Track Premiere: Wavefield Ensemble Performs Jessie Cox’s Space Travel From Someplace Else

A chorus of otherworldly whispers, harmonics, scrapes, and multiphonics usher in Jessie Cox’s aptly named Space Travel From Someplace Else. Deep primordial resonances underscore the alien-like chatter of winds, reeds, and percussion, and whooshing airy sustains are adorned with whistling overtones. Recorded in parking garage in New Jersey, Space Travel From Someplace Else is one of five tracks on Wavefield Ensemble’s debut album, Concrete & Void.

Concrete & Void features newly commissioned works designed to be rehearsed and recorded in a single session, written by Jen Baker, Jessie Cox, Victoria Cheah, Greg Chudzik, and Nicholas DeMaison. The resulting compositions explore the possibilities of graphic scores and other non-traditional music notation as tools for responding to the resonance of industrial spaces, spectrographic sound renderings, and pre-recorded video excerpts.

Jessie Cox--Photo by Gaya Feldheim Schorr

Jessie Cox–Photo by Gaya Feldheim Schorr

Here’s what Wavefield Ensemble had to say about the project:

Concrete & Void was recorded live on October 3, 2020 in a parking garage in Montclair, New Jersey. Four composers were commissioned to devise works that could be read and recorded in one session that afternoon, deep in the middle of the pandemic, in a space composed of two materials: dense, flat surfaces and the open air. Jessie Cox’s Space Travel From Someplace Else (2020) is a remix of his TV series “Space Travel From Home,” which was created during the COVID lockdown in the spring and summer of 2020. The score asks the performers to remix, respond to, and reflect on Cox’s own performances from the TV series. To do this, every performer creates their own personal score from a remixed video-score and a series of text instructions.

Concrete & Void is out May 28, 2021 on New Focus Recordings, and you can pre-order the album here.

About Wavefield Ensemble

Described as “a great sounding group with a knack for dynamic programming” (I Care If You Listen) Wavefield Ensemble is a collectively organized group of musicians dedicated to performing music and creating new artistic work at the highest level, bringing together newly commissioned music with classics of the 20th and 21st century repertoire. Hints of the ensemble can be traced to 2016; the group launched in earnest in 2018. Concrete & Void is the ensemble’s first album.

About Jessie Cox

Jessie Cox is a composer, drummer, and scholar, currently in pursuit of his Doctoral Degree at Columbia University. Growing up in Switzerland, and also having roots in Trinidad and Tobago, he is currently residing in NYC. He has written over 100 works for various musical ensembles including electroacoustic works, solo works, chamber and orchestral works, works for jazz ensembles and choirs, including commissions and performances by LA Philharmonic, Ensemble Modern, Heidi Duckler Dance, JACK Quartet, International Contemporary Ensemble, and more. As a performer he has played in Europe, Africa, the Caribbean and the USA with musicians from all over the world. Jessie has participated at es-teemed festivals all over the world and his music can be heard on Aztec Music’s Declic Jazz Label, Gold Bolus Recordings and Infrequent Seams, as well as others. His scholarly writing has been published in the journal Sound American, and Castle Of Our Skins’ blog; a publication is forthcoming in Critical Studies in Improvisation. He has also presented his work at numerous conferences and festivals. Jessie Cox graduated summa cum laude from the Berklee College of Music on esteemed scholarships in 2017.


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