PRISM Quartet Announces Release of PEOPLE'S EMERGENCY CENTER
In tandem with the recently announced Heritage/Evolution, PRISM Quartet announces the release of their new 2-disc recording People's Emergency Center, Music for Saxophones by Matthew Levy. Street Date: May 27, 2014 on Innova Recordings. The album features seven distinctive jazz voices as guest artists: Tim Ries, soprano saxophone, Rudresh Mahanthappa, alto saxophone, Jason Moran, piano, Ben Monder, guitar, Jay Anderson, bass, Bill Stewart, drums, and François Zayas, percussion.
Among the country's most celebrated chamber ensembles, the PRISM Quartet (Timothy McAllister, Taimur Sullivan, Matthew Levy, and Zachary Shemon) releases their new CD PEOPLE'S EMERGENCY CENTER on May 27, 2014 on Innova Recordings.
Having commissioned over 150 works of new music from composers around the world, PRISM now turns to the eclectic and inventive compositions of their founder and resident composer MATTHEW LEVY.
Expanding on the saxophone quartet format, the two-disc People's Emergency Center features a number of today's leading jazz artists including Rudresh Mahanthappa, Jason Moran, Ben Monder, Jay Anderson, Bill Stewart, François Zayas, and former PRISM member Tim Ries. Levy builds his pieces around each improviser's distinctive voice. "The intent is for both improvisation and accompaniment to evolve simultaneously on organic, parallel paths," says Levy. Three compositions are written for the unaccompanied PRISM Quartet as well.
Much of PRISM's work has been to place the saxophone in unexpected settings-from collaborations with traditional Chinese instruments and early music ensembles, to pioneering work with electronic wind instruments. Levy's compositions bridge the saxophone's dual heritages in classical music and jazz by integrating compositional techniques and saxophone performance practices from both areas of music, while also drawing from rock and world music.
The People's Emergency Center disc comes out during PRISM's ambitious Heritage/Evolution concert series in New York and Philadelphia (April through June 2014), which similarly melds jazz and classical worlds. Featuring commissioned works from six premier saxophonists/composers-Steve Lehman, Dave Liebman, Rudresh Mahanthappa, Greg Osby, Tim Ries, and Miguel Zenón-the series includes performances, workshops, and discussions, culminating in a recording on Innova in October 2014.
2014 marks PRISM Quartet's 30th anniversary, and the group is busier than ever, charting fresh musical terrain with groundbreaking concerts and recordings.
Saxophonist, composer, curator, producer/engineer, arts consultant, and educator Matthew Levy has made an enduring contribution to contemporary music as co-founder and director of the PRISM Quartet, and as a collaborator with other artists and ensembles for the past 25 years. Praised by the Saxophone Journal as "a complete virtuoso of the tenor saxophone" and by Classical Magazine for "gorgeous and ethereal" compositions, his creative work has been supported by fellowships from the Independence Foundation and the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts, and grants from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Aaron Copland Fund, the American Composers Forum (Philadelphia Chapter), the Musical Fund Society of Philadelphia, and the Presser Foundation.
As a solo artist, Matt has commissioned and premiered works by many composers, including Paola Prestini, Renee Favand, and David Ludwig; collaborated with a host of choreographers and dance companies, among them Peter Sparling, Scrap Performance Group, and Group Motion Dance Theater; and appeared as a guest artist with numerous orchestras and ensembles, including the Detroit Symphony, counter)induction, and Dolce Suono. He has worked with concert pianists Matt Herskowitz, Charles Ambramovic, and Robert Conway, and jazz artists Franck Amsallem, Ben Monder, Matt Wilson, Gerald Cleaver, and John Riley.
Matt's compositional output has included works for orchestra, choir, musical theater, dance, jazz, and electronic music ensembles. He has scored four motion pictures, including PBS's Diary of a City Priest (starring David Morse), featured at the Sundance Film Festival. Matt has composed extensively for the PRISM Quartet; his music has been featured on PRISM's self-titled debut CD (1993, Koch International), as well as Real Standard Time (2000, innova) and Dedication (2011, innova), and broadcast by NPR, CBC, and Voice of America.
Intriguing programs of great beauty and breadth have distinguished the PRISM Quartet as one of America's foremost chamber ensembles. Two-time winners of the Chamber Music America/ASCAP Award for Adventurous Programming, PRISM has been presented by Carnegie Hall, the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, and as soloists with the Detroit Symphony and Cleveland Orchestra. Champions of new music, PRISM has commissioned over 150 works, many by internationally celebrated Pulitzer Prize-winning composers. PRISM's discography includes eleven recordings for the Albany, Innova, Koch, Naxos, New Dynamic, and New Focus labels. PRISM may also be heard on the soundtrack of the film "Two Plus One" and has been featured in the theme music to the weekly PBS news magazine "NOW." PRISM performs exclusively on Selmer saxophones and mouthpieces.