MATRIXSYNTH: Wadada Leo Smith and Barry Schrader - Pacific Light and Water/Wu Xing - Cycle of Destruction

Wednesday, January 01, 2020

Wadada Leo Smith and Barry Schrader - Pacific Light and Water/Wu Xing - Cycle of Destruction

Barry Schrader has a new release with Wadada Leo Smith. Barry tells me there will be a CD version limited to 100 copies, 40 of which will be available through CD Baby starting January 15. There will also be an mp3 version available. Be sure to check out my interview with Barry Schrader here. There's some fascinating synth history to be discovered there.

Barry Schrader on the new release:

"In early 2005, I was approached by the remarkable composer/ performer Wadada Leo Smith to create what he calls an 'overlay' work. This is a work in which Wadada creates a composed/ improvisational performance on the trumpet against a fixed electronic piece that I had made. This overlay concept allowed each of us to create a work simultaneously, and then Wadada would perform his work over mine, allowing the fixed structure of my piece to influence his performance. Wadada's side of this unusual duet was Pacific Light and Water, and we had a discussion early on in the process about what we would do, in which Wadada gave me a drawing he made depicting the various frequencies of light that would filter through the Pacific ocean at different depths. My mind was filled with things Chinese at that moment from all of the research and work I had been doing on my work Monkey King, which I had already started composing, and so the water idea led to using the Chinese concept of "wu xing", of which water is one of the five elements (metal, wood, earth, water, fire). These are usually ordered in one of two ways: the cycle of birth, which ends with water, and the cycle of destruction, which ends with fire. I chose the latter for this piece, and, at Wadada’s request, created a graphic score (available from Theodore Front Music) to allow him to coordinate with the electronic music. This, then, is a rare combination of compositional approaches and means, blended into a unified whole."

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