Every Morning, A History

Brooklyn-based composer/percussionist Aaron Siegel, best known in improvising circles for his work with Anthony Braxton, releases his ensemble's first recording, Every Morning, a History. Joined by Emily Manzo (piano), Matt Bauder (clarinet), Jessica Pavone (viola), Leah Paul (flute) and Sabrina Schroeder (conductor), the recording features two compositions: A Diminished Thing (solo piano) and Every Morning, a History (mixed ensemble).

This debut album on Peacock Recordings features Siegel's exploration of transition-less composition. "From a compositional standpoint, transitions pose a troubling dilemma," explains Siegel. "They can be anticipated and are also radically sudden. I wanted to see how eliminating transitional material would affect the listening experience."

Siegel runs "the out-musical gamut, comfortable in contemporary freeish jazz or the most abstract experimental music around," (CityPaper). His most recent recording Memorize the Sky (2007), documents a collaboration with Zach Wallace and Matt Bauder. The Cabinet (2006), a solo percussion CD, was praised as an "exquisite set that has a meditative ease and grace," (The Wire). As a composer, the New York-based chamber ensemble Till By Turning commissioned and performed his Chalk Line (for piano, bassoon, violin, viola and cello). In May 2008, he will premiere a stage work for string quartet and four actors at the Chocolate Factory Teater. As a performer, he has shared the stage with Anthony Braxton, Fred-Lonberg-Holm, Scott Rosenberg, Jason Roebke, Nate Wooley, Chris Peck, Stephen Rush and Sean Meehan. He is a member of Memorize the Sky, The Anthony Braxton Sextet, White, Blue Yellow and Clouds, The Pavones and Assembly. For more details, visit www.aaronsiegel.net.

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"From a compositional standpoint transitions pose a troubling dilemma. Even when I can anticipate that one musical section is coming to an end and another is about the begin, the actual moment of change, which is often just a split second, always feels radical. I don't mind this reaction, so while I often write music with cohesion in mind, I often solve problems by omitting material that might facilitate smooth transitions. These two pieces examine different ways of relating to a transition-less form.

I started A Diminished Thing while living in Vermont in the summer of 2004. The forests in Vermont are thick with deep greens in the summertime and tall canopies block out most of the sun. During several long walks through the shadowy forest, I was surprised to find myself suddenly in a field of only low-growing ferns and filled with the bright light of midday. A Diminished Thing, which relates to the perception of change I experienced in Vermont, consists of seven sections, each with a fairly homogenous identity, quickly juxtaposed without transitions. The title is from a poem by Robert Frost.

Every Morning, A History was composed in short phrases over the Fall and Winter of 2005-06. I was very interested in forgetting the material I had written the day before so I could start from scratch as much as possible. When I finally stitched all of the material together, I discovered that the quick and continual passage of each short section into the next creates a dramatically shifting context from which to understand how all of the phrases relate to each other. When change is in abundance it becomes a stabilizing force. "

- Aaron Siegel,

Every Morning A History

Aaron Siegel Ensemble
Every Morning, A History

Aaron Siegel Ensemble
Emily Manzo - piano
Matt Bauder - clarinet
Jessica Pavone - viola
Leah Paul - flute
Aaron Siegel - vibraphone
Sabrina Schroeder - conductor

".arresting, meditative work.illuminating the listener's environment."

- Signal to Noise

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