Gurrisonic Orchestra | Three Kids Music

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Three Kids Music

by Gurrisonic Orchestra

GURRISONIC ORCHESTRA, a 22-piece chamber orchestra that performs genre-bending original music, pushing the boundaries of instrumentation and style with a mix of through-composed orchestral landscapes with tinges of avant-garde, jazz, and classical music.
Genre: Jazz: Avant-Garde Jazz
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  Song Share Time Download
1. Constant Deprivation of Monetary Funds (The Beast)
9:40 $0.99
2. Three Kids Music
4:37 $0.99
3. In Your Face
7:35 $0.99
4. Ishuakara
7:13 $0.99
5. The Finger
9:03 $0.99
6. Aquí
8:02 $0.99
7. Oso
8:06 $0.99
8. Caballo Viejo
4:32 album only
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.


Album Notes

Brass: Daniel Rosenboom, Michael Stever, Allen Fogle, Peter Connell, P Blake Cooper
Woodwinds: Christine Tavolacci, Daniel Weidlein, Justo Almario, Gavin Templeton, Rory Mazzela, Brian Walsh
Rhythm Section: Daniel Szabo, Alexander Noice, Jose Gurria-Cardenas, David Tranchina
String Section: Tylana Renga, Eric Kenneth Malcolm Clark, Lauren Elizabeth Baba, Aniela Perry, April Guthrie
Voice: Areni Agbabian, Dorian Wood, Karina Kallas
Conductor: Marc Lowenstein

Engineering: Greg Curtis
Production Jose Gurria-Cardenas, Valeria Palomino
Mixing: Rich Breen
Mastering: Gavin Lurssen

Video: Alex Chaloff
Photos: Farah Sosa
Album Artwork: Ngene Mwaura


There are many ways one can listen to the self-titled debut recording from José Gurría’s Gurrisonic Orchestra, but casually is not one of them. This is music that demands your undivided attention; its generous spirit of sound envelops you, seduces you and electrifies you. It bathes you in vivid, dynamic splashes of color and texture and traverses many dispositions and emotions, from raucous, cacophonic eruptions to calming caresses. It’s not merely involving, but virtually exhausting in its embracement of the listener’s senses. This is not music to be played once or twice and filed away, as each new exposure to it reveals greater, hitherto concealed depths and layers. Surrender to it; you won’t regret it for a moment.

Everything about Gurrisonic Orchestra exudes majesty. Even at its most minimal, José Gurría’s compositions and the musicians’ immaculate execution of the countless twists and leaps, lulls and bursts project a certain indefinable eminence. Of course, a 22-piece orchestra will naturally tend to use up more airspace than a smaller ensemble but, as Gurría—who serves not only as composer but also arranger, orchestrator, director of the orchestra and, of course, powerhouse drummer—puts it, it’s an “organic” and “otherworldly” work, deliberately designed to showcase each member’s artistry to the fullest. “The listener will hear the entire ensemble’s facility with improvisation and experimentalism while simultaneously navigating every detail of the score that was written specifically for each player,” Gurría says. “I enjoy pushing the players to a point where they didn’t know they could go, and this creates excitement among them as well. There’s a challenge going on: the symbiotic power of the interpreter to the composer; it transcends style so that each and every listener can feel the intimacy and relate to this very personal music.”

From the frenzied volley that introduces the intriguingly titled “Constant Deprivation of Monetary Funds (The Beast),” the opening track, it’s apparent that Gurrisonic Orchestra is music to be experienced and absorbed wholly, not just heard. “It’s about being epic and passionate,” Gurría says of the track. Throughout the often frantic piece, brass and woodwinds, piano, bass and strings bob and weave, toying with one another, skittering and cajoling, locking into and falling far out of sync—punk-rock meets Stockhausen. It contrasts vividly with “Three Kids Music,” the lullaby that follows, “to be sung with love, compassion, empathy and all the goodness every kid in the world deserves,” as Gurría says. Then comes the appropriately titled “In Your Face,” with its stacked non-stop triplet figures within every section of the orchestra, its intensive lead playing in the string section, and its mid-tempo half-time shuffles—a wealth of flavors coming right at you.

