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Barry Schrader and Wadada Leo Smith Premiere "Wu Xing"

Acclaimed composer Barry Schrader and renowned jazz trumpeter Ishmael Wadada Leo Smith will premiere their new collaboration "Wu Xing - Cycle of Destruction" on Friday, November 18, as part of the Creative Music Festival at REDCAT (Roy and Edna Disney/CalArts Theater) in the Walt Disney Music Hall in Los Angeles.

"Wu Xing" is the first collaboration between two musical greats: Barry Schrader and Ishmael Wadada Leo Smith. Schrader, called by the Los Angeles Times "a composer born to the electronic medium, " is well-known for his electro-acoustic music compositions over the past 35 years as well as being an educator and author. Smith, named by Coda Magazine as "one of the most vital musicians on the planet today, " is regarded as one of the leading performer/composers of modern jazz.

"Wu Xing - Cycle of Destruction" deals with the Chinese concept of Wu Xing, the five elements in ancient Chinese tradition: wood, fire, earth, metal, and water. These are important in Chinese astrology, medicine. and BaGua, a system of trigrams used in Fengshui and other areas of Chinese life and culture. The five elements are often arranged in one of two cycles: the cycle of birth, ending with earth, or, as in this work, the cycle of destruction: Metal, Wood, Earth, Water, Fire. "Wu Xing - Cycle of Destruction" deals with these elements in transcendent ways. The "Metal" and "Wood" sections are aural depictions of the elemental density of the mediums, while "Earth" considers the metaphysics of planetary rotation. "Water", developed from a concept of Smith's, reflecting on the conceptual aspects of the world's oceans at various depths, voyaging from the darkest abyss to the light of distant shores. Finally, in "Fire", there is the physical and spiritual effects of all-engulfing flames. Schrader has also created a solo electro-acoustic version of "Wu Xing" which will be premiered in 2006.

Barry Schrader has been called a composer of "approachable electronic music with a distinctive individual voice to reward the adventurous." by Gramophone. His compositions for electronics, dance, film, video, multimedia, live/electro-acoustic combinations, and real-time computer performance have been presented throughout the world, his most recent premiere being the first movement of "Monkey" at Musicacoustica 2005 in Beijing. Schrader is the founder and the first president of SEAMUS (Society for Electro-Acoustic Music in the United States), and has been responsible for the initiation and operation of SCREAM (Southern California Resource for Electro-Acoustic Music), the Currents concert series, and the CalArts Electro-Acoustic Marathon. He has written for several publications including several editions of "The Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians", "Grolier's Encyclopedia", "Contemporary Music Review", and "Journal SEAMUS, and is the author of the book "Introduction to Electro-Acoustic Music". He is currently on the Composition Faculty of the School of Music of the California Institute of the Arts, and has also taught at the University of California at Santa Barbara and California State University at Los Angeles. He is the recipient of several honors and awards, including a recent grant from The Aaron Copland Fund. His music is recorded primarily on the Innova label, including his latest release, "Beyond" .

Ishmael Wadada Leo Smith, trumpet-player, multi-instrumentalist, composer and improviser, has been active in the creative contemporary world music for over thirty years. As an Improvisor-Composer, Smith has studied a variety of music cultures (African, Japanese, Indonesian, European and American) and has developed a Jazz and world music theory, and a notation system to fully express this music which he calls "Ankhrasmation". He has taught at the University of New Haven 1975-'76, the Creative Music Studio in Woodstock, NY. 1975-'78, and Bard College 1987-'93. He is currently a professor of Music at the California Institute of the Arts, and is the director of the MFA program in African American Improvisation. Mr. Smith's awards includes: Islamic World Arts Initiative of Arts International 2004, Meet the Composer/ Lila Wallace-Reader's Digest Commissioning Program 1996, and Asian Cultural Council Grantee to Japan June-August 1993. He has composed music for solo, ensemble, classical and creative orchestra and stage works. Some of the artists Mr. Smith has performed with are : Muhal Richard Abrams, Anthony Braxton, Leroy Jenkins, Roscoe Mitchell, Lester Bowie, Richard Teitelbaum, Joseph Jarman, George Lewis, Cecil Taylor, Andrew Cyrill, Oliver Lake, Anthony Davis, Carla Bley, David Murray, Don Cherry, Jeanne Lee, Milton Campbell, Henry Brant, Richard Davis, Tadao Sawai, Ed Blackwell, Sabu Toyozumi, Peter Kowald, Kazuko Shiraishi, Han Bennink, Misja Mengelberg, Marion Brown, Kazutoki Umezu, Kosei Yamamoto, Charlie Haden, Kang Tae Hwan, Kim Dae Hwan, Malachi Favors Magoustous, Jack Dejohnette, and many others. He has recorded on several labels, including Tzadik, Impluse, ECM, and Shanachie.



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