Born and raised in Newark, NJ Tyshawn Sorey blends composition and improvisation across a variety of styles and genres. As an instrumentalist, he is known for his skillful open, groove-oriented, and through-composed forms and for his virtuosity on drums, piano, and trombone. The International Contemporary Ensemble, Spektral Quartet, and TAK Ensemble have performed his compositions, which integrate African diasporic, Western classical, and avant-garde musical forms. As a bandleader, he has released four critically acclaimed recordings. The most recent, Alloy (Pi, 2014), features a half-hour-long work and explores extremes of sonic sparseness and density. He has been selected as a Danish International Visiting Artist (2013) and for the Other Minds Residency (2012). He has lectured on composition and improvisation at Columbia University, Banff Workshop in Jazz and Creative Music, and Hochschule fur Musik Koln, among other institutions. In 2015, he will appear with his trio at Rotterdam's North Sea Jazz Festival and NYC's Village Vanguard.
What are the creative challenges you face as an artist?
"Logically extending my musical upbringing, my creative output relies on the convergence of myriad performance traditions. This type of work, however, presents its own set of challenges. As my work synthesizes a wide spectrum of genres and, simultaneously, contests extant aesthetic constructions of place; it is a considerable undertaking to garner greater visibility for its performance and reception. I aim to carve out significantly more time for composition, practice, and promotion, activities that are all fundamental to presenting and advancing the vitality and visibility of my work. In addition, it is my hope to publish musical scores, recordings, and written literature on my music to make it more known and knowable to a wider public. Finally, I seek to contribute to creative excellence by balancing improvisation and formal structure through a body of work that is at once personal, direct, and visceral."
DMA Alumnus Jeff Talman recently published a New York Times article, "Birds of New York: A Soundscape," which traces the relationship of birds and birdsong with his artwork, including his recent sound installation at St. Paul's, "When Soaring Sings."
The article was published on June 13th in the Times "Op-Ed Opinionator-Menagerie" series online, and was featured in print in the "Week in Review" section on Sunday, June14.
You can read the full article here, which includes a sound excerpt and an animation by Lilli Carre.
Columbia University Music Department graduate and undergraduate students, alumni, and faculty had an incredible year in 2015! Below is a partial listing of some of the highlights of the year.
Congratulations to everyone!
GRADUATE STUDENTS AND ALUMNI APPOINTED TO ACADEMIC POSITIONS AND POSTDOCTORAL FELLOWSHIPS
Nili Belkind (PhD, Ethnomusicology, 2014) was appointed to a two-year Illinois Program for Research in the Humanities-Mellon Post-Doctoral Fellowship in the Humanities, at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Eric Chasalow (Composition DMA alumnus) is Dean of the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences at Brandeis University
Alessandra Ciucci (GS alumna and former Mellon postdoctoral fellow in Music) has been appointed Assistant Professor of Ethnomusicology at Columbia.
The Department of Music warmly congratulates our Class of 2015 Graduates! We wish you all every success on the road ahead!
Yeana Lee (Departmental Honors)
Mitchell Veith (Departmental Honors)
SCHOOL OF GENERAL STUDIES (Music Majors)
Audrey Amsellem (Departmental Honors)
BARNARD COLLEGE (Music Majors)
Courtney Craig (Ethnomusicology)
Sophie Lewis (Ethnomusicology)
Cecile Urmenyhazi (Ethnomusicology)
GRADUATE STUDENTS (GSAS)
Jonathan "Toby" King
DMA in Composition
Sophia "Zosha" di Castri
The Department of Music warmly congratulates Nina Young, DMA student in Composition, who has just been awarded the Frederic A. Juilliard/Walter Damrosch Rome Prize in Musical Composition!
For a century the Rome Prize, awarded by the American Academy in Rome, has been one of the greatest honors in the world of composition. The winners of these prizes represent "the leading edge of contemporary American scholarship and creativity" as Academy President Mark Robbins notes.
George Lewis, Case Professor of American Music, has been elected a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. Among the members are some of the world's most accomplished scholars, scientists, writers, artists, and civic, corporate, and philanthropic leaders: see the complete list of 2015 Fellows here and the press release here.