Tyshawn Sorey Interviewed About His New Opera

English: Tyshawn Sorey at moers festival 2010

Source: Opera News.

THE MUSIC OF multi-instrumentalist/composer Tyshawn Sorey might seem designed to subvert expectations at every turn were it not so clearly the most personal of sustained expressions. Born in 1980 in Newark, New Jersey, Sorey’s compositions can veer from the quaint ripplings of a Satie miniature to the poise of a Stravinsky scherzo to the contemplative rigor of a Toru Takemitsu soundtrack seemingly performed by the Mingus Big Band. A percussionist, pianist and trombonist, Sorey creates an improvisatory admixture of avant garde, jazz, minimalism, neo-Classical and musical performance-art. And yet every reference point seems incapable of describing the uncanny ability of Sorey’s music to thrust both its performers and audiences into the present moment, into the very act of listening as an artistic endeavor.

On Tuesday, Opera Philadelphia will present tenor and Lawrence Brownlee in the world premiere of Sorey’s Cycles of my Being, a new song cycle with texts by the prestigious poet Terrance Hayes. After its premiere in Philadelphia, the work—which explores the realities of life as a black man in America—will travel to Chicago for a performance at the DuSable Museum of African American History as part of Lyric Opera of Chicago‘s Lyric Unlimited initiative; in April, Brownlee will perform Cycles at Zankel Hall at Carnegie Hall as part of that venue’s 125 Commissions Project.