Electro-Magnetic Trans-Personal Orchestra | Electro-Magnetic Trans-Personal Orchestra

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Jazz: Free Jazz Avant Garde: Structured Improvisation Moods: Type: Experimental
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Electro-Magnetic Trans-Personal Orchestra

by Electro-Magnetic Trans-Personal Orchestra

This nine-piece ensemble, with strings, woodwinds, guitar, accordion, and tuba, performs the structured improv compositions of Aaron Bennett, an active composer/saxophonist of the vital San Francisco Bay Area experimental music scene.
Genre: Jazz: Free Jazz
Release Date: 

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1. C
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19:35 $0.99
2. D
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11:17 $0.99
3. E
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11:57 $0.99
4. B
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4:04 $0.99
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ABOUT THIS ALBUM


Album Notes
This nine-piece ensemble, with strings, woodwinds, guitar, accordion, and tuba, performs the structured improv compositions of Aaron Bennett, an active composer/saxophonist of the vital San Francisco improv scene.

Saxophonist and composer Aaron Bennett has been performing music professionally as an active part of the jazz and improvised music communities for over 15 years. Born in Long Beach California, he was introduced to jazz and the Avant-garde at a young age by his mother who was both an abstract painter and avid jazz fan. He has studied music at Cal State Long Beach, where he received a B.A. in music performance and at California Institute of the Arts where he studied composition with Wadada Leo Smith and received an M.F.A. in music. Besides Western Classical Music and Jazz, he has studied the music of West Africa, Indonesia (Balinese and Javanese Gamelan), South and North India, and Traditional Japanese Gagaku music. He has performed throughout the United States and abroad including performances with Wadada Leo Smith, Peter Kowald, John Butcher, Marco Eneidi, Henry Kaiser, Francis Wong, Oluyemi Thomas, Donald Robinson, Gianni Gebbia. He currently resides in Oakland, California, where he is an active part of the improvised music scene. for more info: http://aarondavidbennett.com


Reviews


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Jerry Kranitz, Aural innovations

energetic and adventurous performances
Electro-Magnetic Trans-Personal Orchestra is a San Francisco based ensemble led by Aaron Bennett on woodwinds and drinking straw and augmented by Mark Chung on violin, Jeff Hobbs on violin, Merlin Coleman on cello, Adam Lane on cello, George Cremaschi on bass, Joe Sabella on tuba, Dan Cantrell on accordian, and John Finkbeiner on guitar and alto saxophone. (I'm not sure what the drinking straw does but according to Bennett's web site he has recorded an entire CD with it.) The music was composed using a notation system developed by Bennett which allows him to give musical directions while still allowing the musicians to improvise within a given structure (see Bennett's web site for examples).

The CD consists of four tracks simply titled "C", "D", "E" and "B". At 20 minutes "C" is the longest. The most striking aspect of the music is the way the rhythmic pulse lumbers along while the ensemble performs in an elusively busy chamber style. "D" begins as a jazz piece with the violin filling what in standard jazz would be a horn role. But it soon transitions back into a more classically oriented chamber style with the violins still playing the lead, briefly supported by an operatic chanting voice. "E" and "B" are the most interesting, varied, and lively of the four pieces, featuring more energetic and adventurous performances by the musicians. On "E" the music still resides within a classical orchestra framework, while on "B" it's more jazz based with hints of avant-rock. Overall I hear lots of good ideas and enjoyed the music though repeated listens failed to open the music up further or reveal any hidden subtleties.

Frank Rubolino, One Final Note

It is an exciting recording with substantial depth...
The San Francisco Bay Area is increasingly becoming a haven for creative improvised musicians who keep pushing the envelope. Aaron Bennett is a fine example of these searching individualists on the West Coast who have a relentless drive for the new. Bennett concentrates on woodwinds and directs this advanced group through involved passages and a labyrinth of dark corridors built into his four compositions. He used "a musical notation system for structured improvisation" in evoking the austere beauty that flows from the group. The name for his orchestra is unwieldy, but it also has a very unusual configuration of instruments to complement Bennett's reeds—six strings, tuba, and accordion. Bennett plays with a fully unstructured hand while the two violinists Mark Chung and Jeff Hobbs and the two cellists Merlin Coleman and Adam Lane weave dense fabrics of starkness. Adding to the heaviness at the double bottom end is bassist George Cremaschi and tuba player Joe Sabella, who set the brooding tonality that identifies the recording. The haunting tones from Dan Cantrell's accordion and stabbing guitar lines from John Finkbeiner enter at intermittent points to punctuate the involved set.

While the selections have advanced intensity built into their loose structure, the orchestra deviates somewhat on occasion with a more pronounced sense of droning rhythm that backdrops the fine soloing. An unidentified vocalist uses the voice as an instrument to cast a short eerie spell on "D". Bennett continues his exploration of the group's creative energy on each selection. Picking selected musicians to interact and then bringing the entire ensemble together in one collective voice, he paints an abstract painting of dark colors with occasional pastel shades cropping up at unexpected moments, such as when rhythmic vibrations underpin the open woodwind solos. But mostly, the Electro-Magnetic Trans-Personal Orchestra is operating in a fully unstructured environment of freelance expression. It is an exciting recording with substantial depth and one that allows for new gems of originality to be uncovered with each new listening.

Rotcod Zzaj, Improvijazzation Nation

MOST HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!
This (very) interesting CD, in from Pax Recordings, features compositions by Aaron Bennett, performed by a nine-piece ensemble from San Francisco. There is much more string involvement than many recordings from Pax; 2 violins (Mark Chung, Jeff Hobbs), 2 cellos (Merlin Coleman, Adam Lane), & guitar (John Finkbeiner). Aaron plays woodwinds and drinking straw, joined by George Cremaschi on bass, Joe Sabella on tuba & Dan Cantrell on accordion. Bennett's compositions are texturally rich; we reviewed him in issue #47, & are still impressed with the high quality recording! The pieces are not strictly "improv", as evidenced by track 2, which features a pretty straight-ahead jazz bass line, though th' players certainly don't restrict themselves, playing all around that line... it gives th' tune a nice, almost danceable feel, while retaining a clear sense of (playing) freedom. Listeners who dig on the new, the unexperienced will be most inclined to agree with me when I declare this to be MOST HIGHLY RECOMMENDED. I found this to be highly intricate & a definite KEEPER!

John Gore


A cross between free jazz improv and modern classical. Not so free that there is nothing to hold on to. Very musical. I want to hear more.