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Elder Statesman of Autophysiopsychic Music Yusef Lateef
& Hand-Percussion Innovator Adam Rudolph
collaborate on a multicultural meditation
The legendary 77 year-old tenor sax innovator YUSEF LATEEF cannot hide his pride and enthusiasm when discussing 'THE WORLD AT PEACE', a new work created with master percussionist, composer and longtime collaborator ADAM RUDOLPH . 'The World At Peace' is in essence a culmination of my past fifty years' poetic and aesthetic endeavors. I call this music 'autophysiopsychic,' coming from the physical, spiritual and mental self." The new 2-disc album features a live recording of the composition's 1995 debut performance, and is jointly released on the artists' own YAL and Meta Labels. A team with impressive compositional flair, YUSEF LATEEF & ADAM RUDOLPH attempt to bridge the mind, spirit and body on this project.. Their third large-scale compositional collaboration, 'THE WORLD AT PEACE' was commissioned by Meet the Composer / Rockefeller Foundation / AT&T Program In partnership with the NEA. The 12-piece ensemble on the recording has concert presentations scheduled for the Fall of 1997, including October 17 at the Kennedy Center in Washington, DC. Dr. Lateef and Mr. Rudolph will also conduct lecture/seminars in conjunction with the tour. Bringing together diverse combinations of both cultural and creative elements, 'THE WORLD AT PEACE' takes innovative new strides into the evolution of the musical experience.
The twelve performers on 'THE WORLD AT PEACE' step up to Its challenge and deliver a moving, expressive performance. The virtuostic ensemble demonstrate their skill by their flexibility with freeform, impressive control during demanding moments, and sensitivity to aspects of different styles of "world music." Instrumentation includes harp, Western, Asian and African woodwinds, MIDI electronics, violin, cello, bass, trumpet, tuba and percussion from around the world. The hour and forty five minute long work is organized Into fifteen tracks, and features soloists Yusef Lateef (on flutes, tenor sax, and the North Indian double-reeded shenai) and Adam Rudolph (on various hand-percussion instruments including the bendir, udu drum, talking drum, thumb piano and achimevu). "Overlay," "A Feather in the Bright Sky,'' "Like a Secret Argosy" and ''Ramifications" are syncretic pieces created by the composers agreeing on form and tempo, but unaware of each other's score (with Rudolph writing the parts for six of the instruments and Lateef writing the parts for the other six instruments). The amply capable group moves easily between gently-flowing hypnotic Mideastern modal pulsing, and eerie, angular orchestral passages. Beautiful and unusual timbres are created with instrumentation and playing styles from many times and places. Like a world without borders in an ideal state of harmony, 'THE WORLD AT PEACE' embraces disparate perspectives in a complete, unified whole.
A Creative Analysis by Dr. Charles Moore
An interpretive work portraying humanistic development as expressed in the medium of autophysiopsychic music, its synergistic range and scope addresses the multicultural mode of creativity currently being expressed around the world. In addition to being highly encompassing, the composition/ensemble is delicately balanced between autophysiopsychic and written musics. Its pluralistic essence reflects the ideal state of peace between humans; thus a music which is created without borders, having only the infinite parameters of human life as a transmitter of its force. Its principal influences are to be found among various pedagogical and aesthetic considerations from many cultures worldwide. Scored for twelve autophysiopsychic and classical music performers, all are versed in several world music traditions while performing on musical instruments from many cultures.
Since the period of the fifties, Dr. Lateef, a research scholar and composer-performer, has been the earliest pioneer in the multicultural expression of autophysiopsychic music. He has recorded over sixty records which creatively, succinctly, and clearly provide a path for the new generation of "World" composers and musicians. Many, venturing forth from the general body of African American music, have gravitated toward the synergistic blend of autophysiopsychic music and contemporary orchestrations within the expressive musics of our multicultural American society and world. Most have been influenced by Dr. Lateef's poignant and carefully crafted musical works, directly and indirectly. A Professor of Music at the University of Massachusetts in Amherst, Dr. Lateef is considered to be a senior scholar in all aspects of African American musics, especially since he has been active for more that fifty years in the areas of theoretical, composition, and autophysiopsychic musics. He continues to have the scope of vision and creativity which are a fountainhead of untapped musical ideas and aesthetics in substance and spirit.
