Anthony Coleman: Lapidation


It was sometime in 1974 that a number of composition students were sitting at a table in the cafeteria of the New England Conservatory discussing the various musical issues of the day when Donald Martino, one of our Faculty Fearless Leaders,turned to Anthony Coleman and said “You know, Anthony, you are a truly literate musician.” Over the years, this condition has only intensified. I remember this quote now, in 2007, not only because it was true at the time, but also because after listening to the music on this CD I am deeply impressed that Anthony is able to draw from so many varied, disparate, and even contradictory sources, and still emerge with such a singular and consistent voice. It takes a truly literate and sophisticated mind to perceive the common threads of many languages and to sense their underlying unity.

Listening to any of the five works on this CD is to enter into a particular world, highly specific in material but nearly hallucinatory in formal development. The music starts, becomes linear, suspends, goes vertical, goes backward, goes forward, produces vague memories, and ends. What happened? Something.

Anthony was born in New York City in 1955 and is a pure product of that city’s musical energy. In high school he obsessed over Duke Ellington (a not-so-common thing for a high school kid in the late sixties and early seventies), hearing the band live for the first time on his fourteenth birthday. He subsequently got to know Ellington and the band personally, hanging out with them at gigs, and attending a workshop that they gave at the University of Wisconsin in the summer of 1972. Their influence was pervasive.

Anthony then began his Bachelor’s degree at the New England Conservatory in 1973, going there at the urging of Jaki Byard, the legendary pianist and sideman in the Mingus bands, with whom Anthony had studied since he was thirteen and who was a member of the NEC faculty at that time. While there Anthony studied with the important jazz composer and theorist George Russell, and also with the classical composers Donald Martino and Malcolm Peyton. Anthony has worked this “jazz/classical” dichotomy hard for the last thirty-some years. Along with these mentors, Anthony counts among his influences Webern, Feldman, Varèse, Monk, Wolpe, the Art Ensemble of Chicago, Schoenberg, Ornette, Gamelan Gong Kebyar, Bartók, and Janáček. Naturally, this is only a partial listing. Coleman, being a first-rate composer, is also a fine rip-off artist, and has mined the fertile territory these musicians have left him with great dexterity and elegance.

He completed a master’s degree from Yale in 1979 before hightailing it away from academia and moving back to his spiritual home, New York City. Over the next two decades he would become an integral part of the burgeoning downtown improvisation scene, working with John Zorn, Glenn Branca, and Elliott Sharp during some of the most crucial phases of their individual musical developments. Anthony also led some of the best and most interesting bands of that era, including by Night, Sephardic Tinge, Selfhaters, and Selfhaters Orchestra, each group exploring a particular aspect of his inexhaustible musical personality.

As one might imagine would be the case with a composer who has spent many years working in many improvising bands as both a leader and side person, there is a strong element of collaboration in Anthony’s music. Several musicians on this recording (most notably Doug Wieselman, Marty Ehrlich, Jim Pugliese, and Joseph Kubera) have worked with Anthony for several decades and the individual “sounds” of each of these outstanding musicians have contributed to Anthony’s palette and voice. This is, in many ways, very similar to the way Ellington worked with and was shaped by members of his band. In looking at the scores of Coleman’s music (all of which are clearly and fully notated) one can hear the transformation on the recording of the written music into the living sound. The effect of the individual musicians who play his music is palpable and an essential part of each of these compositions.

I spoke with the percussionist Jim Pugliese about what it was like to rehearse and perform this music. He said that he realized after a rehearsal of Lapidation that he should be prohibited from operating heavy machinery or driving a car for several hours after rehearsing a piece of Anthony’s. This intoxication can be possibly attributed to a number of factors. One is the insistent but irregular repetition of motive. In a completely un-minimalist way, Anthony takes a motive and obsesses over it, taking it apart and looking at it from every possible angle, expanding it and contracting it, until leaving it for another motive which is frequently another version of, or an expansion of the very same motive. By doing this in such a rhythmically irregular and unstable way, one’s perception of the music enters a state of suspension. Speaking with Marty Ehrlich about rehearsing and recording this music, he said he wished he had a video camera to record Coleman’s conducting because his attitude reflected the music so well. Anthony would smile, laugh, or cackle at the music as it proceeded, taking delight in its sheer perverse existence.

