The working method of The Out Louds is sonic research, conducted on a decibel-by-decibel level. Once deconstructed, the music can be transmitted to the listener in its pure form and beauty. For example, a person contemplating the Fragility of Existence soon passes from this world, while the fragile existence of the universe continues forever. It is for this reason that the titles on this record are derived from the names of flowers that one can encounter at the Brooklyn Botanical Gardens.
The music of The Out Louds is collaborative. There is no bandleader, and they observe the principles of Alphabetical Order. The collective consists of:
1. Tomas Fujiwara is a Brooklyn-based drummer and composer. Described as “a ubiquitous presence in the New York scene…an artist whose urbane writing is equal to his impressively nuanced drumming” (Troy Collins, Point of Departure), Tomas is an active player in some of the most exciting music of the current generation, with his bands Tomas Fujiwara & The Hook Up and The Tomas Fujiwara Trio; his collaborative duo with cornetist Taylor Ho Bynum; the collective trio Thumbscrew (with MaryHalvorson and Michael Formanek); and a diversity of creative sideman work with forward thinking peers like Bynum, Halvorson, Matana Roberts, Tomeka Reid, Mike Reed, and Nicole Mitchell. In The New York Times, Nate Chinen writes, “Drummer Tomas Fuijwara works with rhythm as a pliable substance, solid but ever shifting. His style is forward-driving but rarely blunt or aggressive, and never random. He has a way of spreading out the center of a pulse while setting up a rigorous scaffolding of restraint…A conception of the drum set as a full-canvas instrument, almost orchestral in its scope.”
2. Beginning in 1992, when his group New Klezmer Trio “kicked open the door for radical experiments with Ashkenazi roots music” (SF Chronicle), clarinetist Ben Goldberg has established himself as “one of the most vibrant, flexible, and inventive clarinetists in jazz and improvised music” (Downbeat), “an artist who seems to find beautiful melodies at the end of every path.” (NPR). The New York Times noted Ben’s music for “a feeling of joyous research into the basics of polyphony and collective improvising,” and he was named #1 Rising Star Clarinetist in the Downbeat Critics Poll in both 2011 and 2013. Ben’s song-cycle Orphic Machine, “knotted and occasionally spooky composition marked by dazzling interplay,” (LA Times) with lyrics from the “speculative poetics” of Allen Grossman, is performed by a nine piece ensemble including Nels Cline, Ron Miles, and Ches Smith, and sung by Carla Kihlstedt. Ben composes for and leads Invisible Guy, Unfold Ordinary Mind; Go Home, “a searching ensemble that welcomes lyrical improvisation while embracing the groove” (The New Yorker); Ben Goldberg School; Ben Goldberg Trio with Greg Cohen and Kenny Wollesen; the avant-chamber ensemble Tin Hat; and DIALOGUE, a duo with pianist Myra Melford. Other affiliations include Kris Davis’ Infrasound; Nels Cline’s New Monastery; Todd Sickafoose’s Tiny Resistors; and Allison Miller’s Boom Tic Boom. The 11- piece Ben Goldberg’s Brainchild performs Ben’s on-the-spot compositions.
3. Guitarist/composer Mary Halvorson has been called “NYC’s least-predictable improviser” (Howard Mandel, City Arts), “the most forward-thinking guitarist working right now” (Lars Gotrich, NPR.org) and “one of today’s most formidable bandleaders” (Francis Davis, Village Voice). Ms. Halvorson is best known for her longstanding trio, featuring bassist John Hébert and drummer Ches Smith, and more recently for her solo guitar project, Meltframe. She has several other projects as a bandleader including a quintet, septet and octet. Collaborative projects include a chamber-jazz duo with violist Jessica Pavone, the avant-rock band People and the collective ensembles Thumbscrew (with Michael Formanek and Tomas Fujiwara) and Secret Keeper (with Stephan Crump). Ms. Halvorson is also an active member of bands led by Anthony Braxton, Taylor Ho Bynum, Trevor Dunn, Tomas Fujiwara, Ingrid Laubrock, Joe Morris, Tom Rainey, Mike Reed and Marc Ribot, among others.