Morphic Resonances

Music composed by Adam Rudolph

META 021
release date - 10.20.17

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Album Notes | Go: Organic Orchestra | Other Meta CD's | Concert Bookings | Meta Records

... morphic resonances of sound infuse us,
reaching across both geographic regions and historic and future time.


Compositions by Adam Rudolph

1. Morphic Resonances (2013) 13:18
Momenta String Quartet
Emilie-Anne Gendron, Violin
Alex Shiozaki, Violin
Stephanie Griffin, Viola
Michael Haas, Cello

2. Syntactic Adventures (2016) 13:12
in Memoriam Yusef Lateef
Momenta String Quartet

3. Garden, Ashes (2017) 8:55
Kaoru Watanabe- C flute and Noh kan flute
Marco Cappelli - acoustic guitar and electronics

4. Strange Thought (2016) 2:45
Sana Nagano - violin

5. Orbits (2014) 10:30
Odense Percussion Group
Kasper Grøn - Percussion 1: vibraphone, orchestral bass drum,
tom toms, cup gongs, low tam tam
Joakim Olsrud - Percussion 2: slit drum,tom toms, cymbals, crotales
Natasja Dini - Percussion 3: slit drum, snare drum, tom toms
Rasmus Clemens - Percussion 4: snare drum, tom toms, cymbal, tam tams triangles, cowbells

6. Coincidentia Oppositorum (2014) 3:59
Figura / Kammeratorkestret Ensemble
Jakob Davidsen: piano
John Ehde: cello
Jakob Munck: trombone
Figura Ensemble:
Signe Asmussen: vocals, violin
Anna Klett: clarinets
Frans Hansen: percussion, musical saw
Karl Husum: trumpet
Jesper Egelund: double bass, voice

7. Lamento (2017) 3:50
Kaoru Watanabe - Noh kan flute
Marco Cappelli - acoustic guitar and electronics

Recorded mixed and mastered at Orange Music Sound Studio, New Jersey by James Dellatacoma

Orbits recorded at The Danish National Academy of Music by Peter Hellesøe

Coincidentia Oppositorum recorded at The Village Recording Studio, Copenhagen, Denmark by Thomas Vang

Compositions copyrighted and published by Migration Music BMI

Design by Sylvain Leroux

Cover Art by Nancy Jackson

Produced by Adam Rudolph

Special thanks: Bill Laswell, Mas Yamagata

Dedicated to our dear families: Those here, those gone, and those still to come.

Album Notes

It's very difficult to categorize Adam Rudolph and that's perfectly fine with him. "I prefer not to adhere to the idea of a genre or category,and I personally don't believe in class systems in music." 

But verbal communication—by its very nature—often involves categorization. It's how we explain things to each other and try to make sense of the world we live in. And making sense of the world we live in seems to be one of the focal points of Adam Rudolph's life, even though the way he has chosen to do so is through making music, most of it collaboratively. He could just as well have become a philosopher—he even looks and sounds like one when he speaks—but that would not be hands-on enough for his worldview. As he explained:

"Everything is vibrating in the universe. So, we're sitting on this planet. We're sitting on these chairs. We're bodies, but when you move into the finer elements of vibration, we can talk about it as thought, or even feeling or spirit. By spirit, I'm not talking about religion. I'm talking about mystery. Music is all about communication in this finer element of vibration. But it's not just words. When you really think about it as a manifestation of what we do, vibration manifests as a duality. The duality being motion and color, we could say. What motion is, of course, is that we perceive reality temporally, so that has to do with musical terms, what we call rhythm, and how rhythm comes into being. And then the other side is color, which has to do with the overtone series and of course harmony and melody. But the thing is they're both manifestations of the same thing."

"For over four decades Rudolph has played hand drums and a variety of other percussion instruments in improvisatory collaborations with Yusef Lateef, Don Cherry, Jon Hassel, Hassan Hakmoun and many other artists from around the world. Since 1992 he has been leading and composing for his eclectic octet Moving Pictures and, in 2000 he established Go: Organic Orchestra, a new kind of orchestra which seamlessly weaves composition and improvisation and has involved musicians from across generations and the world's musical traditions. Rudolph has also composed fully notated chamber works for a variety of ensembles some of which are presented on record for the first time here. Rudolph's immersive studies that have taken him across the globe, as well as his wide range of collaborations with musicians across multiple traditions, are all interrelated and each has informed the next project he embarks on, as he explains:

"My interest in music from other places was not only about studying tablas or different kinds of African drumming and Indonesian music. It became a process of opening up to new ways of thinking about form and orchestration. I am interested in the actual construct of the music, which is a deeper element for me—different ways to organize sound. For example, how gamelan music is organized with layers of colotomic structures, or the profound circling ecstatic patterning of Mbuti group music. When we study all kinds of music we see the the diversity and we can better understand the universals that underly it all. This is significant to me as a composer, in part because I'm interested in elements, and what's interesting is that as we move into the higher dimensions, the laws of physics become simpler and simpler. And I think this is true in music, too, as we move from style into higher dimension of elements. At the same time, what interests me more and more as time goes on, has to do with relationships—what the relationship of musician to music is. (By the way, it's not always even called music and musician in every culture.)  What is the relationship between the person and the instrument?  What is the relationship of the human being to the context in which they create music? For me, this opens up the idea of what it means to be an artist and inspires my vision of what that could be."

While Rudolph's musical activities seem almost by design to exist beyond labels, in his conception they all relate to one another and speak a common language—call it a language of rhythm or an acknowledgement, through music, of the vibrational forces that are always at play in the universe as he has explained, all of which ultimately derive—at least for him—in the physical gesture of playing hand drums.

"There's no doubt that when the hand strikes the drum it's a kind of sacred act, because it's a motion. … If you took that sound and slowed the other waveforms way down that would even be a symphony. That's what's being informed through me physically interacting with the wood from the tree and the skin of the animal—the vegetable world and the animal world, all of those things are in the act of playing the hand drums. … It absolutely has informed who I am as an artist and as a person. So it manifests when I write a through-composed string quartet, that activity, the physicality of it."

Curious by nature, and always involved in research and study, Rudolph is basically an autodidact. He did not formally study composition or pursue a performance degree but developed his playing and composing on his own terms. As he explained:

"By the late 1970's I was motivated to start composing because there wasn't really any music that existed as vehicle for what I was doing on the hand drums.  Ever since then, there has been this kind of interplay between how and what I play and how I write. Of course, I'm now writing string quartets and percussion pieces that are completely through-composed and that's a fascinating process, too.  Process is what's crucial for all of us.  If you can generate your own creative process, then your music is bound to be prototypical.  So I'm interested in exploring different kinds of processes, and here the idea of the cultivation of intuition is very important because there is this interplay, of course, between the intellect and intuition. I think about my music as a kind of yoga.  I've been practicing Hatha yoga since 1975.  And yoga means limbs—the relationship between body, mind, and spirit. Those three elements are always moving, touching, and circling around one another. It is both their relationships and essence that inform so much of what is I do as an artist."

- Frank J. Oteri

[This essay was originally published on NewMusicBox, the web magazine of New Music USA and is reprinted here with permission. A complete transcription of Oteri's talk with Rudolph, with video clips, is online at: ]

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