Lapidation (2002), for ten players, was written for House Blend, the late, great, resident ensemble at The Kitchen. Shortly after September 11, 2001, Anthony was reading an article in the French newspaper Libération which described the stoning( lapidation in French) of a Sudanese woman, hence the title. The piece begins in iconic fashion. Anthony uses a Varèsean technique of creating a melody by having each instrument blast a separate pitch in a particular register. At the very opening one hears an E in the clarinet followed by a C-sharp in the tenor sax; an octave lower we hear the trombone on a G-sharp followed by the trumpet on a B, with the violin and cello in the middle alternating G-sharps, Gs, and F-sharps. The piano and bass provide support with octave C-sharps, and the two percussionists whack objects (usually drums and cymbals) almost always in rhythmic unison. This creates a fascinating kaleidoscopic effect as it evolves, blurring the identity of each instrument and, as new elements are introduced, transforming the music into new harmonies and timbres. For instance, the sonority evolves from the pervasive minor third at the opening to a minor third with an added minor second (for example,E–C-sharp–C natural). This pitch collection (referred to back in the day as “the cosmopolitan trichord” because of its myriad uses and possibilities) comes to play a dominant role in the rest of the composition. Gradually, as it moves forward,the music seems to question its identity. A fragmentation occurs, continuing until the arrival of a piano solo, which attempts to re-combine the fragmented elements into a new identity. The new motive in the piano then finds itself in the presence of a modified version of the opening, culminating in a very unexpected and very sweet phrase for violin, cello, and tenor sax. A motor rhythm in the bass then announces the presumed move to the end. There is a blast of energy, with all pitches locked in register, and all instruments locked on pitch, but things again fall apart. We find ourselves in tentative territory with fragmented memories of the cosmopolitan trichord before giving way to a cohesive, abrasive blast that is a paraphrase of the end of Octandre by Edgard Varèse.

East Orange (2006), from Coleman’s suite Three Places in New Jersey, is a brief work for solo piano that is played with stylistic authority by Joseph Kubera. The major seventh, which turns up again in I Diet on Cod, anchors the piece with a jabbing insistence. In fact, the piece essentially deals with two elements—arpeggiation and the jabbing chords, along with the occasional outburst of a melodic figure. Structurally, it is as if Anthony were reminiscing about the first movement of Webern’s Variations for Piano (perhaps while listening to a Thelonious Monk solo record) and deciding it was time to respond. The sound world of East Orange is many miles from the Webern, but the germ for the piece I think can be found there. The piece is also an outgrowth of Anthony’s work as an improvising pianist, and his singularly physical approach to the instrument is fully in evidence.

I Diet on Cod (2007) is as elusive as it is obsessive. To my ear the piece is in five unresolved sections. It begins with a mournful, descending four-note pattern that undergoes continuous change, played first by two altos, and then, halfway through the section, by bassoon and trombone. Underneath this motive is a revolving, slow-moving, and unstable harmonic pattern supplied by the piano, accordion, and bass. This unstable harmonic motion, typical of Coleman’s music, allows the motive-obsessed upper line to be perceived in a continuously changing context. The listener tends to focus on the prominent upper register, while the lower, restlessly roaming background creates the dark resonance and tension. After around three minutes of this, the music turns precariously vertical, with thin-textured statements by the electric guitar, piano, and accordion evolving into a more sure-footed passage where the ensemble begins to function as a unified group for the first time. But not for long. A brief passage ensues with the members of the ensemble trading wailing riffs that are related to, but twice removed from, the opening motive. Then everything comes to a complete halt, there is a silence (the first in the piece);then the piano plays, salvaging the major seventh interval from the wreckage that had preceded it. The silence marks the halfway point in the piece and implies a palindromic structure that never quite materializes. The music temporarily freezes around the major seventh before making a series of attempts to reinstate the more linear music of the opening. In the end,however, we are left with only the major seventh, the last remembrance of the opening four-note motive being a passage near the end played with grotesque vibrato by both the guitar and trombone. Much is left unresolved, but that is part of the dream-like state in which this piece exists.

Mise en Abîme (1997—written for the Bang on a Can All-Stars) begins with a direct quotation of the beginning of the third movement of Schoenberg’s Five Pieces for Orchestra, the famous Summer Morning on a Lake. Why quote it here, and what does the music of Anthony Coleman have to do with a summer morning on a lake? I’m not sure about the latter, but Mise en Abîme has plenty to do with the Schoenberg. Both pieces are about the subtle transformation of generally quiet chords from instrument to instrument. Why not provocatively and wittily give a tip of the hat to uncle Arnold, before taking his inspiration into a completely different realm? Another aspect of this intriguing piece is, again, the use of register. The instrumentation is for three low instruments (bass clarinet, cello, and bass), plus guitar, piano, and percussion. However, the vast majority of the piece is written well above middle C. This creates a palpable tension (and high level of difficulty) in the sound world and in performance, as the instruments are constantly working against type. The use of register is quite important in Anthony’s music, but here it takes on particular significance—it becomes the essence of the piece. This is music also reminiscent of the aural delicacy of Feldman and, again, Webern, but with a subtle starkness that is entirely its own. Its pitch world is ambiguous and changing, but still with many cosmopolitan trichord references. All of this delicacy and ambiguity is given a spectacular jolt near the end, when the entire ensemble joins into a series of forte major triads that provide a rude, very funny, and effective wake-up call before drifting back into the abyss.

