PROJECTS: ensembles, bookings, and staged productions
EVIYAN Iva Bittova, Gyan Riley, Evan Ziporyn
Post-minimal world roots music from three eclectic, genre-crossing composer/performers. Ziporyn is joined by the legendary violinist/singer Iva Bittová, a unique and charismatic performer, and guitarist Gyan Riley, who combines classical virtuosity with the rigor of Indian music and the fluid harmonies of jazz.
Gamelan Galak Tika
This cross-cultural ensemble combines the lattice-like beauty of traditional Balinese gamelan with 21st century composition and technology, finding common ground and opening audiences' ears to both. Celebrating our 20th season in residence at MIT, Galak Tika has established an international reputation for its captivating, genre-bending performances, traversing from classical Balinese dance to previously unimagined new possibilities. We've premiered new works for gamelan and western instruments by Terry Riley, Glenn Kotche, Evan Ziporyn, Christine Southworth, Dewa Ketut Alit, and others, and have collaborated in performance with the Kronos Quartet, Wu Man, Signal, the New England Conservatory Philharmonia, Robert Black, and numerous dance and theater ensembles in the US and in Indonesia. We've performed to large crowds and rave reviews at such venues as Lincoln Center Out of Doors, the Cleveland Museum of Art, Southern Exposure Festival, several Bang on a Can Marathons, Carnegie Hall's Making Music series, the Bali International Arts Festival, and at dozens of universities and venues in New England and the eastern seaboard of the US. Our recordings are available on New World, New Albion, and Airplane Ears Music.
Our most recent Lincoln Center appearance - a sell-out performance at Alice Tully Hall as part of Bang on a Can's 25th Anniversary - was hailed by the New York Times as 'the highlight.... the work swings thrillingly between cacophony and lyricism: a portrait of cultural exchange always in flux."; while New York magazine put us at the top of their weekly "Approval Matrix", describing our work as 'a masterpiece...gamelan fever sweeps the city!' On other occasions the Times has described us as an 'exuberant blast of metal fireworks.'; while the Newark Star-Ledger described 'An intoxicating tone of wave-like rhythms and ringing sonoroties... A cross-cultural, color-rich mix of mesmeric gamelan resonance and rock drama!'
To inquire about booking Gamelan Galak Tika, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Concerto for tabla, strings, and percussion, Sandeep Das, soloist
World music/classical fusion at its finest. Written at the request of Silk Road Ensemble's Sandeep Das, Mumbai is a 35-minute tour de force of virtuosity and emotion, centered around the tabla mastery of Das.
"It's luminous and dreamlike, unfolding with a glow and a sense of wonder both intimate and soaring. This is music you climb inside as the tabla cuts through the gleaming strings." - ANASTASIA TSIOULCAS, NPR CLASSICAL
"futuristic while playing with tradition, exotic without being artificial...Ziporyn is balancing a lot here: both European and Hindustani classical musics, modern avant-garde art music, minimalism, free improvisation… but you'd never know it unless you specifically stop to over-analyze. It was on the fifth or sixth listen where I started trying to grasp all the components of Ziporyn's sound and style, and it is wonderfully impossible, like trying to see all the atoms in a hurricane. He takes what he loves, from old traditions to modern experiments, and finds ways to comfortably squeeze them together, fitting improvisation into through-composed orchestral works, or making two traditions with essentially opposing rules and structures sound as uniform and natural as a folk song. Ziporyn has written a gorgeous and thoughtful elegy for the victims of the Mumbai bombings, and in doing so has also produced one of the finest works of his career." - Evan Burke, I Care if You Listen
"This is certainly the most ambitious and fascinating music I've heard from Ziporyn; and may his compositional range and sonorous palette continue to evolve at this high, even rarefied level." - Jed Distler, Gramphone
Gamelan Salukat and Gamelan Semara Ratih play Evan Ziporyn
In 2010 Evan Ziporyn returned to Bali to work with a new generation of Balinese musicians on his own compositions for gamelan, composed and taught direclty to the groups without benefit of score or notation. The results are a series of brilliant performances by two of Bali's top ensembles, Salukat and Semara Ratih, which have stunned audiences in Bali and Europe. Whether heard in Balinese temples (where they are now regularly performed) or European concert halls, these performances turn standard ideas about tradition and innovation, west and east on their heads.
