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Clarinetist/Composer James Falzone to Release New CD in April


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On April 17th, Chicago-based clarinetist/composer James Falzone will release his second CD, The Sign and the Thing Signified (Allos Documents 002), an eclectic collection of new compositions written for his six piece Allos Musica ensemble. The recording takes its name from Falzone's longstanding interest in semiotics (the study of signs and symbols) and features bassoonist Katherine Young, violist Amy Cimini, cellist Kevin Davis, bassist Brian Dibblee and drummer/percussionist Tim Mulvenna. Inspired by the otherwise disparate musical legacies of figures such as Studs Terkel, Jimmy Giuffre and Olivier Messiaen, Falzone's inclusive music embraces a wide range of musical traditions as well as solo and collective improvisation.

The Sign and The Thing Signified is an attempt to synthesize a few of the important elements in my work: composition, improvisation, and an openness to traditions and ways of making music that are not genre specific," Falzone explains. “There are several through-composed pieces here, as well as solo clarinet improvisations, a few group improvisations, and my version of the aria “When I Am Laid to Rest" (called “Dido's Lament") from the 17th century Henry Purcell opera, Dido and Aeneas. There is also an intentional use of the studio and its powers as another compositional tool. Many interests come together, and are at work, in my music and I believe a musician is the sum total of all he or she takes in. Like many musicians of my generation, I am very comfortable shifting concepts, but the hope is that my individual voice remains constant regardless of the setting."

Falzone's diverse career, which includes a graduate degree from New England Conservatory's innovative Contemporary Improvisation Department, exists at the intersection of a multitude of musical styles and traditions. His current projects include performances with the acclaimed French music ensemble Le Bon Vent and Dutch saxophonist Jorrit Dijkstra's Flatlands Collective, as well as a variety of collaborations with Chicago's creative improvised music community. The Resident Composer and Director of Music for Grace Chicago Church since 2002, his music has been performed by the Rockford Symphony Orchestra, South Bend Symphony Orchestra and The Human Connection New Music Ensemble. He is also an educator at North Central College and a traveling lecturer and clinician who has presented masterclasses and workshops at the University of Notre Dame, Marquette University and the U.S. Naval War College among other institutions.

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