The final work on the program, The King of Kabay, is a fine piece of shrieking melancholy that might be the hit single on the album if we lived in a different culture. It’s accessible, riotous, and has a catchy tune. The historic inspiration for this piece seems to my ear to be the opening of Stravinsky’s Symphonies of Wind Instruments (the raw and wild original 1920version, not the California-ized 1947 version), but in this case the wailing and gnashing remain the central element of the piece. It’s also the only work on the recording that employs serious use of improvisation. The tune is fixed but the accompanying players are given a range of notes to play within each chord. The harmonic cycle is repeated three times, with each repetition becoming more expansive and energetic. The instrumentation—piano, organ, accordion, three clarinets,trombone, and percussion—is unique and perfectly suited to this music. The King also contains a B section of pure Ellingtonian elegance, about which Marty Ehrlich commented that he thought he could almost see Harry Carney, Ellington’s baritone player, sitting to his right during the recording. The piece is a fitting collaborative ending to a compact disc that presents a compelling portrait of the fully composed music of Anthony Coleman, one of the most original, literate, and versatile musicians working today.


Lee Hyla


Lee Hyla is a composer and is the Wyatt Chair of Music Composition at Northwestern University. He has two recordings available on New World Records, We Speak Etruscan and Trans.


Anthony Coleman, born in New York City in 1955, is a composer, improvising keyboardist, and teacher. He studied at the High School of Music and Art, privately with pianist-composer Jaki Byard, at the New England Conservatory of Music(B.M. Composition, 1977) where his major teachers were George Russell, Donald Martino, and Malcolm Peyton, Yale School of Music (M.M. Composition, 1979) where he studied with David Mott, Jacob Druckman, and Betsy Jolas. He took Mauricio Kagel’s seminar in the summer of 1981 at Centre Acanthes, Aix-en-Provence, France. His compositions have been commissioned and performed by The Crosstown Ensemble, TILT Brass Band, Bang on a Can All-Stars, Kitchen House Blend, Relâche, clarinetist David Krakauer, and accordionist Guy Klucevsek, among others.

He is a two-time recipient of a New York Foundation for the Arts grant (1988 and 2006) and has received grants from the Jerome Foundation, the New York State Council on the Arts, and Meet The Composer, among others. Most recently, he was commissioned by the Ruhr Triennale in Germany to compose a full-evening song cycle based on texts by the Medieval poet Walter von der Vogelweide, Dubistmeinichbindein. He has received residencies from the Yellow Springs Arts Center, the Djerassi Colony, the Civitella Ranieri Center (Umbertide, Italy), and the Frei und Hansestadt Kulturbehörde of Hamburg,Germany. His ensembles have included the trio Sephardic Tinge and Selfhaters Orchestra. He has presented his work atthe Sarajevo Jazz Festival, North Sea Jazz Festival, Saalfelden Festival, and the Krakow and Vienna Jewish Culture Festivals.

In 2003, his music was the subject of a three-day festival, Abstract Adventures, in Brussels, Belgium.

Coleman has toured and recorded with John Zorn, Elliott Sharp, Marc Ribot, Shelley Hirsch, Roy Nathanson, and manyothers. Beyond the eleven CDs recorded under his own name (see the Selected Discography), he has played on more thanone hundred CDs (a discography through 1998 is available at He has also produced the recordings of several artists including Marc Ribot (Sub Rosa), Pharoah’s Daughter, and Romanian singer Sanda, and With Every Breath: The Music of Shabbat at BJ (Knitting Factory Works).

Anthony Coleman is currently on the faculty of the New England Conservatory of Music in the Contemporary Improvisation Department.

Cellist/composer/conductor Dan Barrett has played extensively for PBS, particularly as cellist for many of their featured documentaries, such as The Great Depression, and Ric Burns’s The Way West and The History of New York. His solo credits include the Radio France Festival, the Gulbenkian Festival (Lisbon), the Alvin Ailey Dance Company, and WQXR,as well as featured solos on recordings of works by Iannis Xenakis and for the Irish ensemble Cherish the Ladies. Other credits include onstage cellist in James Joyce’s The Dead on Broadway, Orchestra of St. Luke’s, New York City Opera, the American Ballet Theater, Philomusica, the Brooklyn Philharmonic, and the Sirius Quartet, and principal positions for the STX Ensemble, the Connecticut Grand Opera, the SEM Ensemble and the Crosstown Ensemble. Barrett has recorded extensively for Windham-Hill, Shanachie, RCA, and Mode record labels.