Performing and composing 'The World At Peace' as a collaborative effort with Dr. Lateef, Adam Rudolph is a multicultural autophysiopsychic music composer-hand percussionist. His work as a performer is to be considered both pioneering and masterful. While extensively performing and recording, Rudolph has presented his work in a variety of settings and with a number of the prominent multicultural performers including Don Cherry, L. Shankar, and Hassan Hakmoun. Born in Chicago in 1955, he has has been in the vanguard of the development of cross-cultural Improvisational music for over 20 years. He recently premiered his first Opera, The Dreamer, featuring Butoh master Oguri and is currently leading his own ensemble, "Adam Rudolph's Moving Pictures" which recently appeared at several major European music festivals. Both Dr. Lateef and Rudolph are to be considered as Ethnomusicology scholars and composer-performers familiar with the musical aesthetic offerings of many music traditions including their own. Additionally, they are constantly composing music for performance and have many recordings both jointly and severally.
Herb Boyd - special to the New York Amsterdam News
There is no way to know for certain where the creative genius of Yusef Lateef ends and where Adam Rudolph's begins in their composition "The World at Peace," which was given its New York premiere Saturday evening at Symphony Space. Those familiar with their works might surmise that the languid, expressively Eastern-tinged portions of the. 100-minute long composition were penned by Lateef and the engagingly percussive segments can be attributed to Rudolph.
Such speculation, however, is both futile and pointless since the piece has a seamless flow, a delightful continuity that invoked a variety of conflicting images from the first movement to the fourth.
The program notes by the composers provide a few clues about their intentions. "In composing this piece," said Lateef, whose longevity is as ageless as his music, "I explored avenues I hadn't explored before. A plant living within another plant is known as an endophyte in biology, and I relate some of these ideas to constructing melodies and counter-melodies from intervals already existing within a vertical chord."
When Rudolph says that one of his compositional tools is "cyclic verticalism" which integrates elements of West African rhythm, the two composers strike an affinity, and this confluence of rhythm and sensibility surfaced through the performance. It was particularly apparent when sections of the ensemble were isolated, in effect, paired in order to develop harmonic or melodic-intensity.
This method was evident right from the start with Lateef and Ralph Jones blending their alto flutes in such singular fashion of density that the notes were extended and deepened at the same time. Before the concert, trumpeter/flugelhornist Charles Moore indicated that "Coltrane Remembered," part of the first movement, was related to "Naima," one of Coltrane's loveliest melodies. "With the alteration of one note," Moore explained, "Yusef creates an entirely new and original composition. His music is all about structure and instrumentation."
Indeed. And a poignant example of this occurred when Moore's flugelhorn meshed with Jones's bass clarinet and Lateef's C-flute. Pulsing below this entrancing arrangement was Rudolph's relentless percussive strokes, and his hands were a blur, faster than hummingbird wings. After a chorus or two, the propulsive rhythm was in command, and drummer Hamid Drake and vibist David Johnson pushed the beat to the edge of chaos.
"I also create a certain aesthetic by assigning a group of notes to a certain instrument, exclusive of other instruments which are assigned other groups of notes," Lateef further explains in his notes. "I derived this idea from Chaos Theory, and the music that results brings to my mind the music of the Banda, a group of people from Central Africa." Again, this approach is significant and converges with Rudolph's polymetric concept and his penchant for drumming styles and techniques of West Africa.
At the end of the second movement, all of these notions congeal and reach a powerful crescendo that echoes Coltrane's "Africa Brass," only here it's a concoction of strings, udu horns, batas and an electric guitar. The powerful rage gave way to lush serenity after intermission and the sprigs of beauty blossomed in Marcie Brown's resonant cello, in Jones's pretty obbligatos on soprano saxophone, in Kenn Cox's pointillistic forays at the piano, in Johnson's dazzling marimba and most compellingly in Lateef's haunting flute,
At the core of "The World at Peace" is a blues sensibility. It is an orchestral redemption song that celebrates world music, a passionate tone poem about our human drama, our endless possibilities.
On a note of seriousness, in the absence of efforts by the American system of education to provide quality multicultural scholarship to audiences of musical culture, we have realized that the public appreciates the enhancement of their knowledge concerning the historical, psychological, and linguistic development of such musical compositions. Since we have assumed the role of scholar-artists, we are interested in providing the service of pre- and post-concert lectures or seminars on topics central to the performance of 'The World At Peace'. A list of multicultural topics include the subjects of musical aesthetics and pluralism, matters of pedagogy, cross-cultural perspectives in Ethnomusicology, instrumental organology, and multicultural autophysiopsychic music, etc. Should you detect any significant interest in your area or your audience, please contact us to work out the appropriate booking details.
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