A rare chance to hear this trio of seasoned composer-performers for premieres of new comprovisations.
Christian Asplund is a Canadian-American composer-performer based in Provo, Utah, where he teaches at Brigham Young University and curates the Avant GaRAWge. He has composed in diverse media and performs mainly as a jazz and free improvisation pianist and violist. His interests have included the intersections of improvisation/composition, modular textures/forms, text/music. He has received awards and grants from Alpert Foundation, Genesis Foundation, Barlow Endowment, Artistrust, King County, ASCAP and Jack Straw Foundation. He has performed and recorded with Stuart Dempster, John Butcher, Malcolm Goldstein, Christian Wolff, Willy Winant, Eyvind Kang, Reggie Watts, Tim Young, etc. His music has been performed and broadcast all over the world. His teachers have included Stuart Dempster, Bill Smith, Marc Seales, Thea Musgrave, Alvin Curran, John Rahn, and Joel-Francois Durand and he has degrees in composition from University of Washington, Mills College, and Brigham Young University. His scores are published by Frog Peak Music. His articles and chapters and a book have appeared in Perspectives of New Music, American Music, Illinois University Press, and University of Washington Press. His recordings appear on Tzadik, Comprovised, Maritime Fist Gleeclub, Sparkling Beatnik, Present Sounds, etc.
Press comment has included: “passion”, “panoramic power”, “pure pointillist”, “plaintive”, “painstaking”, “rhythmically toothy”, “rocking”, “remarkable”, “rollicking”, “searing”, “subdued”, “soothing”, “submersive”, “splendid”, “unique”, “enjoyable”, “ethereal”, “mesmerizing”, “mind-blowing”, “otherworldly”, “absorbing”, “intelligent”, “idiosyncratic”, “distinctive”, “captivating”, “bewitching”. He teaches at Brigham Young University. More at christianasplund.xyz.
Tom Baker is a composer, guitarist, improviser, and electronic musician who has been active in the Seattle new-music scene since arriving in 1994. He is the artistic director of the Seattle Composers’ Salon, co-founder of the Seattle EXperimental Opera (SEXO), and founder of the new-music recording label Present Sounds Recordings.
“…the acoustical rendition of a Jackson Pollack painting.”
— Twenty-First Century Music
Tom’s compositions have been performed throughout the United States, Canada, and Europe. He writes chamber music, opera, and electronic music, as well as music for percussion, chamber orchestra, dance, film, and chorus. His work traverses themes of grief, loss, redemption, and perseverance, through a combination of sound exploration, electronic improvisation, and musical form and structure. He has been in residence at the Atlantic Center for the Arts, and the Montalvo Arts Center, and his music is published by Frog Peak Music.
“…a delicate, eccentric compositional sense and a tendency
toward unruly improvisation.”
— Time Out New York
Tom is also a scholar and educator and has recently presented work to the Society for Minimalist Music in Wales UK, and to the International Conference on the Arts in Society in Vancouver BC. He is a Professor of Music at Cornish College of the Arts where he teaches composition, music theory, and electronic music. His most recent article was published in Perspectives of New Music in July, 2020.
“Alarmingly restrained, yet evocative,created with great care
and structured structurelessness. The space is the music.”
— ADD Reviews
Tom is active as a performer and improviser, specializing in fretless guitar and live-electronics. His band TRIPTET recently released its fourth album, Slowly, Away, on Engine Records. His electronic-interactive-arts collaboration with visual artist Robert Campbell called Manifold2 was was featured in the MoxSonic festival in 2019 and excerpts from their new opera-in-progress called The Language of Change were featured in the Current’s New Media festival in 2020.
“Tom Baker’s music plies the shadowy territory between
form, isolation, and silence.”
— The Stranger
Amy Denio (rhymes with ‘Ohio’) is an award-winning Seattle-based singer, composer, multi-instrumentalist, improviser, record producer and recording engineer. She founded Spoot Music, her record label and publishing company in 1986. Since then she’s composed, recorded and produced more than 500 compositions, and has released dozens of solo and collaborative recordings on Spoot and other record labels from America and Europe.
She has been part of the Seattle Drum School family since 2017. Principally a self-taught musician (her parents both played jazz bass), she teaches voice, accordion, alto sax, clarinet, electric guitar, bass, found sound, and theremin. She teaches creative music workshops in universities, youth and art centers and prisons.
In January 2020 her all-women group The Tiptons Sax Quartet (1988-present) released their 14th album Wabi Sabi, and had their 15th tour of Europe in March until COVID cut it short. She is a co-founding member of The Entropics, Tone Dogs, (ec) Nudes, FoMoFlo, The Danubians, Petunia, Quintetto alla Busara, Die Resonanz, and the accordion quartet Hell’s Bellows! (US).
Under ‘normal’ circumstances, she also records and tours with Kultur Shock (1999-present) and Latin American group Correo Aereo (2005-present) and often collaborates with the improvising rock band The Bats of Ballard (2016-present).
As a composer and audio engineer, Denio is regularly commissioned to score music for film, dance, theater, television, radio, as well as sound installations. She is currently developing the soundtrack for Pat Graney Dance Company’s new work ‘Attic’ (On The Boards, June, 2021), and has received funding to develop and compose ‘Mujer o Bruja?’ with the Tiptons Sax Quartet in collaboration with Correo Aereo (Chapel Performance Space, October, 2021). Her interactive public ‘Sonic Bench’ is now on permanent exhibit on Vashon Island, Washington.
In 2015, Denio was voted into Earshot Jazz’s ‘Seattle Jazz Hall of Fame’. She has received the Paul Goode Artist Trust Fellowship, as well as fellowships from the Seattle Arts Commission and Civitella Ranieri, a 15th century castle in Italy.
Since 1988 she has collaborated with international musicians throughout East & West Europe and North America, as well as in Taiwan, Japan, Hong Kong, India, Brazil, Bolivia and Argentina.