Ken Zuckerman & Friends | Modal Tapestry

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World: World Fusion Jazz: World Fusion Moods: Type: Improvisational
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Modal Tapestry

by Ken Zuckerman & Friends

"Modal Tapestry weaves together threads of melodies from around the world into a tapestry of contrasting styles: east/west, classical/popular, composed/improvised and traditional/avante garde. The result is a truly unique listening experience!"
Genre: World: World Fusion
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
1. Introduction
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4:12 $0.99
2. Wandering - Part I
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3:57 $0.99
3. Wandering - Part II
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2:32 $0.99
4. Improvisation
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2:12 $0.99
5. Improvisation Sa-Ni-Sa
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5:24 $0.99
6. The Nat Shuffle
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7:49 $0.99
7. Sarod - Improvisation in Raga Nat Bhairo
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4:12 $0.99
8. Tabla Solo
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3:23 $0.99
9. Gattam Solo & Tabla / Gattam Duet
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2:57 $0.99
10. Jam
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1:54 album only
11. Question / Answer
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2:54 $0.99
12. Intro to A Heroe's Welcome
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1:58 album only
13. A Heroe's Welcome
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6:52 $0.99
14. Jhala a la Spagna
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2:29 $0.99
15. Wandering - Part III
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4:31 $0.99
Available as MP3, MP3 320, and FLAC files.


Album Notes
Ken Zuckerman, sarod,
Anindo Chatterjee, tabla,
Christoph Grund, piano
Benno Trautmann, french horn
Keiju Nakajima, guitar
Jalalu-Kalvert Nelson, trumpet & percussion
Diego Pagin, violin
Susanne Kaldor, violin
Jean-Eric Soucy, viola
Markus Tillier, cello
Wolfgang Güttler, bass
Annette Bauer, tanpura
Monika Hamlascher, tanpura


Track 1 Introduction 4’12
2 Wandering – Part I 3’57
3 Wandering – Part II 2’32
4 Improvisation 2’12
5 Improvisation Sa-Ni-Sa 5’24
6 The Nat Shuffle 7’49
7 Sarod & Tabla - Improvisation in Raga Nat Bhairo 4’12
8 Tabla solo 3’23
9 Gattam solo & Tabla - Gattam duet 2’57
10 Jam 1’54
11 Question / Answer 2’54
12 Intro to A Hero’s Welcome 1’58
13 A Hero’s Welcome 6’52
14 Jhala a la Spagna 2’29
15 Wandering – Part III 4’31

Total Time 57’26


MODAL TAPESTRY I, composed especially for Germany’s SWR (southwest radio station), had it’s premiere performance at the cultural event “von vier bis vier” (from 4 to 4 - 24 hours of cultural events), which took place in Karlsruhe on May 27, 2000. The inspiration for the project came from Benno Trautmann, a member of the SWR Symphony Orchestra of Baden-Baden and Freiburg. With a strong interest in both classical western music and experimental and improvised styles, Mr. Trautmann asked Ken Zuckerman if it would be possible to create a composition for a mixed ensemble of musicians from diverse backgrounds, which would feature a blend of both western/eastern, and composed/improvised sections. Mr. Zuckerman, a composer and performer with extensive training in eastern and western classical music, readily agreed to the project.

The enjoyment and enthusiasm of the musicians during the preparation and performance of the premier performance, in combination with its huge success with the audience, led to the decision to continue the crossover project. In July 2001 the ensemble performed Modal Tapestry I at the Tent Music Festival in Freiburg, Germany. The SWR also recorded the concert, which has now resulted in this CD production.

In addition, the SWR commissioned Ken Zuckerman to compose Modal Tapestry II, which had its premier performance in Karlsruhe on June 29, 2002. This work included both additional guest musicians and several compositions and arrangements by pianist Christoph Grund. Modal Tapestry II was performed again at the Rheinfall Festifal in Switzerland in June 2007.


Tapestry - a form of textile art, woven together and decorated with different kinds of threads. Modal Tapestry I is a composition that weaves together musical threads from diverse cultures into an artistic whole. The common thread, which exists in almost all music traditions - east and west - is mode. The concept of mode is at the core of many eastern music traditions - guiding a musician through the process of making melodies, both while composing and improvising. Mode was also a very important aspect of western art music during the Middle Ages and Renaissance. Although in later times (including our modern day period), the active use of modal ideas is less prevalent, the echo of this earlier practice can still be heard in many styles of music that we listen to every day.

The performance of Modal Tapestry I gives listeners a chance to hear modally conceived music in different contexts and configurations, from fully composed and arranged sections for ensemble to sections giving the musicians more space for solos and improvisation. The musicians taking part in the performance, coming from diverse countries like India, Japan, Canada, Hungary, Rumania, Italy, Germany and the USA, also add to the rich weave of the tapestry.

