Wayne Horvitz Displays Both Compositional and Improvisational Virtuosity on Two New Releases


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Songlines' Way Out East Highlights Horvitz's Gravitas Quartet While Tzadik's Whispers, Hymn and a Murmur Features His Compositions Performed By Koehne Quartet

Between February and June of 2006, pianist and composer Wayne Horvitz will release two highly distinctive recordings that demonstrate the breadth and depth of his musical vision. On June 13, Songlines Recordings will release Way Out East, featuring the Gravitas Quartet, Horvitz' new improvising chamber ensemble. On Way Out East the group, comprised of four uniquely distinctive players of new-music, jazz and improvised composition, offers up a blend of classically poised and jazzily exuberant pieces that define new parameters of contemporary music. Joining Horvitz in the Gravitas Quartet are cellist Peggy Lee, bassoonist Sara Schoenbeck, and trumpeter Ron Miles.

Way Out East accentuates Horvitz's gift as a composer, a strength that is emphasized on Whispers, Hymns and a Murmur, which was released on Tzadik Records in February. Since the late 1980's Horvitz has been composing for various classical music ensembles, an exploration that he continues on this work, which includes the debut of his first composition for string quartet and improviser as well as several movements from his 1989 / 2001 composition, Mountain Language. The pieces are performed by the “contagiously contemporary" Koehne Quartet, led by Joanna Lewis, with guest soloist Eyvind Kang on viola and electronic processing from Horvitz.

“The CDs are two sides of the same coin," explains Horvitz. “Whispers is mostly about writing - very little improvisation - and it is essentially a classical CD, with pieces that could be played by any string quartet," explains Horvitz. “Way Out East“ is predominantly about the improvising, and the specific players are integral to the music. The Gravitas release is about the band, while Whispers is about the pieces."

For additional information, visit www.songlines.com.

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