Blaise Siwula - Saxophones/Clarinets adherent of free original music in any medium or genre
John Gilbert- guitarist and musical innovationist, serialist of microtones & death metal guitarist.
This partnership began via the internet. John Gilbert guitar is a resident of Tampa, Fl and Blaise Siwula alto/tenor sax and clarinet is in Brooklyn, NY.
They met at Blaise’s studio in Brooklyn with two microphones and a HD recorder and performed the concepts that had been inferred via email and phone calls.
Blaise Siwula saxophones & clarinets (b. 1950) has studied various art forms through the year from music as a teenager (began studying saxophone) then poetry as a young man followed with visual arts (MFA Wayne State University) while maintaining a connection with and integrating music (specifically-improvisation).
The result after 40 years of improvising is an outside–inside style of playing that infuses sound art with spontaneous melody.
A resident of NYC (since 1989) saxophonist Blaise Siwula has worked with a wide variety of creative musicians in the Jazz-Free Jazz- Free and New Music scene including - Cecil Taylor, Tan Dun, Katsuyuki Itakura, Toshi Makihara, William Parker, Luther Thomas, Donald Miller, Dom Minasi, Peter Kowald, Perry Robinson, Bern Nix, Sten Hostfalt, Vincent Chancey, Paul Hession, Bob Meyer, Borah Bergman, Sonny Simmons, Sten Hostfalt & Carsten Radtke
Blaise has performed throughout the USA, Canada, Mexico , Europe (England, Germany, Portugal, Poland, The Netherlands, Slovenia, Croatia, Switzerland, Denmark),
Asia (Korea, Japan, Thailand, Hong Kong, Singapore and the Philippines).
Discography includes releases on CIMP Records, Cadence Jazz Records, Konnex Records, Cappuccinonet.com Records, Re:Konstruct and NoFrillsMusic.com
Blaise also curates the C.o.M.A. improvised music series at ABc No-Rio in NYC (1998-2011)
Additional information can be found at-
Ken Weiss JazzImprov on Big Hearts cd Blaise Siwula and Katsyuki Itakura
“Blaise Siwula ia a veteran of the downtown New York City avant garde scene, known for his mean alto saxophone but also able to shine on clarinet and tenor which he demonstrates on this remarkable recording. He is a master of extended technique, utilizing all elements of his horns to probe harmonies and explore potentially rich areas while never neglecting the song’s imbedded melody.”
Ken Waxman from his review in All About Jazz NYC on the Fulgornatus CD
“Employing a light vibrato and constricted tone, Siwula’s playing is memorable in that he gets his message across by implying rather than
wallowing in emotion.”
John Gilbert Guitarist, Artist, Innovator and Media Producer,
"I would like to get more into filmmaking which is a very high form of art. Currently I'm working on a few projects that are very important to me: The 27 Disc Set of Art Music/Avant Garde Composition in the vein of Stockhausen or John Cage although entirely new. This set of music is called Anonmist - Art. I'm also working on a book to be finished this year hopefully, which explains in detail the theory from that album of works. I have paintings and digital photographs/manipulated images which I'm planning on doing an art show combining musical experience of listening and the visual aspects and how they form a unity and are not separate."
John started playing guitar very young, went to guitar lessons his Mom took him to and went from there. Became gifted at guitar and won several contests. Then going to college in Tampa, FL mentored under Robert Helps, a great classical pianist and composer of Symphonies. He also spent many hours studying scores from modernist and avant garde composers in the library and through interlibrary loan. Messiaen began to show him the idea of 3 dimensionalizing music and time and how to take colors into harmonic sound. This esoteric knowledge began a life long quest to find answers to microtonality and natural phenomenon.
Making new steps in microtonal improvisation, John Gilbert premiered his new wavelength / geometrical microtone electric guitar (Hondo II) at a COMA event in New York City. COMA is a very well known, long time established avant garde session hosted by Blaise Siwula (sax, clarinet). Following this landmark performance, Blaise and John recorded a duo album completely improvised without any planning prior to it. The group's name is Fulgornatus and will soon be available for purchase. Recurring themes in all of John Gilbert's musical works whether it be improvising on piano or electric guitar or simply painting art are numbers as aesthetic properties, abstraction of nature, serialism in music, chromaticism and geometry. Other ideas that appear are relativity, microtonal harmony, color light scales, improvisation, the exploration of dissonance, and comedy.
OCT 30 2010 Review All About Jazz NYC Ken Waxman
Continuing his series of duets with guitarists, which
has included Dom Minasi and Carsten Radtke,
saxophonist and clarinetist Blaise Siwula stays true to
his free-improv ethos on this date with Tampa, Fla.-
resident John Gilbert, who claims an equal fascination
with microtonalism and Death Metal.
The latter style stays unexplored on the eight
spontaneous tracks here, as Siwula, curator of the
C.O.M.A. series, demonstrates the adaptability that
allows him to improvise with nearly anyone at those
weekly sessions. Employing a light vibrato and
constricted tone, Siwula’s playing is memorable in that
he gets his message across by implying rather than
wallowing in emotion. Following the same approach,
Gilbert is sure to disappoint errant Heavy Metalers,
deliberately turning his amp down to near-acoustic
properties, adding spidery fills or finger-picked licks
to Siwula’s note stuttering and reed biting.
“Turned Time in Retrograde” for instance, finds
Siwula’s saxophone honks and flattement accelerating
to a staccato interface, with Gilbert’s dobro-like
twangs first chasing then complementing the reed
work. Warmer-toned on clarinet, the veteran player’s
glissandi stretch upwards to a roughened lyricism that
perfectly matches the guitarist’s slurred fingering and
ringing strokes. When the clarinet’s melodic cadences
on “People Never Met Passing” are met with an
obbligato of heavier down strokes from the guitarist,
the enigmatic title is definitely negated.
Reversed as well is the sentiment described in the
band’s name, which roughly translates as “ornate
lightning”. Siwula’s and Gilbert’s interaction does
result in lightning-quick musical illumination but their
impressive, bare-bones presentation is anything but