After periods of study at the Conservatorio di Santa Cecilia in Rome and the Musik Akademie in Basel with Oscar Ghiglia,guitarist Marco Cappelli has gone on to perform a wide range of music, encompassing composed music as well as improvisation. He has collaborated internationally with such composers as Anthony Coleman, Michel Godard, Butch Morris, Jim Pugliese, Enrico Rava, Marc Ribot, Elliott Sharp, Giovanni Sollima, and Markus Stockhausen and has participated in jazz and avant-garde music festivals both as a soloist and in different ensemble combinations. Among the founders of the Italian contemporary music group Ensemble Dissonanzen, Cappelli currently lives in New York. His solo guitar recording EGP ( Extreme Guitar Project) is available on Mode Records.

Bassist Sean Conly attended the University of Missouri–Kansas City conservatory but his real education happened on the bandstand with local legends such as Ahmad Aladeen, Jay McShann, and Claude “Fiddler” Williams. He moved East in1992 to study with Rufus Reid and Todd Coolman at William Paterson University. Since moving to New York City in 1994he has toured or recorded with such artists as Gregory Tardy, Freddie Hubbard, Regina Carter, Ray Barretto, Charles Blenzig, Michael Franks, Tom Harrell, Andrew Hill, Nicholas Payton, Stefon Harris, Yoron Israel, Eric Lewis, JamesMoody, Mike Stern, Rick Margitza, Michael Attias, Tony Malaby, Myron Walden, Michael Franks, Anthony Coleman, and the Vana Gehrig Trio. In 2000 Conly toured with The Newport Millennium Celebration with Cedar Walton, Randy Brecker, Howard Alden, Lew Tabackin, and others.

Bassist Ben Davis is also a composer and examples of his work can be found at and

Cornelius Dufallo is currently director and violinist of the contemporary music ensemble Ne(x)tworks. Since 2005 he has also been a violinist in the amplified string quartet known as ETHEL. Dufallo was a founding member of the Flux quartet from 1997–2002. He has commissioned and premiered works by many of today’s most prominent composers including Kenji Bunch, Joan La Barbara, John King, Don Byron, Marcello Zarvos, and Jed Distler. In recent years Dufallo has appeared at international festivals in Melbourne and Oslo, as well as American festivals including Ojai, Summergarden,Lincoln Center’s A Great Day in New York, and Carnegie Hall’s When Morty Met John . . . festival. His own compositions have been performed by such groups as ETHEL, the Flux Quartet, the Cutting Edge Ensemble, Ne(x)tworks, and the Maple City Chamber Orchestra.

Marty Ehrlich is celebrating thirty years of performing and composing in the nexus of new music centered in New York City. He began his musical career in St. Louis, Missouri, where he grew up, recording Under the Sun with the Human Arts Ensemble in 1972. He attended the New England Conservatory of Music, along with Anthony Coleman, graduating in 1977.He has made twenty-five recordings of his compositions with ensembles ranging in size from duo to jazz orchestra. He has performed with many leading contemporary composers, appearing on almost a hundred recordings of new music. His honors include a Guggenheim Fellowship in composition, the Peter Ivers Visiting Artist residency at Harvard University,numerous commissioning grants, “Clarinetist of the Year” from the Jazz Journalists Association, and a Distinguished Alumni award from NEC. He is currently a professor of music at Hampshire College in Amherst, Massachusetts.

Ken Filiano performs throughout the world, playing and recording with leading artists in jazz, spontaneous improvisation,classical and chamber music, world/ethnic music, and interdisciplinary performance. His lengthy discography includes a solobass CD, subvenire (NineWinds), which received unanimous critical praise. Current projects include composing for his quartet with Michael Attias, Tony Malaby, and Michael T.A. Thompson. Filiano is on the faculty of Mansfield University,has a private bass studio at his home in New York, and teaches master classes in bass and improvisation.

Trumpeter Gareth Flowers composes and performs music in New York City. Although he has performed with the San Francisco Symphony, the New York Philharmonic, and the Philadelphia Orchestra, he currently enjoys chamber music and performs with the International Contemporary Ensemble, Camerata Pacifica, the Iris Chamber Orchestra, the Columbia Sinfonietta, and the Knights of the Many-Sided Table. He has toured with Burning River Brass, the Paragon Ragtime Orchestra, and the New York Symphonic Ensemble. In addition, Flowers’s own Living Large for trumpet and laptop was recently premiered in the Clark Studio Theater, and he has just completed a piece for laptop and violin titled Intuition,written for Lynn Bechtold.

