music on his new trio CD Koan, he says, is based on the "vibrational aspects" he heard while listening to recordings of the traditional musics.

Koan is being released this month on 482 Music and the trio (with Todd Neufeld and Thomas Morgan) will present the material on Aug. 5th. It's a beautiful, at times delicate, recording and very different from his previous release: no piano or horns and the pieces leave a lot of room for improvisation. It's another bold move, just before he heads north. Sorey insists that he'll still be playing; no doubt the demands of the classroom will keep him busy for the next two years.

"I enjoy being a sideman and I enjoy playing different styles of music. However I feel right now this is a period where I really need to be getting my own music out."

Recommended Listening:

Vijay Iyer, Blood Sutra (Artists House, 2003)

Fieldwork, Door (Pi, 2007)

Tyshawn Sorey, That/Not (Firehouse 12, 2007)

John Escreet, Consequences (Posi-Tone, 2008)

Steve Lehman Octet, Travail, Transformation, and Flow (Pi, 2008)

Tyshawn Sorey, Koan (482 Music, 2009)

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