The Composition and performance was such a success that the Radio SWR commissioned Ken Zuckerman to compose “Modal Tapestry II”, which had its premier performance in Karlsruhe in 2002. Modal Tapestry II both developed musical concepts initiated in the first Modal Tapestry and also broke new ground.
Once again, the central concept of Modal Tapestry II is that melodic modes, existing all over the world in music styles of the past and present, can form a continuous thread which brings musicians, composers and audiences together in a special way. The juxtapositions of “composition / improvisation”, “ancient / modern”, “classical / popular”, “east / west” and “solo / ensemble”, all interacted to make Modal Tapestry II a unique listening experience!
Ken’s compositions and arrangements for Modal Tapestry II were complimented by pianist Christoph Grund, who contributed arrangements and compositions for the “classical” string section of the ensemble. In addition, guest appearances by medieval singer Dominique Vellard and Dhrupad singer Amelia Cuni added a vocal element to the performance. Modal Tapestry II had its Swiss premier at the Rheinfall festival in June 2007.


Ken Zuckerman is internationally acclaimed as one of the finest sarod virtuosos performing today. He has completed over 30 years of training under the rigorous discipline of India’s legendary sarodist, Ustad Ali Akbar Khan. His thorough training in both western and eastern music performance, composition and improvisation, has also enabled him to participate in a wide range of classical and experimental ensembles.

Anindo Chatterjee (tabla), and is one of the leading tabla players of India today. He started his training at the age of five years under the famous music teacher Gyan Prakash Ghosh. Anindo Chatterjee has performed worldwide as a soloist as well accompanying the most celebrated masters of classical Indian music including Ali Akbar Khan and Ravi Shankar.

Benno Trautmann (French Horn), has played French horn in the SWR Symphony Orchestra Baden-Baden and Freiburg since 1981. He is greatly interested in “world music”, improvisational music and contemporary compositions. He has performed in various ensembles for contemporary music such as the “Ictus” in Brussels, Belgium.

Christoph Grund (piano) is a composer and pianist living in Berlin, Germany. He has appeared at all of the most significant music festivals, performing in Carnegie Hall and in the Berlin Philharmonie, as well as with such renowned orchestras as the DSO and the symphony orchestras of the German SWR and SR radio stations.

Keiju Nakajima (guitar), is a well-known performer at “world music” festivals, including the festival he co-founded in Wakayama, Japan. He has recorded several solo albums, toured with various ensembles and has performed on the radio in Japan. He lives in Japan and Thailand.

Jalalu-Kalvert Nelson (trumpet and percussion), studied trumpet and composition under John Eaton, Iannis Xenakis and Gunther Schuller. As a composer, he has received numerous grants in the USA and in Europe as well as many commissions for compositions, including for the Oklahoma Symphony and the Kronos Quartett. He now lives in Switzerland.

Diego Pagin (violin) studied the violin in Lausanne, Switzerland, Vienna, Austria and under Tibor Varga in Detmold, Germany. He has been the concert-master of the SWR Symphony Orchestra Baden-Baden and Freiburg since 1987 and has toured extensively as a soloist worldwide and has made numerous recordings for CDs, radio and television.

Susanne Kaldor (violin) studied at the Frans Liszt Academy of Music in Budapest under Snitkovsky, Kapas and Kurtàg and attended master classes wutg –Vladimir Spivakov. In 1983 she became the concert-master of the Budapest Symphony Orchestra and she has been a member of the SWR Symphony Orchestra Baden-Baden and Freiburg since 1986.

Jean-Eric Soucy a native of Québec, enjoys a growing reputation in Europe and North America as a soloist and chamber musician. In his position as principal violist with the Radio Symphony Orchestra Baden-Baden and Freiburg (SWR), he tours the world and makes recordings for Sony Classical, Hänssler and EMI.

Markus Tillier (cello), studied under Franco Rossi, William Pleeth and Andre Navarra, among others, and has taken part in projects with various “new music” ensembles. Markus Tillier has been a member of the SWR Symphony Orchestra Baden-Baden and Freiburg since 1994. He lives in Freiburg, Germany.

Wolfgang Güttler (double-bass), was a member of the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra from 1975 to 1985, when he became a professor in Cologne, Germany. Since 1989 he has been principal double-bass of the SWR Symphony Orchestra Baden-Baden and Freiburg, and has been a professor in Karlsruhe since 1991.

Monika Hamlascher (tanpura) and Annette Bauer (tanpura), have both studied classical Indian music with Ken Zuckerman at the Ali Akbar College of Music, in Basel, Switzerland.

The CD Cover Artwork
The image on the cover of this CD was generated by Alexander Lauterwasser. His fascinating series of so-called “Wasserklang Bilder” (water sound pictures) are created by the following process: the sound vibrations of musical instruments are first picked by a microphone and then transmitted to a container of water. The water responds to the music vibrations with its own kind of physical waves which then interact
with one another and cause series of patterns to appear on the waters’ surface. The patterns become visible when subjected to specific light sources and are then photographed. The image on the cover is actually a moment of this “visible” sound of the Sarod. For more information on this unique phenomenon please visit
the website:

Ken Zuckerman & Friends
Modal Tapestry I

C 2000 Ken Zuckerman
P 2009 Living Music Traditions in cooperation with Südwestrundfunk
LMT CD3009

All rights reserved

Editing & Mastering Klaus-Dieter Hesse
CD Cover: Alexander Lauterwasser
CD design: Stefan Witschi


to write a review

Gil Medovoy

Modal Tapestry - Ken Zuckerman & Friends
An incredible wide spectrum of music. The most complex musical project that turns out a musical TRIUMPH!
My favorite recording by this GREAT artist!