Friday, May 19, 2017

Stuart Popejoy - Pleonid (LEO RECORDS 2017)

"Popejoy points himself towards counterpoint via improvisation and customised software that he has designed making use of braid theory in doing the maths. There’s a real collective heat and sense of exploration that actually gets somewhere throughout this hour-long continuous work ... [A] sparkling listen that unfolds into an Ornettian omniverse. Just be good to yourself and go listen!"

"Pleonid" is Stuart Popejoy's composition for quintet, also released on Leo Records as LR-783. A single 60-minute piece presents ever-changing textures and moods, as five expert musicians interpret and explore shifting musical structures, contrapuntal motifs and trancelike chordal grooves. The piece was performed live in 2012 at the Firehouse Space in Brooklyn NY, with Sarah Bernstein on violin, Avram Fefer on alto saxophone, Steve Swell on trombone, Stuart Popejoy on electric bass, and Kenny Wolleson on vibraphone and drumset. 

Pleonid is a major work by composer Stuart Popejoy, who uses braid theory from advanced mathematics to create the distinctive form of counterpoint featured in the piece. Improvisation, either through the interpretation of written motifs, or in free soloing over composed chordal backgrounds, showcases the distinctive sounds of the musicians, punctuated by short through-composed vignettes. Using his own software to compose and arrange the work, Pleonid represents Popejoy's focus on algorithmic methods, as heard in his compositions Void (2008) for vibraphone and electric bass, Single Payer (2012) for solo snare drum, and Cyclops (2013) for rock trio.

1. Pleonid 59:35

Stuart Popejoy - composition, electric bass 
Sarah Bernstein - violin 
Avram Fefer - alto sax 
Steve Swell - trombone 
Kenny Wolleson - vibraphone, drumset 

Live recording by Robert O'Haire 
Mixed by Stuart Popejoy 
Mastered by Mike Marciano at Systems Two