Light of Life
A (2nd) Summer Solstice Concert
Matthaei Botanical Gardens
Sunday, June 22, 3 pm
James Aikman (keyboard), Ken Kozora (percussion, flutes, and voice), and Robert Spalding Newcomb (guitar and sitar) present a concert of structured improvisational musical exploration. Influenced by numerous strands of musical genre and thought, the trio of veteran composers/performers return to Matthaei Botanical Gardens to collaborate in what promises to be an auspicious celebration of the Summer Solstice.
The concert video of their 2013 Summer Solstice Concert at Matthaei will be available for purchase at the event as a collector’s edition in DVD/CD and BluRay formats.
- About the musicians:
James Aikman is a composer of acoustic and electro-acoustic music and has published over 50 individual orchestral, chamber, vocal, and electronic pieces. His works have earned prestigious honors for decades and have variously been described as "richly sonorous," "fascinating," "exciting, inventive and fresh," "plaintively beautiful," “a brilliant piece of work, a virtuoso exercise in orchestration,” and “that was intense!” Notable festivals and audiences in North America and Europe have embraced his music performed in world-class halls by many extraordinary ensembles and musicians. Recordings regularly receive airplay and include those released by Partial Music, Naxos American Classics, Centaur, Cathedral Arts, Indiana University Trustees, and Cultures Electroniques (Harmonia Mundi/Le Chant du Monde)."
Recently appointed Composer-in-Residence by the Indianapolis Chamber Orchestra, and has recently premiered a new Triptych for orchestra celebrating the ICO. Dr. Aikman has served on faculty at Indiana University, Butler University, The University of Michigan, and has directed the composition program for the San Miguel International Chamber Music Festival. His saxophone and violin concertos have in recent years each been nominated for the Pulitzer Prize in Music. Aikman has been a U.S. Fulbright Fellow, a Fellow of the Michigan Society of Fellows, a Master Artist Fellow of the Indiana Arts Commission, a Fellow of the Aspen Music Festival, the Kate and Cole Porter Fellow at Indiana University, and was recently appointed Composer-in-Residence by the Indianapolis Chamber Orchestra.
Read more about James Aikman on his website.
Ken Kozora is a composer, improviser, educator, thinker, doer and restless explorer always eager to push boundaries. He studied classical music with trumpet greats Donald Green, Irving Sarin, and horn w/R.J. Kelley, composes/performes on multiple acoustic and electronic instruments in a fusion of styles anywhere from Baroque to Creative World Jazz and has performed at festivals, clubs and major events from Detroit to NY. He’s performed/collaborated/composed and/or recorded w/many local and international musicians, artists, dance companies and film makers including; Badal Roy, Summer Saha, Sikuru Adepoju, Muruga Booker, James Gurley, Airto Moreira, Giovanni Hidalgo, Jim Donovan, Steven Kent, Don Was, Harry Sargeous, Gayelynn McKinney, Perry Robinson, Mark Whitecage, Rossane Lavine, Peter MadCat Ruth, Halim El-Dabh, Michael On Fire, P-Funk members, Christina Sears Etter/People Dancing Co, Margaret Parker, Mike Gould, Lesie Sobel and many more. He works extensively in music education across all age groups and learning abilities, is a performing arts faculty member at Washtenaw Community College and is active in community and environmental groups.
Read more about Ken Kozora on the Arts Alliance website.
Robert Spalding Newcomb
Robert Spalding Newcomb is an artist people consistently find difficult to categorize, especially in a music scene as diverse and challenging as the one in his hometown, Ann Arbor, MI. A composer, multi-instrumentalist, computer programmer, theorist, writer, and poet, who combines elements of numerous musical disciplines and cultural domains into a performance style that is truly a unique matrix of energies. Creative explorations focus on the study of musical and linguistic structure, complex systems, cognition, transcendent states, and improvisational performance. Newcomb has immersed himself in a wide range of musical exploration including traditional folk and blues traditions of the British Isles and the US, classical guitar technique, jazz theory, improvisation, composition, digital audio, computer music programming, artificial intelligence and machine learning, and Indian Classical Music. He has toured India with Stephen Rush (2005) as a guest of the US Embassy. He has published his compositional theories and described his unique music software in the Cambridge University Press (UK) journal, Organised Sound (1998).
He has produced eight self-published albums of original music: Dreams On Queue (1986), On Time (1991), Synopsis (2000), Native Planting (2004), Undiscovered (2007), Anastasia of the Gardens (2008), To The Passage of Time (2013), w/James Aikman, Light of Life – A Summer Solstice Concert (2013) DVD/CD/BluRay, w/James Aikman and Ken Kozora, Mike Halerz and Grace Chung.
He is currently Associate Director at the Digital Media Commons, an innovation hub in the University of Michigan Library’s Duderstadt Center.
Read more about Robert Spalding Newcomb on his website.