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Ziporyn Rises at Bread & Salt
The clarinetist delighted a full house gathered for the solo concert
By Robert Bush | Wednesday, Nov 6, 2013


New music champion Bonnie Wright concluded her Fresh Sound series on Nov. 1 with a bang, drawing in a large audience to experience the solo clarinet and electronics of Evan Ziporyn.

Ziporyn began with slow, pure tones, resonant stabs piercing the silence before branching out with more virtuosic language, showcasing a remarkable facility. He picked up the bass clarinet to open a suite of nine movements composed by Christine Southworth, the first of which featured dizzying, pre-recorded harmonies of what sounded like a Cambodian choir. Ziporyn's dark, elastic phrasing and rhythmic pad-popping cycled over many layers of marimba sounds, thumb-pianos, assorted percussion and the swirl of spoken voices. The suite was an unqualified creative success.
Turning 180 degrees to interpret some pop classics from the 1970s, beginning with "Ride, Captain Ride," from the Blues Image, Ziporyn continued with a ruminative reading of Joni Mitchell's "Woodstock" and, as an encore, the Shuggie Otis classic "Strawberry Letter #23."

Throughout the evening, Ziproyn impressed with his rich timbre and subtle virtuosity, maintaining listener interest even in the longer pieces, which could have bogged down in the hands of a lesser musician.

Downtown Music Gallery Newsletter 11/13/13

IVA BITTOVA / GYAN RILEY / EVAN ZIPORYN - Eviyan Live (Victo 126; Canada) Featuring Iva Bittova on voice, violin & kalimba, Gyan Riley on acoustic guitar and Evan Ziporyn on clarinet & bass clarinet. This was the first set at the Musique Actuelle de Victoriaville Festival, recorded earlier this year in May of 2013. It was also a perfect opening set for the 29th Annual Victo Fest, the beginning of the extraordinary and unique four day festival that I have attended every year since 1987. I am a longtime fan of Czech vocalist and violinist Iva Bittova who introduced to many of us at the old Knitting Factory opening for Fred Frith (& Tom Cora), whose movie, 'Step Across the Border' featured Ms. Bittova. Gyan Riley is the son of Terry Riley, who he has collaborated with and who has a couple of great discs out on the New Albion and Tzadik labels. Mr. Ziporyan is the great clarinetist and composer who has recorded several great discs for the Bang on a Can/Cantaloupe collective/label. Each member of the trio contributed songs as well as having group improvisations. Live, it was difficult to tell where the written parts ended and where the improv began. This is the magic of this music and it was in great abundance here. Anyone who has ever seen and heard Ms. Bittova in concert knows how charming she can be and on this disc the entire trio is enchanting throughout. As with all CDs on the Victo label, the sound and balance is quite perfect. What was and is special about this is that the trio are playing all acoustic instruments on a large stage, yet the music is warm and feels intimate, as if they were performing in our living room or here at DMG on a Sunday evening. If any of you out there need some warm, enticing, thoughtful and engaging music to brighten up your day, this is the disc for you. - Bruce Lee Gallanter, DMG

Boston Globe

In trio’s debut, exploratory musicians turn inward
By Jeremy Eichler, March 4, 2013

"Distilled insights of a hybrid music come of age"

read full review (PDF)

Boston Globe
 

Orchestra Underground: X10D
Daniel Combs, Audiophile Audition, January 21, 2013

Evan Ziporyn demonstrates the virtuosic possibilities of the bass clarinet, integrating his own ideas with influences ranging from Balinese gamelan to jazz to Stravinsky in his Big Grenadilla. Ziporyn, a bass clarinet virtuoso, makes special use of the lower range of this instrument’s dark rich timbre and the fact that grenadilla is the densest of all African black woods, giving this work a very “dense” feel. The work comes to a big jazzy conclusion and is, honestly, one of the best pieces for bass clarinet I have heard!

Ecumenical Concertos from the Illinois composer
Record Review: Big Grenadilla/Mumbai
By Jed Distler, Gramophone, September, 2012

This is certainly the most ambitious and fascinating music I've heard from Ziporyn; and may his compositional range and sonorous palette continue to expand and evolve at this high, even rareified level.

Evan Ziporyn talks with Molly Hunt about Bang on a Can 25th Anniversary
WFMT Relevant Tones, July 21, 2012

"most highbrow and brilliant" in New York Magazine Approval Matrix, May 14, 2012

Evan Ziporyn's electric-gamelan masterpiece "Tire Fire" at Bang on a Can's 25th Anniversary Concert, Gamelan fever sweeps the city!

New York Times

Keeping the Vision New for 25 Years: Bang on a Can Plays Evan Ziporyn and Others at Tully Hall
By ZACHARY WOOLFE, NewYork Times, May 1, 2012

The concert focused on the new, but the highlight for me was "Tire Fire," a 1994 work by Evan Ziporyn, a longtime Bang on a Can collaborator. Played by Mr. Ziporyn's ensemble called Gamelan Galak Tika — a fusion of Balinese gamelan, electric guitar, electric bass and keyboard — the work swings thrillingly between cacophony and lyricism: a portrait of cultural exchange always in flux.

