Visionary Pianist Uri Caine Joins Forces with The Lutosławski Quartet on New Release, Space Kiss – Available June 23 via 816Music
Release Performance Scheduled for Wednesday, June 21 at Glass Box Performance Space (The New School) in New York City
When worlds collide the results can be cataclysmic, but Uri Caine makes the stars align in thrilling and harmonious fashion on his latest merger of jazz and classical music, Space Kiss. The album brings the eclectic, ever-(re)inventive pianist and composer together with Poland’s Lutosławski Quartet on a wide-ranging set that blurs the lines between jagged modernism and lyrical melodicism, formal composition and improvisational freedom.
The genre-warping Caine is, of course, no stranger to discovering radical new crossroads where jazz and classical can converge in often-unexpected ways. Among the most acclaimed titles in his always-surprising catalogue are his deconstructions of classical repertoire, projects where he turns the work of Wagner, Mahler, Verdi, Schumann and Bach inside out and reassembles it from a patchwork of stylistic and sonic inspirations. He’s also collaborated in the past with chamber ensembles like the Arditti, Alborada and New Zealand String Quartets, composing music that sets his own improvisations against through-composed music.
Space Kiss offers a new twist on those experiments, allowing the Lutosławski Quartet to function sometimes as a traditional classical string quartet, at others like free improvisers in dialogue with the composer’s piano. “I can imagine certain string quartets would not be into that,” Caine admits, “but the members of the Lutosławski Quartet are very open-minded musicians. They were open to a lot of things and they understand different styles. I like the energy that they play with, and we had a lot of fun.”
Named after the great 20th century Polish composer Witold Lutosławski, the Lutosławski Quartet is one of the leading young Polish quartets. Since its formation in 2007, the group has quickly established itself on the Polish and international classical music scnees, appearing at numerous prestigious festivals and in concert halls around the world. Performing mainly music of the 20th and 21st centuries, the quartet has collaborated with a diverse array of classical artists including Garrick Ohlsson, Kevin Kenner, Bruno Canino and Michel Lethiec as well as jazz musicians Kenny Wheeler, John Taylor and Benoît Delbecq.
Caine first crossed paths with the quartet in November 2011 when he was invited to perform at Jazztopad, the rapidly-growing jazz festival in the ensemble’s hometown of Wrocław, Poland. They’ve since reunited on stages in Europe and New York City, the daring and adventurous results of which can be heard in Caine’s compositions for the group on Space Kiss.
“I was able to write in different styles,” Caine says. “Some of comes out of a contemporary string quartet style, but some of the pieces are more lyric and tonal, not as rhythmic. I could also take different approaches to the improvisation, sometimes playing more densely, more actively, sometimes more laid back, while having the freedom to move back and forth between playing with the group and playing against the group, moving through different textures and dynamics. I love having all those possibilities.”
About Uri Caine
Caine has received commissions to compose music for the American Composers Orchestra, The Arditti Quartet, The Vienna Volksoper, Concerto Koln, The Basel Chamber Orchestra and The Beaux Arts Trio among others. His most recent orchestra composition “Sunburst” was performed in June 2016 at the Teatro Massimo in Palermo, Sicily. He also served as the Director of The Venice Biennale in 2003. Caine has received grants from The National Endowment for the Arts, The Pew Foundation and The USA Artist Fellowships and has performed at numerous festivals including the North Sea, Monterey, Montreal and Newport Jazz Festival as well as classical festivals like the Salzburg Festival, the Munich Opera, Holland Festival, IRCAM and Great Performers at Lincoln Center. He has recorded more than 30 albums as a leader and was nominated for a Grammy® Award for The Othello Syndrome (Winter and Winter) in 2009.
Uri Caine & The Lutosławski Quartet · Space Kiss
816Music · Release Date: June 23, 2017
Photo Courtesy of Artist
For more information on Uri Caine please visit: UriCaine.com