Trombonist and composer Jacob Garchik, born and raised in San Francisco, has lived in New York City since the mid nineties. He is a member of about fifteen ensembles, including the Lee Konitz New Nonet, the Ohad Talmor/Steve SwallowSextet, Slavic Soul Party, the John Hollenbeck Large Ensemble, the Ben Gerstein Collective, and the Four Bags. He has created arrangements for the Kronos Quartet of music from China, Korea, Iran, Poland, and the United States. Garchik has worked with the contemporary composers Joe Maneri, Anthony Braxton, Billy Martin, and James Tenney, choreographers Yoshiko Chuma and Anita Cheng, and the Theatre of a Two-headed Calf. His 2005 debut album, Abstracts, featuring his compositions for trombone, piano, and drums, was acclaimed by the New York Times and All About Jazz.

Pianist Stephen Gosling is a ubiquitous presence on the New York new-music scene, and has also performed throughout the United States, Europe, Latin America, and Asia. He is a member of both Ensemble Sospeso and the New York New Music Ensemble, and has performed with Orpheus, the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, Speculum Musicae, DaCapo Chamber Players, the Orchestra of St. Luke’s, Continuum, the League of Composers/ISCM Chamber Players, and Da Camera of Houston. He has also participated in Off-Broadway productions and collaborated with a number of dance companies, including American Ballet Theater and Parsons Dance Project. Mr. Gosling has been heard on the NPR,WNYC, and WQXR radio networks, and has recorded for New World Records, CRI, Mode, Innova, and Rattle Records.

Bassoonist Dana Jessen has played at numerous venues across the country, including Boston’s Jordan Hall and New York City’s The Stone. She has performed with the Harvard Group for New Music, Sonic Circus, the Joe Morris Ensemble, and the Circus of Saints. She has worked closely with a number of composers including Katarina Miljkovic and Eric Spangler (a.k.a. DJ Dubble8). Ms. Jessen received her musical training from Louisiana State University (B.M.) and the New England Conservatory of Music (M.M.).

Eli Keszler is a multi-instrumentalist and composer who in performance primarily uses percussion. In addition to his solo work, composing, and installations, he has performed, recorded, or collaborated with such artists as Jandek, Roscoe Mitchell, Greg Kelley, Geoff Mullen (Last Visible Dog), Steve Pyne (Redhorse), T Model Ford, pianist Ran Blake, and the legendary Jamaican musician Lyn Taitt. Keszler recently released his second solo record, RLK, on his label REL records which, along with his first record, was recently featured in Wire magazine.

Pianist Joseph Kubera has been a leading interpreter of contemporary music for the past twenty-five years and appears regularly at festivals in the United States and Europe. Michael Byron, Anthony Coleman, David First, Alvin Lucier, Roscoe Mitchell, and “Blue” Gene Tyranny, among others, have written works for him. A longtime Cage performer, he recorded the Music of Changes and Piano Concert, and toured with the Cunningham Dance Company at Cage’s invitation. Mr. Kubera is a core member of S.E.M. Ensemble, the DownTown Ensemble, and Ostravska Banda, and he has performed with a wide range of New York ensembles and orchestras. He tours with new-music baritone Thomas Buckner, and composers such as Terry Riley and Ingram Marshall have written for his duo-piano team with Sarah Cahill. Mr. Kubera’s solo playing may be heard on the Wergo, Albany, New Albion, New World, Lovely Music, O.O. Discs, Mutable Music,Cold Blue, and Opus One labels. His Web site is

Pianist Christopher McDonald’s current musical projects include Cuddle Magic, Ennui, White Hinterland, and The Raccoonists.

Christopher McIntyre is a performer, composer, and curator/producer. He performs on trombone and synthesizer in a variety of settings that often incorporate improvisation within notation. Current projects include leading TILT Brass Band,7X7 Trombone Band, and Lotet, and collaborative efforts including the creative music ensemble Ne(x)tworks and cjMjs(duo with Michael J. Schumacher). His compositional aesthetic encompasses elements of site-specificity, self-referential“sampling” between works, and gradually shifting aural tableaux typically generated by improvisatory strategy. He has contributed work to the repertoire of Lotet, TILT, Ne(x)tworks, 7X7 Trombone Band (for choreographer Yoshiko Chuma), and Downtown Ensemble’s Flexible Orchestra. McIntyre is also active as a curator and concert producer. He was recently named Artistic Director of the MATA Festival. Visit for more info.

