Airplane Ears Music represents composers Evan Ziporyn and Christine Southworth, Balinese Gamelan Galak Tika (based at MIT in Cambridge, Massachusetts) and Ensemble Robot.
Evan Ziporyn (b. 1959) makes music at the crossroads between genres and cultures, east and west. He studied at Eastman, Yale & UC Berkeley with Joseph Schwantner, Martin Bresnick, & Gerard Grisey. He first traveled to Bali in 1981, studying with Madé Lebah, Colin McPhee's 1930s musical informant. He returned on a Fulbright in 1987.
Earlier that year, he performed a clarinet solo at the First Bang on a Can Marathon in New York. His involvement with BOAC continues to this day: in 1992 he co-founded the Bang on a Can All-stars (Musical America's 2005 Ensemble of the Year), with whom he has toured the globe and premiered over 100 commissioned works, collaborating with Nik Bartsch, Iva Bittova, Don Byron, Ornette Coleman, Brian Eno, Philip Glass, Meredith Monk, Thurston Moore, Terry Riley and Tan Dun. Their latest recording, Steve Reich's 2x5, was recently released on Nonesuch.
Ziporyn joined the MIT faculty in 1990 and is currently Kenan Sahin Distinguished Professor. There he founded Gamelan Galak Tika in 1993, beginning a series of groundbreaking compositions for gamelan & western instruments. These include three evening-length works, 2001's ShadowBang, 2004's Oedipus Rex (Robert Woodruff, director), and 2009's A House in Bali, an opera which joins western singers with Balinese traditional performers, and the All-stars with a full gamelan. It received its world premiere in Bali that summer and its New York premiere at BAM Next Wave in fall 2010.
As a clarinetist, Ziporyn recorded the definitive version of Steve Reich's multi-clarinet NY Counterpoint in 1996, sharing in that ensemble's Grammy in 1998. In 2001 his solo clarinet CD, This is Not A Clarinet, made Top Ten lists across the country. His compositions have been commissioned by Yo-Yo Ma's Silk Road, Kronos Quartet, American Composers Orchestra, Maya Beiser, So Percussion, Wu Man, and BMOP. He received the 2007 USA Artists Walker Award and the 2004 American Academy of Arts and Letters Lieberson Fellowship. Recordings of his works have also been released on Sony Classical, New Albion, and New World.
Christine Southworth (b. 1978), through her work with robots and automated music systems as co-founder and Director of Ensemble Robot, is making groundbreaking music based on the interaction between science, technology and creativity. Employing sounds from man and nature, from Van de Graaff Generator to honeybees, Balinese gamelan to seismic data from volcanos, Southworth is introducing a brand new genre of music to Boston, born out of the area's complex community of scientists and artists.
Her 2005 & 2007 performances of Zap! overfilled the Boston Museum of Science's Theater of Electricity with energized crowds of students, professors, artists, children, and adults. TheBoston Phoenix called the show "truly electrifying," describing that "Ever since Bob Dylan, 'going electric' has had many connotations, but this was something different: though Zap! utilized the talents of a flutist, two keyboardists, a cellist, a guitarist, a bassist, a drummer, a vocalist, a double-helix-shaped robotic xylophone, sound engineers, and computer programmers, the centerpiece of Southworth's performance was electricity itself, as millions of volts buzzed, fizzled, and sparked in deafening cracks that punctuated her music." (Will Spitz,Boston Phoenix)
Southworth received a B.S. from MIT in 2002 in mathematics and music and M.A. in Computer Music & Multimedia Composition from Brown University in 2006. She composes for Western ensembles, Balinese gamelan, and mixed ensembles of gamelan, western instruments, electronics, and robots. Her compositions draw from her interests in modern American and European music, jazz, Balinese music, and rock and roll, and have received awards and recognition from the LEF Foundation, American Composers Forum, Meet the Composer, New England Foundation for the Arts (NEFA), the MIT Eloranta Fellowship, and Bang on a Can. Her music has been played throughout the U.S., Europe, and Indonesia by ensembles including Kronos Quartet, Gamelan Galak Tika, Calder Quartet, Bang on a Can All-Stars, Gamelan Semara Ratih, California EAR Unit, Andrew W.K., and Ensemble Robot. Her music is available on Airplane Ears recordings Zap! (2008) and Gamelan Galak Tika: Bronze Age Space Age(2009)
Gamelan Galak Tika is America's most innovative Balinese Gamelan. Led by composer Evan Ziporyn, Galak Tika has performed groundbreaking music at Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, BAM, two Bang on a Can Marathons, at colleges all over New England and New York, and throughout Bali, Indonesia. Galak Tika was formed in 1993 and is dedicated to commissioning and performing new works by Balinese and American composers, for gamelan and mixed ensembles of gamelan and Western instruments, as well as performing traditional Balinese music and dance.