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Peter Zummo 1948 -

Experimenting with Household Chemicals [Amazon.com] [FR] [DE] [UK]

Peter Zummo has been composing since 1967 and has performed his works for solo trombone and ensemble worldwide. He has pioneered new approaches to instrumental technique on the trombone. Choreographic commissions include Trisha Brown's Newark (with Donald Judd) and Lateral Pass, which won a Bessie award. Peter Zummo also performs and composes for the Downtown Ensemble and has developed and performed seminal works for many composers, including David Behrman, Rhys Chatham, Anthony Coleman, Dan Froot, Jon Gibson, Daniel Goode, Peter Gordon, Tom Hamilton, William Hellermann, Guy Klucevsek, Joan LaBarbara, Steve Lacy, Annea Lockwood, Alvin Lucier, Jon Lurie, Phil Niblock, and Arthur Russell. He has previously released the recordings Zummo with a X (Loris Records) and Experimenting with Household Chemicals (XI, 1987). -- Penumbra Music [accessed Mar 2004]

His music evokes Minimalism just waking; the hard, rational edges and crisp patterns haven’t yet come into focus. --Jon Pareles, New York Times

Experimenting with Household Chemicals explores a trombone-specific method for generating melodic movement, as well as a collection of related, “spinoff” melodic material for ensemble. This method is a new way of seeing and combining slide and lip movements, so that performance can precisely follow well-defined mental diagrams while generating unexpected melodic material not conditioned by other, more common musical habits. Musicians include: Mustafa Ahmed, Jon Gibson, Joseph Kubera, Dennis Masuzzo, Arthur Russell, Bill Ruyle, and Peter Zummo. --Album Description via amazon.com[accessed Mar 2004]

Peter Zummo is, in order: musician, trombonist, composer, band leader, producer, organizer and engineer. He has performed his works for solo trombone and ensemble worldwide. His work emerges from the contemporary classical tradition with a strong element of individuality and iconoclasm. Zummo explores this tradition in combination with or in juxtaposition to the so-called minimal, downtown, jazz, world music, ambient, avant-garde, folk and rock styles. He has pioneered new approaches to, and uses for extended instrumental technique on the trombone and also uses the valve trombone, didjeridu, euphonium, computers, synthesizers and other electronics in his music. His playing is characterized by a multitude of voices, many the result of non-standard muting, but many more as aspects of open playing, also with voice and lip multiphonics, and singing as well--producing some of the most engaging "new music" to come out of New York in the last twenty years. Plastics, both as mutes and horns, play a role. Zummo's compositions are built on melodic and rhythmic fragments, which are presented as lists to like-minded musicians who then pursue ensemble at the boundaries of common and extended practice. --highzero.org, [accessed Mar 2004]

Peter Zummo (1948) is a tombonist who has explored ensemble music at the border between classical chamber music and free-jazz. His first album was Zummo with a X (Loris, 1985).

The six movements of Experimenting with Household Chemicals (XI, 1995), composed between 1987 and 1992 and featuring Jon Gibson on saxophones, Joseph Kubera on keyboards and Arthur Russell on amplified cello, display a deviant intelligence as well as a sense of humour. Zummo's pretext is to explores a new melodic technique at the trombone, something he does best in the 17-minute Includes Free Information (which runs the gamut from a bizarre solo to a collective fanfare back to a spirited solo, but Fresh Batteries, Rocket Scientist (9:45) and the delicate In Three Movements (9:54) are mainly about timbric and dynamic counterpoint, an art of subtle, frugal, timid exchanges between musicians that sound chaotic at first but reveal a hidden logic upon repeated listening. The 14-minute Sung Played Heard actually emphasizes tempos via a grotesque use of percussions.
Peaceful Transportation (10:50) is an almost psychedelic drone that floats lifeless in vast seas of silence. --http://www.scaruffi.com/avant/zummo.html [May 2004]

Instrument training, trombone and other winds with the legendary Carmine Caruso. Also studied with Roswell Rudd, Jim Fulkerson, didgeridoo with Stuart Dempster, electronic music with Alvin Lucier, and was in the World Music program at Wesleyan University. Zummo's many compositions for ensemble (incl. Zummo Labs, the Environmental Combo, etc.) build on original melody and melodic fragments, generating interactive situations for musicians. Radical Filtering premiered at the BAM Next Wave Festival, Semiotic Handgun premiered at Lincoln Center Out-Of-Doors, Fast Dream at Boston Opera House. Many commisions and grants. Music for dancer Trisha Brown's Newark and Lateral Pass, and several other dance and theater works. --"Blue" Gene Tyranny [accessed Mar 2004]

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