Kevin Norton is known for both his compositions and his performances as a percussionist. After graduating from Manhattan School of Music (M.M.) Norton soon became active in New York’s Downtown music scene. He recorded and/or performed with The Microscopic Septet, Fred Frith, Phillip Johnston’s Big Trouble, Joel Forrester, and Framework,among many others. For about ten years he played drums, vibraphone, marimba, and multiple percussion in Anthony Braxton’s Ghost Trance ensembles, Tri-Centric Orchestra and Standards Quartet. As a composer, he has written jazz tunes,hour-long suites, soundtrack cues, and everything in between. He is a leader (or co-leader) on more than fifteen recordings and can be heard on more than eighty recordings as a percussionist. He continues to make music with internationally renowned artists such as Joelle Leandre, Paul Rogers, Paul Dunmall, Connie Crothers, Frode Gjerstad, Angelica Sanchez,Tony Malaby, John Lindberg, J.D. Parran, Dave Ballou, and the TILT Brass Band.

Multi-reedist, vocalist, and composer Ashley Paul has been actively involved in improvised and experimental music in both New York City and Boston for the past decade. She has performed most notably with Roscoe Mitchell, Joe Maneri, Ran Blake, and Bob Moses at venues such as The Stone, Brooklyn Summer Stage, Jordan Hall, and ISSUE Project Room. In addition, she performs in a trio with Anthony Coleman and Eli Keszler and is a founding member of the Boston-based quartet Everything’s a Little Glorious. She is currently working on a solo record collaging field recordings with whining reeds, floating vocals, bells, and assorted other instruments.

Cory Pesaturo is in his senior year at the New England Conservatory of Music in Boston. His resumé includes appearances at the White House for President and Mrs. Clinton on four different occasions. In July 2002, Pesaturo became the youngest ever National Accordion Champion and went on to Copenhagen, Denmark, for the Coupe Mondiale WorldCompetition. A win in a concerto competition at the New England Conservatory of Music gave him the rare opportunity to perform at the 2003 Christmas Pops Concert with the Brockton Symphony Orchestra as a featured soloist. At the 2007World Accordion Championships, Pesaturo was hailed as the best jazz accordionist in the world.

New York–based trombonist Matt Plummer works in improvised music, jazz, salsa, and contemporary classical music. Recent recording credits include albums by the Lucky No. 1 Band, Everything’s A Little Glorious, Hooper Piccalero, and a project with guitarist Jameson Swanagon. Mr. Plummer recently received his Master’s degree from the New England Conservatory. He has performed in groups led by Art Lande and Joe Morris; worked with the Denver modern dance group Cleo Parker Robinson Dance; performed and recorded with the Summit Brass ensemble; and shared the stage with Ron Miles, Rakalam Bob Moses, and John Lockwood.

Jim Pugliese is a drummer, percussionist, composer, and international recording artist on more than seventy CDs of experimental, classical, jazz, and rock music. He has performed on the New York Philharmonic’s Horizon Series, with the New York City Ballet, and in numerous new-music and jazz festivals in Europe, Japan, and the United States. He has recorded and/or performed with John Cage, Kent Nagano, and Philip Glass, among others. For the past fifteen years he has been performing and recording with many of downtown New York’s most prominent composer/improvisers including John Zorn, Marc Ribot, Zeena Parkins, and Anthony Coleman. His music is inspired by his recent association and work with Nii Tettey Tetteh, a master musician from Ghana, with Milford Graves, learning drumming and healing through the heartbeat,and his study of the spiritual songs of the Mbira Dzavadzimu from Zimbabwe.

Ted Reichman’s musical explorations started on an upright piano on a bean farm. At Wesleyan University, he studiedwith Alvin Lucier and Anthony Braxton, who hired Reichman to play accordion when he was nineteen. Reichman went onto record eight albums with Braxton. After moving to New York, Reichman became involved in improvisation (with MarcRibot, Anthony Coleman, Eugene Chadbourne), Jewish music (David Krakauer, Roberto Rodriguez), alternative country(Sue Garner, Laura Cantrell), and rock-and-roll (Paul Simon, Sam Phillips, Shivaree). He founded a concert series at and became the original curator of Tonic. Reichman’s work as a composer includes Emigré (Tzadik) and My EarsAre Bent (Skirl) and the original scores to the films Rick, René and I, States of Unbelonging, and The Memory Thief.

Composer/performer Ned Rothenberg has presented his solo and ensemble music internationally for twenty-seven years. He extends the woodwind language to incorporate polyphony and accurate microtonal organization through the manipulation of multiphonics, circular breathing, and overtone control, not only using his horns (clarinets/saxes/flute and shakuhachi) in their standard melodic role but also as rhythmic and harmonic engines. He leads the trio Sync, with Jerome Harris, guitars, and Samir Chatterjee, tabla. Recent recordings on his Animul label include The Fell Clutch with Tony Buck,Stomu Takeishi, and David Tronzo; Sync’s Harbinger; Intervals, a double-CD of solo work; and Are You Be, by R.U.B.(Rothenberg/Kazuhisa Uchihashi/Samm Bennett). Chamber music releases include Inner Diaspora, Ghost Stories, (Tzadik)and Power Lines (New World). Other collaborators have included Sainkho Namchylak, Paul Dresher, John Zorn, Marc Ribot, and Evan Parker.