“Ishuakara” is a self-contained world unto itself, alternately swinging and turbulent, garrulous and utterly kinetic. “It’s very sinuous, with time signatures changing constantly and difficult melodic jumps,” says Gurría. “And yet I have always heard it as a pop song—a pop song with a fanfare, that is.” That tour de force is followed by “The Finger,” which Gurría describes as “an oasis of solitude and compassion for my soul.” The text comes from José’s brother, Angel Gurría. “I asked him to do something that portrayed injustice and people taking advantage of other people,” says José. “I underscored his text with a more sublime vibe than an obviously angry one, especially as the subtext is the sadness of people looking at the glass ‘half empty’ most of the time.”

Keeping it familial, “Aquí,” featuring the orchestra’s woodwinds, is a “very pointillistic and energetic piece written for my son Camilo,” says Gurria, while “Oso” is written for his other son, Nicolás. “It was so fun to perform,” says José of that track. “Every time I listen to it, it gives me the giggles.” And wrapping up the program is “Caballo Viejo,” cinematic in scope and rich in sonic surprises. It features vocalist Dorian Wood, about whom Gurría says, “I am almost in disbelief of what a special performer he is; his frantic energy is tangible in performance and recording.”

Of course, pulling all of this together was no simple task. It fell to “Gurri,” as his friends call him, to summon up all of the knowledge and insight gained over his 25-year career and focus all of the various components of the music. Collaborating with conductor Marc Lowenstein, engineer extraordinaire Greg Curtis and co-producer Valeria Palomino, Gurría relied first and foremost on the trust he has in his team of virtuosic players. “I am not afraid to say that these might be 22 of the finest musicians on the planet, skilled in session work, orchestra and improvisational/experimental music,” he says. “Their adaptive skills are so outstanding that it allowed me to happily go back to my drumming duties during the recording process.” Which, it should be pointed out, amazingly took place within the course of a single day!

“This is exciting music for the heart and the mind,” says Gurría in summation, “brilliant musicians playing out of their comfort zone. It’s blissful music that has been life-altering to write and, I hope from the most humble of places, also life-altering to listen to.”

Exciting, blissful, brilliant, life-altering: That’s a lot of adjectives to throw around, but they all ring true. And as you absorb this music, many more will come to mind; in fact, an entire range of emotions and sensations may just wash over you. And at some point, whether at the very beginning or deep into the experience, you realize that, for all of its complexity, for all of its many nuances, there is also a surprising, welcoming accessibility to the sounds produced by Gurrisonic Orchestra. These musicians, as they go through their paces, exude an enormous amount of warmth, inviting you without hesitation to join them on their thrilling ride. You’ll want to accept that invitation—again and again.

Jeff Tamarkin
Jeff Tamarkin is the Associate Editor of JazzTimes Magazine

"Gurrisonic Orchestra projects a sort of hugeness and importance whose portent is completely fulfilled by the quality of the music therein."

"Gurria is a superb, forward-leaning composer."

"Gurrisonic Orchestra is a whirlwind of colliding sounds and moods,...[featured guest] Areni Agbabian’s charming voice glows like a full moon"

"En el ámbito de las despiadadas transformaciones provocadas por la globalización, ser un creativo o un artista o un inmigrante –o las tres cosas al mismo tiempo, como en el caso de José Gurría- supone un componente contracultural cuyo desarrollo implicará ingenio, valentía, sacrificio y fuertes convicciones para poder hacerse escuchar, pensar por sí mismo y elaborar una identidad representativa de la propia visión del mundo.En Three Kids Music su autor ha pensado a lo grande y, para dar salida a las exuberantes ideas composicionales que pergeñó a favor de este proyecto orquestal -en donde se dan cita el avant-garde, el jazz y la nueva música contemporánea– constituyó a la Gurrisonic Orchestra"

"Anyone who thinks that the only hugely ambitious jazz orchestras successfully mixing jazz and classical music are located in Europe needs to know about this phenomenal bunch from California and their composer and leader Jose Gurria. This is music that stays fresh no matter how many times you hear it."
The Buffalo News



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