2012: Vinny Golia Sextet
“The Vinny Golia Sextet expostulated defiantly jumpy rhythms and tensile Schoenbergian harmonies while young guitarist Alex Noice ripped blazing fuzz guitar.” —Greg Burk, Metaljazz.com
The Vinny Golia Sextet was formed by musicians who sought him out at California Institute of the Arts, created this ensemble and wanted to improvise and perform the compositions of Mr. Golia. There is no greater tribute than that. These fabulous musicians are equally at home performing with complex charts, no charts, standards, music from other cultures, they are today’s new breed of musicians. The primary group focus became the interpretation of his compositions with an emphasis on improvisation. Vinny Golia works in the field of music performance, composition and improvisation. His music synthesizes the jazz traditions of Charles Mingus, Duke Ellington and Gil Evans; the mid-20th century timbral explorations of composers such as Edgard Varese, Maurice Ohana, and Olivier Messiaen, the Spectral composers like Murail, and DuFort; along with the vast palette of world music uniquely available in greater Los Angeles. He combines and deconstructs these parallel sonic inquiries into compositions designed to create interplay between soloistic improvisation, collective communications, structured compositional elements and guided group improvisations. Each of his compositions, especially for larger ensembles such as the sextet, is carefully crafted. Their function is to provide a platform for spontaneous personal expression by my colleagues and my own playing. Ideally, the final result fulfills the dual function of being an amalgam of the performers’ life experiences, connecting directly with the listeners’ emotional and intellectual lives. I employ cryptic titles and life experiences to create a puzzle for research on history and persons that have influenced me. Improvisation balanced with composition and visa versa has been an enlightening form of expression for his work. In it he finds the perfect outlet for combining the spiritual, technical and emotional aspects of music in their purest forms. Within these forms the ensemble musicians not only bring to life the structures of what is written but inside their interpretations they find an outlet for personal expression, particularly, of course through the solo sections, serving as the player's own cadenza to each written piece. The pieces are divided as smaller individual selections to correspond to the moods and whims of the composer but each form and title has a relevant meaning and colors the writing of the piece. The compositions form a bridge to one another by having selected soloists or collective group improvisations that tie the written material together. The brilliance with which the musicians move fluidly between the interpretation of written music and improvisation brings the music to life. Because of the interplay between tightly scored and improvised passages, the music never appears the same way twice. The sextet uses written compositions intertwined with structured improvisation and open improvisation. Relying on the improvisational talents of its members and using structured backgrounds as transitions between composed sections a seamless suite unique to the moment is created for the listener in every set. We do not explore the material used for traditional jazz forms, but these elements are present in the music largely due to the musical histories of the players involved with the ensemble. Within the ensemble compositions are arenas for improvisation relating to the written themes whether they be melodic or rhythmic patterns or even ideas that are obliquely relevant to written materials, radical time shifts, odd metered areas, tonal structures etc, often the soloists has written areas he or she improvises with or against this arena ranging from the traditional jazz soloist over rhythmic or harmonic structure to unaccompanied soloists, or multiple soloists with unusual accompaniments, i.e.; string quartets, brass ensembles, electronic environments. There is also the spontaneous cueing of the band with hand signals delineating sections for the ensemble to interact with the soloists. In this way the ensemble can never lose sight of where the improviser(s) is/are and their own relation to the performer, as this support material is meant to enhance the character of the improvisers and their relationship to the ensemble music created.
Artist (photo by Photographer)