Jameson Swanagon plays electric and acoustic guitars and composes for and performs with a number of instrumental music ensembles including Everything’s a Little Glorious, a New England Conservatory Honors Ensemble. He has also collaborated with and accompanied vocalists and songwriters such as Caleb Nichols. Their project, Bloody Heads, has yielded two albums and numerous performances at the Knitting Factory and Spaceland in Los Angeles. He studied with Joe Morris, Anthony Coleman, and Ran Blake at NEC.

Chris Veilleux is a saxophonist and composer whose music stems from jazz, free jazz, ethnic music, rock, and classical music. He co-leads the sax, guitar, and drums trio Industrious Noise, which released its first album on Creative Nation Music. Veilleux is currently in the second year of his Master’s degree in contemporary improvisation from the New England Conservatory of Music, and earned his Bachelor’s in Jazz Studies from Northern Illinois University. He is a member of Charlie Kohlhase’s Saxophone Support Group, as well as the Sonic Explorers, and Roving Soul. He has studied with Ran Blake, Joey Sellers, Steve Duke, Jerry Bergonzi, Allan Chase, Charlie Kohlhase, and Anthony Coleman.

Doug Wieselman has worked as a composer, arranger, and musician with a variety of artists in different fields, having studied composition with James Tenney and Gordon Mumma. In theater he has worked with director Robert Woodruff and the Flying Karamazov Brothers, in dance with Jerome Robbins and Paul Taylor, and as a musician with Victoria Williams, Robin Holcomb, Wayne Horvitz, Lou Reed, Tricky, Anthony Coleman, Laurie Anderson, Steven Bernstein,Antony and the Johnsons, and John Lurie, among others. In 2005 he collaborated with Eyvind Kang, Bill Frisell, and Hall Willner on Robert Wilson’s In the Evening at Koi Pond for Expo in Nagoya, Japan. A recording of his soundtrack work,Dimly Lit, was released on the Tzadik label. He co-leads Kamikaze Ground Crew, who have recorded five albums as well as leading his own ensemble Trio S. He is currently composing for the Nick Jr. cartoon show “The Backyardigans” in association with Evan Lurie.




The Abysmal Richness of the Infinite Proximity of the Same. Anthony Coleman, piano, organ, trombone, voice; Michael Attias, alto, baritone saxophones; Fred Lonberg-Holm, cello; Jim Pugliese, percussion, trumpet; Doug Wieselman, E-flatclarinet, bass harmonica. Tzadik TZ 7123.

The Coming Great Millennium. Anthony Coleman, sampler, acoustic piano; Roy Nathanson, soprano, alto saxophones, vocals. Knitting Factory Works KFWCD-119.

Disco by Night. Anthony Coleman, piano, sampler; Doug Wieselman, clarinet; Guy Klucevsek, accordion; James Pugliese, drums; Roy Nathanson, soprano saxophone; Gisburg, voice. Avant Avan 011.

I Could’ve Been a Drum. Roy Nathanson, soprano, alto, tenor saxophones, recorder; Anthony Coleman, piano, organ, sampler; Marc Ribot, guitar; Brad Jones, bass. Tzadik TZ 7113.

Lobster and Friend. Roy Nathanson, soprano, alto, tenor saxophones, voice; Anthony Coleman, Ensoniq EPS sampler, piano, Hammond organ, toy piano, pump organ, percussion, voice; Mark Degliantoni, sampler; Marc Ribot, guitar; Gisburg, voice; David Krakauer, bass clarinet, E-flat clarinet; Christine Bard, drums, percussion; Hugo Dwyer, percussion. Knitting Factory Works KFWCD-147.

Morenica. Anthony Coleman, piano, voice; Ben Street, bass; Michael Sarin, drums. Tzadik TZ 7128.

Our Beautiful Garden Is Open. Anthony Coleman, piano, voice; Ben Street, bass; Michael Sarin, drums. Tzadik TZ 7159.

Pushy Blueness. Anthony Coleman, piano, electric organ, khêne, mbira; Jim Pugliese, percussion; Doug Wieselman, E-flat clarinet, bass clarinet, electric guitar; Marco Cappelli, guitar; Joseph Kubera, piano; TILT Brass Band. Tzadik TZ 8024.

Selfhaters. Anthony Coleman, organ, piano, sampler piano, voice, trombone, accordion; James Pugliese, percussion, trumpet; Doug Wieselman, E-flat clarinet; David Krakauer, bass clarinet; Michael Attias, clarinet, alto, baritone saxophones; Fred Lonberg-Holm, cello, banjo; Roy Nathanson, clarinet, soprano saxophone. Tzadik TZ 7110.

