With NOTES ARE RAIN, TIMBRE IS SNOW, shakuhachi master Jeffrey Lependorf joins Chemical Composition for an ethereal, improvised musical journey. Adding shakuhachi (traditional Japanese bamboo flute)—and Chinese xiao and bawu bamboo flutes—to the trio of piano, guitar and percussion, Lependorf’s Zen-infused avant-garde aesthetic marries seamlessly with the subtle improvised chamber music of Chemical Composition. Long tones gently weaving in and out of Western tunings, combined with the use of breath and gentle bends, provide the perfect counterpart to the delicate clouds of notes, restrained rhythms and shifting melodic fields created by Chemical Composition.
Chemical Composition joins the ranks of those committed to making a musical statement outside of traditional harmony and melody. The trio consists of pianist Constance Cooper, percussionist John Cacciatore, and electric guitarist Tom Desisto—musicians well versed in the classical traditions of harmony and melody, who nonetheless focus on creating an alternate musical experience. Improvising musicians have always referred to what they do as “having musical conversations.” Their musical explorations with guest artist Lependorf result in some very special convesations: Zen meditation meets improvised chamber music in this haunting recording.
NOTES ARE RAIN, TIMBRE IS SNOW captures live, unedited improvisations, all recorded on a single summer day in Woodstock, NY. More on the musicians:
JOHN CACCIATORE—After attending the Westchester Conservatory of Music, the percussionist John Cacciatore proceeded with a long and diverse musical life that has played a major part in the development of his signature arrhythmic style. Along with live concert performance, summer theater, and studio work, he has been a partner in recording and production with Steve Katz, the Grammy and Emmy nominee Peter Denenberg, and the Grammy winner Rory Young. Also known throughout the New York area as a vocalist, songwriter, guitarist, and choir singer, he has spent more than a decade volunteering his time and musical talent comforting hospice, nursing home, and hospital patients, leading him to write, produce, record, and donate a collection of songs for hospice organizations entitled Behind Sacred Walls.
CONSTANCE COOPER—composer/improviser, began working as an improviser with the First Avenue Ensemble at Merkin Hall, Princeton University, and The Kitchen in the 1990s. She then received first prize in the 2002 Gustav Mahler Competition (Austria) for her Acrobat, a double concerto with improvised solo violin and cello parts. A commission from the American Composers Forum led to her multi-movement Coming From Us, with new string-instrument hand-positions, bows, and notation. Her improvisatory pieces for organ, synthesizer, and bass, Repaying Sin-Driven Senators by Not Thinking About Them, were completed during a residency at Music Omi. She received her PhD in composition from Princeton in 2003.
TOM DESISTO—is a composer, producer, sound designer, guitarist, arranger, and audio engineer. His credits include two Emmy nominations plus an art director’s award, and range from serious music, jazz, rock, pop, dance, and children’s records to music for film, advertising, and theater. He created a recorded score for The Room of My Life, a theater piece based on the poems of Anne Sexton. Tom collaborated with the composer Geoffrey Armes to create another recorded score, Golden Harp, for the Martha Graham School of Contemporary Dance, where Desisto and Armes also improvised live in performance, playing midi guitar and acoustic piano. He frequently contributes music to the Linda Diamond/Anna Sokolow Dance Theater in Woodstock, NY. He has lent his talents to a variety of clients including CBS Television, Jonathan Demme, Ben E. King, NASA, Mattel Toys, and Children’s Television Workshop.
JEFFREY LEPENDORF—composer/performer: his operas and chamber music fuse unabashed lyricism with deep literary and historic exploration and a pervasive wit. As a performer, he is a certified master of—and creator of a new repertoire for—the shakuhachi (a traditional Japanese bamboo flute), and was given the honorific “Koku” (“empty nothingness”) by Kinko shakuhachi master Yoshinobu Taniguchi. More recently he has extended his performing repertoire to include a variety of other Asian bamboo flutes, including the Chinese bawu and xiao, and the Korean tanso. His music has been performed around the globe, literally: a recording of his Night Pond for solo shakuhachi was launched into space in the shuttle Atlantis on May 15, 1997 and remained for a year aboard the Russian space station Mir. Lependorf received a doctorate in music composition from Columbia University in 1991 and serves currently as Director of the Music Omi International Music Residency Program.