Ariadne’s Notes: The World Poetry Café Radio Show with Producer and host Ariadne Sawyer, co-host Neall Ryon, Sound engineer Victor Schwartzman and volunteer Sharon Rowe, welcomed two special guests David Arend and Sumi Tonooka from the Alchemy Sound Project, (www.alchemysoundproject.com) celebrating their new CD , the exquisite Future Explorations a special tapestry creation of music, with many different melodic threads. Also featured were three E-poets,Mahmood Jan, from Afghanistan, Caroline Nazareno from the Philippines and Yuan Hongri from China. To hear this informative and lovely program CLICK HERE!
Further Explorations, the excellent new project from Alchemy Sound Project featuring five extraordinary composer/performers: Sumi Tonooka, Erica Lindsay, Samantha Boshnack, Sumi Tonooka, and Salim Washington.
The five core members of Alchemy Sound Project were brought together by the Jazz Composers Orchestra Institute, a program initiated by the American Composers Orchestra and the Center for Jazz Studies at Columbia University to encourage jazz composers to explore writing music for the symphony orchestra.
Double bassist and composer David Arend performs classical, jazz, hip hop, singer/songwriter and electroacoustic music, exploring hybrids in his compositions. Photo credit: Bryon Malik.
David’s music has been performed by jazz combos such as Alchemy Sound Project, chamber ensembles, soloists, DJs, the Moravian Philharmonic Orchestra, San Francisco Academy Orchestra, Philharmonia Northwest, West Point Woodwind Quintet and members of the San Francisco Symphony, New York Philharmonic, Philadelphia Orchestra and Nashville Symphony.
David has performed with the San Francisco Symphony, Carlos Santana, Bobby McFerrin, soloists such as Mark O’Connor, Joshua Bell, Renée Fleming, Gidon Kremer and Lynn Harrell, and is a member of the Oakland Symphony directed by Michael Morgan. A passionate commitment to new music has led David to work with influential composers such as Ornette Coleman, George Crumb, Thomas Adés, John Harbison, Chen Yi, John Psathas, Tan Dun and George Tsontakis, and next generation composers such as Jack Perla, Mason Bates, Marisol Jimenez, Jonathan Newman and John Mackey.
Hip hop and electronica club appearances include Envision Festival and Bamboo Bass Festival (Costa Rica), Roter Salon and Zu mir oder zu Dir (Berlin, Germany), Cryptoportico at the American Academy (Rome, Italy), Beyond Samsara (Los Angeles, CA), The New Parish (Oakland, CA) and San Francisco’s Mezzanine, Ruby Skye, 111 Minna, John Colins, Varnish, San Francisco Museum of Modern Art and The De Young Museum.
A graduate of Oberlin College and Conservatory of Music (Bachelor of Arts, Bachelor of Music) and The Juilliard School (Master of Music), David held a fellowship for four summers as solo bassist with the Aspen Contemporary Ensemble under director George Tsontakis. Primary double bass mentors include Eugene Levinson, Scott Haigh and Albert Laszlo.
Sumi Tonooka has been called a “fierce and fascinating composer and pianist” (Jazz Times), “provocative and compelling” (New York Times), and “continually inventive, original, surprising, and a total delight,” (Cuadranos de Jazz, Madrid). Photo credit: Karen Sterling.
During a career spanning more than 30 years that has taken her from bases in Philadelphia & Boston, to New York & Seattle, Tonooka has been developing a body of work that surprises and delights audiences – quietly piling up accolades from jazz writers and fellow musicians.Her recent activity as a composer includes receiving the Music Alive: New Partnership
https://www.newmusicusa.org/grants/music-alive/Tonooka is also a recent recipient of the 2105 Artist Trust award and received the Carl & Jini Dellaccio GAP title to compose a new jazz chamber work Driftwood.
In addition to her symphonic and chamber works, jazz recordings and performances, Tonooka has composed over a dozen film scores, including the Academy Award-nominated Family Gathering by Lise Yasui and Daring To Resist by Martha Lubell, aired on PBS. She is also featured in A Note of Hope, released in 2011, a full-length documentary from Citygate Films on the youngest victiims of HIV/AIDS in Africa. She toured West Africa as part of a sextet featuring her musical compadre of two decades, jazz violinist John Blake, Jr. Their recorded output includes A New Beginning: Live at The Village Gate, Kindred Spirits (as a duo), and the Traveler featuring Boris Koslov on bass and Johnathan Blake on drums. As a member of the Rufus Reid Quintent, Tonooka appears on the CD and DVD The Rufus Reid Quintent: Live at the Kennedy Center (Motema). The group appeared at Dizzy’s Club Cocoa Cola at Jazz at Lincoln Center in New York in 2007 for the release performance.
Tonooka’s career has been chronicled on several highly regarded jazz books, including Living the Jazz Life by Royal Stokes, ln The Moment by Francis Davis, and Madame Jazz by Leslie Gourse (all on Oxford University Press). As a professional response to an inherent void within the music industry, Tonooka, along with alto saxophonist Chris Burnett and tenor saxophonist Erica Lindsay, co-founded the Artists Recording Collective (ARC), an internationally recognized brand and professional recording label. She now divides her time between her responsibilities as the Chief, Public Relations Officer for ARC, composing and performing for an increasingly widespread audience of jazz aficionados. In his liner notes to pianist, composer and educator Sumi Tonooka’s fifth CD, Long Ago Today, journalist Russ Musto restated his praise from thirty years ago:”…it has been a pleasure to hear her blossom into one of the most talented musicians of her generation.