Sephardic Tinge. Anthony Coleman, piano; Greg Cohen, bass; Joey Baron, drums. Tzadik TZ 7102.

Shmutsige Magnaten: Coleman Plays Gebirtig. Anthony Coleman, piano, voice. Tzadik 8106


Coleman, Anthony. “That Silence Thing,” in Arcana: Musicians on Music, ed. John Zorn . New York: Granary Books,


——. “Ambiguity is a Richness.”

——. “Rants and Raves.”


——. Interviews Mauricio Kagel.

Interview with Michael Goldberg.

Interview with Josh Ronsen.


Lapidation was commissioned by Kitchen House Blend, John King, music director. It received its premiere on May 2, 2002, at The Kitchen, New York City.

East Orange was written for Piano Future!, a festival directed by Bruce Brubaker at New England Conservatory. It was first performed January 24, 2007, by Miyoun Jang in Jordan Hall, Boston, Massachusetts.

I Diet on Cod was written for Retake Iowa and first performed on April 23, 2007, The Keller Room, New England Conservatory, Boston.

Mise en Abîme was commissioned by Bang on a Can with funding from the Jerome Foundation. It was premiered by the Bang on a Can All-Stars on May 2, 1999, Henry Street Settlement, New York City.

The King of Kabay was commissioned by Relâche and received its premiere on June 25, 1988, at the Yellow Springs Institute, Chester Springs, Pennsylvania.


Produced and engineered by Judith Sherman

Assistant engineer and editing assistant: Jeanne Velonis

Digital mastering: Paul Zinman, SoundByte Productions, Inc., NYC

Recorded May 24 and 25, 2007 at the Academy of Arts and Letters, New York City.

Cover art, including size, gallery credit, date, format of art (pastel, etc):

Cover design: Bob Defrin Design, Inc., NYC

Piano by Steinway & Sons



This recording was made possible by a grant from the Francis Goelet Charitable Lead Trust.


Special thanks to Paul Tai, Suzanne Fiol and ISSUE Project Room, Chris McIntyre, Marty Ehrlich, Ensemble Q-O2 (Brussels), the members of Selfhaters Orchestra (Doug Wieselman, Jim Pugliese, Michael Attias, Fred Lonberg-Holm), Ljiljana Randjić, and Danilo Luis Randjić-Coleman ( the King of Kabay).



Herman E. Krawitz, President; Lisa Kahlden, Vice-President; Paul M. Tai, Director of Artists and Repertory; Mojisola Oké, Bookkeeper; Anthony DiGregorio, Production Associate.



Richard Aspinwall; Milton Babbitt; Jean Bowen; Thomas Teige Carroll; Emanuel Gerard; David Hamilton; Rita Hauser; Lisa Kahlden; Herman E. Krawitz; Fred Lerdahl; Robert Marx; Arthur Moorhead; Elizabeth Ostrow; Cynthia Parker; Larry Polansky; Don Roberts; Marilyn Shapiro; Patrick Smith; Paul M. Tai; Blair Weille.


Francis Goelet (1926–1998), Chairman





1. Lapidation (2002) 10:35

Doug Wieselman, clarinet; Marty Ehrlich, tenor saxophone; Gareth Flowers, trumpet; Christopher McIntyre, trombone;

Stephen Gosling, piano; Jim Pugliese, percussion; Kevin Norton, percussion; Cornelius Dufallo, violin; Dan Barrett, cello;

Sean Conly, bass; Anthony Coleman, conductor

2. East Orange (2007) 2:39

Joseph Kubera, piano

3. I Diet on Cod (2007) 12:37

Retake Iowa: Ashley Paul, Chris Veilleux, alto saxophones; Dana Jessen, bassoon; Matt Plummer, trombone; Christopher

McDonald, piano; Cory Pesaturo, accordion; Jameson Swanagon, electric guitar; Ben Davis, bass; Eli Keszler, drums;

Anthony Coleman, conductor

4. Mise en Abîme (1997) 13:25

Doug Wieselman, bass clarinet; Joseph Kubera, piano; Marco Cappelli, guitar, electric guitar, mandolin; Dan Barrett, cello;

Ken Filiano, bass; Jim Pugliese, percussion; Anthony Coleman, conductor

5. The King of Kabay (1988) 10:55

Doug Wieselman, E-flat clarinet; Marty Ehrlich, Ned Rothenberg, clarinets, bass clarinets; Jacob Garchik, trombone; Joseph

Kubera, piano; Anthony Coleman, electric organ; Ted Reichman, accordion; Jim Pugliese, percussion

TT: 50:13

All compositions published by the composer (BMI).

P & © 2007 Anthology of Recorded Music, Inc. All rights reserved. Printed in U.S.A.





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