The Alchemy Project, is a new composer-led ensemble experiment that brings together five combustible sound chemists with powerful voices in jazz and orchestral work. Reconvening from their disparate locations in New York, Philadelphia, Oakland, South Africa and Seattle, the project features musicians who took part in the Jazz Composers Orchestra Intensive (JCOI) presented by The Center for Jazz Studies at Columbia University and American Composers Orchestra in cooperation with The UCLA Herb Alpert School of Music. At this intensive, jazz composers were urged to bring their harmonic, rhythmic and improvisational artistry into the orchestral world.
In the Alchemy Project, colleagues from the JCOI will create original works that weave the intricate expansiveness of orchestral writing into an improvisational sextet. These diverse and multi-generational composers are all band-leaders with a wide range of musical experiences. Reading their individual biographies highlights an amazing array of collaborations in improvisation and composition over the last 30 years. The experiment here is give each composer an arsenal of instruments, wielded by dynamic players, and full permission to ignite the collaborative fire and see what happens. In this intensive Seattle residency the septet will debut 10 new works written for this ensemble at The Royal Room and record them at David Lange Studios.
Alchemy Project composers are Sumi Tonooka (piano), Erica Lindsay (tenor saxophone) Salim Washington (tenor saxophone, flute, alto flute, bass clarinet & oboe), David Arend (acoustic bass) and Samantha Boshnack (trumpet & flugelhorn). In addition to these composers the band features Max Wood (drums) and Willem De Koch (trombone).
This is a video of a performance of two of the composers – Sumi Tonooka and Erica Lindsay