The Splendid Tabla: New Indian Flavors For Orchestra
Record Review: Big Grenadilla/Mumbai
by ANASTASIA TSIOULCAS, April 17, 2012

Mumbai is "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."

Big Grenadilla, is an amazing, virtuosic showpiece for bass clarinet, played by Ziporyn himself with Rose and the BMOP. And this brief 14-minute concerto is in itself worth a serious visit. A concerto for the hulking and awkward bass clarinet, you may ask? Yes, most assuredly and delightfully so — at least as long as it's in Ziporyn's hands. Here the terrain is more like a stage at an indie rock show than a meditative landscape. At the beginning, his clarinet growls and buzzes like an electric guitar — and by the end, Ziporyn is wailing away like a rock legend, bathed in the light of the orchestra's pumping, frenetic energy. It's a whole other side of Ziporyn, a composer as variegated as the cultures he celebrates.

NPR Music A Quarter-Century Of Banging, And Still As Fresh As Ever
by ANASTASIA TSIOULCAS, April 17, 2012
 

Bang on a Can All-Stars aims its Big Beautiful Dark and Scary at adventurous rock fans
By Alexander Varty, Straight.com, April 12, 2012

Other delights include clarinetist Evan Ziporyn's comparatively languid "Music From Shadowbang", a zone that, one suspects, abuts Brooklyn on one side and Bali on the other. He also contributes impeccable arrangements of four Conlon Nancarrow player-piano studies, which sound like Futurist jazz. When these debuted in the late '40s and early '50s, they were considered unplayable by human hands, but we've obviously come a long way since then.

Evan Ziporyn of Bang on a Can All Stars Talks About the West Coast Classical Music Scene and the Evolution of the Ensemble On Its 25th Anniversary
LAist, January 17, 2012

CONCERT REVIEW: An introduction to Ziporyn in Rockport
By Jeremy Eichler, Boston Globe, July 8, 2011

MUSIC REVIEW Moved by Music of the Tropics, A Composer Moves to Them
By STEVE SMITH, New York Times, October 15, 2010

New York Times Celebrating A Gift From Bali: Delicious Confusion
By MATTHEW GUREWITSCH, New York Times, October 8, 2010

MUSIC REVIEW: Worlds Colliding but Never Clashing
By STEVE SMITH, New York Times, June 28, 2010

SFist Interviews: House in Bali's Evan Ziporyn
SFist, October 25, 2009
A zesty sample of new music from a bass clarinet
BY LAWRENCE A. JOHNSON, Miami Herald, January 19, 2009
 

Evan Ziporyn opens New Music fest with jazzy flair
South Florida Classical Review, January 18, 2009

New York Times MUSIC REVIEW | BANG ON A CAN ALL-STARS A Premiere for Terry Riley's 'Autodreamographical Tales'
By VIVIEN SCHWEITZER, New York Times, November 9, 2008
New Sounds, host John Schaefer
Episode #2513: Live Bang on a Can

Saturday, January 26, 2008
The Boston Globe MUSIC REVIEW: Maestro, is that a DJ with your orchestra?
By Jeremy Eichler, The Boston Globe, May 21, 2007
Double Happiness: The Silk Road Ensemble, Featuring Yo-Yo Ma, Plays Two Dates At The Arlington
By Charles Donelan, Santa Barbara Independent Classical Review, March 8, 2007
Review: Evan Ziporyn's Frog's Eye
By John Kelman, All About Jazz, November 27, 2006
The Boston Globe MUSIC REVIEW A delightful meeting of man and machine
By Richard Dyer, The Boston Globe, July 19, 2006
Record Review: Shadowbang - Evan Ziporyn with I Wayan Wija
By John Kelman, All About Jazz, May 9, 2006
New York Times

Weaving Western Instruments and Asian Hammers Together
Review of Evan Ziporyn concert at Zankel Hall
By Anne Midgette, New York Times, November 19, 2004

"exuberant blast of metal fireworks."

An Inspired Multi-layer Score that sounds like 'Bobby McFerrin Meets the Muppets, On Steroids'
By Ken Smith, Gramophone, September, 2003
Bang! Purr: Fusion puppetry at MIT
BY MARCIA B. SIEGEL, The Boston Phoenix, February 25, 2003
NPR Music Evan Ziporyn's 'This Is Not a Clarinet'

September 10, 2001 - Colin Berry reviews the CD This is Not a Clarinet, by Evan Ziporyn. The album offers incredible insight into the kinds of sounds the clarinet can deliver. The album has been released by Cantaloupe Music.

New York Times MUSIC REVIEW: A Pop-Rock Soul in a Traditional Body
By ANTHONY TOMMASINI, New York Times, March 28, 1996
New York Times

CLASSICAL MUSIC REVIEW; Contrasting Noise and Quiet
By JON PARELES, New York Times, May 04, 1995

Paul Dolden's "In Bed Where the Moon Was Sweating" sent Evan Ziporyn's solo clarinet darting and swooping above phalanxes of taped percussion, chorus and many more clarinets. It gave broad gestures a graceful twist.

New York Times CLASSICAL VIEW: Minimalism Pumped Up To the Max
By Edward Rothstein, New York Times, July 18, 1993
New York Times Review/Music: When All Is Synthesis, There Are No Categories
By ALEX ROSS, New York Times, January 23, 1993