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Reedist/Composer Josh Sinton Premieres New Work At Brooklyn Conservatory

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Sinton will be playing baritone saxophone, bass clarinet and alto flute.

Reedist/Composer Josh Sinton Premieres New Work At Brooklyn Conservatory

Acclaimed reedman and composer Josh Sinton celebrates his 50th birthday with the premiere of his new piece, 4 freedoms, with his group Predicate, at the Brooklyn Conservatory of Music, 58 Seventh Avenue, Brooklyn on Friday, October 29 at 8 p.m. Doors open at 7:30 p.m. The concert is free to the public.

There will be a limit of fifty audience members allowed in the concert hall, but there will also be a simultaneous broadcast on Sinton's YouTube channel (https://youtube.com/user/sinzheimers). All attendees must present proof of vaccination and anyone under the age of 12 must present a negative PCR test from no earlier than Oct. 22nd. More information can be found at https://bkcm.org/event/josh-sintons-predicate.

Sinton will be playing baritone saxophone, bass clarinet and alto flute. Predicate also features trumpeter Jonathan Finlayson, cellist Christopher/">Christopher Hoffman/">Hoffman and drummer Tom Rainey. 4 freedoms is a powerful articulation of the politics Sinton has learned from the music of Duke Ellington, Anthony Braxton, Andrew Hill, Julius Hemphill and Henry Threadgill.

"I've always been drawn to counterpoint," states Sinton referring to the musical technique of stating two or more melodies simultaneously. "And I've learned an enormous amount from decades of listening to the counterpoint of these great African-American artists. I grew up hearing a lot of J.S. Bach as well as his Renaissance and Middle-Ages precursors. It was a kind of music both my parents loved, so I naturally gravitated to this kind of texture in other music." Sinton also says that, "African-American musicians took this Western European technique and really transformed its execution and enlarged my expectations of it. It's got a lot of similarities to the way African-Americans have taken Western European approaches to literature, dance and theater and expanded on those techniques."

Taking inspiration from not just the sound of, but also the implications of the work of Ellington and other creative music masters, Sinton has created a four-movement work of power, beauty and mystery. "I wanted to find a way for each member of the quartet to manifest their own unique sonic-self, but at the same time be able to make that sound in all kinds of harmony with the other members of the group." When asked about what he means about "kinds of harmony" Sinton responded, "well, harmony can be an 'agree-to-agree' kind of situation or an 'agree-to-disagree' situation. Then there's the kind of harmony you hear in some of Braxton's work where you have people's very different voices occurring simultaneously without seeming concern for each other." It's all these different ways of "sounding together" in great African-American musicians' art that demonstrated to Sinton profoundly new, creative ways for people to coexist. "In my ear, the music of these artists comes across as a kind of compassionate anarchy. A space where everyone is free to be themselves but at the same time everyone is listening to and caring for each other. People who are leaders become followers become colleagues in this wonderfully fluid exchange. I really hope 4 freedoms inspires listeners to relate to one another with more sensitivity and more compassion."

Sinton has regrouped his Predicate trio with Hoffman/">Hoffman and Rainey and added the unique voice of trumpeter Jonathan Finlayson for this foray. This is the same group with which he did a live-cast of {f}-->keys of the chain in January of 2021, a piece commissioned by the Jazz Coalition. That commission asked him to create, "a piece that is reflective of this momentous racial justice and equity movement" occurring in the wake of George Floyd's murder. When he received a grant from the New York Foundation for the Arts to create a piece for a free public concert, Sinton realized he wasn't done with this piece. "I went back to it and cut three-quarters of it and started again. It wasn't an issue of having more to say, but rather of not having said it clearly the first time around." With that in mind, 4 freedoms is a new kind of music dedicated to inspiring listeners to help everyone around them to 1.) be free from fear, 2.) be free to be themselves, 3.) be free to love and 4.) be free from advertising.


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