Sanghyang - the Balinese lure of the sacred - will be a synthaesthetic, multi-cultural and multi-media production, combining music, film, dance, and anthropology, in a meditation on the pathways of consciouness: religious, historical, and cultural.
Propelled by the music of Evan Ziporyn and the film of Bill Morrison, the evening-length event will involve multi-channel audio and visual projection throughout the performance venue, energized through live performances by Ziporyn's ensemble and some of the most dynamic young Balinese performers and creators, choreographer Dewi Aryani, musician Dewa Ketut Alit, and an ensemble of kecak dancer/singers.
A House in Bali
A House in Bali is a dynamic multi-media opera by Evan Ziporyn with libretto by Paul Schick and directed by Jay Scheib. Based on the renowned memoir by Colin McPhee, A House in Bali traces the roots of the west's century-long infatuation with Bali, through the true story of three westerners - composer Colin McPhee, anthropologist Margaret Mead, and artist Walter Spies - during their 1930s sojourn in Bali.
This visually stunning spectacle brings together the finest ensembles of east and west: the 16-piece Balinese Gamelan Salukat, directed by the dynamic Dewa Ketut Alit; New York's electric chamber ensemble Bang on a Can All-Stars; Balinese choreography by the enchanting Kadek Dewi Aryani; and a selection of some of the finest western operatic and Balinese voices working today. Staged by Jay Scheib with set design by Sara Brown, the centuries-old Balinese art forms blend seamlessly with live projection, pushing the boundaries of theatrical innovation.
A House in Bali premiered at Puri Saraswati in Ubud, Bali, June 26-27, 2009 and at Cal Performances in Berkeley, California, September 26-27, 2009.
Music by Evan Ziporyn
Directed by Jay Scheib
Choreography by Kadek Dewi Aryani & I Nyoman Catra
Libretto by Paul Schick, after Colin McPhee's "A House in Bali" and texts by Margaret Mead and Walter Spies
Additional dialogue and lyrics by Evan Ziporyn
ShadowBang is a collaborative performance featuring the electrifying Bang on a Can All-Stars and I Wayan Wija - the foremost living Balinese "dalang" (puppeteer). It is both a continuation of this timeless art form by one of the masters and a radical reinvention of it.
Bang on a Can's "wayang" - ShadowBang - brings a new musical and theatrical dimension to the art form. Replacing the traditional gamelan with the Bang on a Can All-Stars, composer Evan Ziporyn bridges Balinese and Western musical idioms to forge an entirely new sound. In place of the oil lamp, an innovative stage and lighting design reflects shadow images onto large screens in front of and behind the musicians and puppeteer. By providing multiple perspectives, the performance reveals both the process and the product of Wija's unique, master artistry, retaining the intimacy inherent in the form while placing it in a broader cultural context. The hour-long work of music, visuals and storytelling is a performance event that will forever blur the line between east and west, tradition and experimentation.
• Balinese shadow puppet master I Wayan Wija
• Music by Evan Ziporyn
• Performed by I Wayan Wija and the Bang on a Can All-Stars
• Production Design by Paul Schick
About wayang kulit:
The wayang kulit (shadow puppet, literally "leather images") tradition is one of the oldest theatrical forms, dating back to 1200 AD, and yet it still remains one of the most popular forms of performance in Bali and Java. In its traditional form, it is both entertainment and religion, using classical texts and story lines in many languages and formats to convey everything from high moral lessons to low humor. The puppeteer sits behind a screen that is illuminated by an oil lamp, manipulating ornately carved hand-puppets and casting their shadows on the screen. Musical accompaniment is provided by a virtuoso chamber gamelan, which follows the puppeteer's every move.
The music of ShadowBang is available on Cantaloupe Music.