Anna Webber's Simple Trio | Binary

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Jazz: Avant-Garde Jazz Avant Garde: Structured Improvisation Moods: Featuring Saxophone
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by Anna Webber's Simple Trio

Binary is the second release on Skirl Records from Anna Webber's Simple Trio, which features Webber on saxophone and flute, Matt Mitchell on piano, and John Hollenbeck on drums.
Genre: Jazz: Avant-Garde Jazz
Release Date: 
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  Song Share Time Download
1. Rectangles 2
1:10 album only
2. Impulse Purchase
14:30 album only
3. Rectangles 3a
1:37 album only
4. Rectangles 1b
2:49 album only
5. Underhelmed
5:43 album only
6. Tug O' War
9:50 album only
7. Rectangles 3b
1:40 album only
8. Binary
9:24 album only
9. Meme
2:47 album only
10. Disintegratiate
5:53 album only
11. Rectangles 3c
1:10 album only
12. Rectangles 1a
3:35 album only
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.


Album Notes
New York-based composer, saxophonist, and flutist Anna Webber, called “one of the most exciting new arrivals on the New York avant-garde jazz scene” by Peter Margasak in the Chicago Reader (2014), releases Binary with her band the SIMPLE Trio, featuring John Hollenbeck on drums and Matt Mitchell on piano. The recording will be out October 25 on Skirl Records.

For Binary, Webber looked to the internet for inspiration. Using websites that turn words into drumbeats, YouTube test channels, and even her own IP address, she found a constant stream of inspiration for her compositions. The album’s title track was composed using numbers and letters produced by a random binary digit generator.

When writing the music for Binary, Webber began each piece from a small conceptual starting point. The five “Rectangles” tracks on the album come from the YouTube test channel “WebDriver Torso,” which features ten- second videos of red and blue rectangles set to high-pitched, microtonal sounds. With a number of the pieces, she created musical plays-on-words that exude a sense of tension and release, including “Impulse Purchase,” which was written using Webber’s IP address, and “Tug o’ War,” a transliteration of the game tug of war into music. Interested in both the complex as well as the playful aspects of the internet, Webber investigated how the concept of a meme could manifest in a musical context in the aptly titled "Meme.”

Though the internet provided innumerable opportunities for compositional experimentation, the greatest excitement came from knowing that she was composing for her SIMPLE Trio bandmates Hollenbeck and Mitchell.

“Because we’ve been playing and touring together as a band as well as in various projects for several years now, our musical interaction has evolved considerably since the last album,” said Webber. “John and Matt are incredibly fun to compose for and improvise with because they have the ability to play challenging music in a way that feels relaxed and natural.”

Webber's intention in her work is to blur the line between composed and improvised material, creating frameworks for improvisation that will challenge the musicians to expand outside the realm of what they normally play. She is committed to experimenting with the jazz form, pushing her to challenge conventions as well as her own impulses as an artist. Although Webber situates herself in the jazz world, her compositional approach is as greatly influenced by jazz music as it is by new music composers such as Giacinto Scelsi, Györgi Ligeti, and Gérard Grisey.

Binary finds the SIMPLE Trio expanding and building on what The New York Times called the “range of the group members: fulminous, intense collective improvisation” in songs that feel like living things and lead the audience in different directions on each listen. Binary is yet another example of the trio’s ability to combine “a huge sound, big ideas and disarming humor into an engagingly avant-garde approach that promises to continue to gain wider recognition,” (Style Weekly, 2016).



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