Artwork: Dan Nelson

Cosmicomics :: 2018

This year I'm writing a new suite of music for my sextet, inspired by Italo Calvino’s supremely imaginative stories on the origins of the universe - the Cosmicomics. The Cosmicomics are like fairy tales, or creation myths, for philosophically-minded adults. Each story takes a single scientific theory or principal about the origins of the universe — the movement of planets, the distance between galaxies, the evolution of organisms — and humanizes that scientific phenomenon with a charming, often hilarious, first-person narrative. Salman Rushdie wrote, “It is possibly the most enjoyable story collection ever written, a book that will frequently make you laugh out loud at its mischievous mastery, capricious ingenuity and nerve...perhaps only Calvino could have created a work that combines scientific erudition, wild fantasy and a humane wit.” They were originally published as a set of 12 stories in 1965, and Calvino gradually added to them over his career, to total 31.

The music will be developed in a series of salon performances at Bird & Beckett Books and Records in Glen Park, San Francisco this year.
Here's a clip from our first salon, a work-in-progress tune inspired by Calvino's story, The Soft Moon:

The band is a version of the sextet that recorded and performed my avantNOIR music:
Aaron Bennett, tenor sax
John Finkbeiner, guitar
Mark Clifford, vibes
Tim Perkis, electronics
Lisa Mezzacappa, bass
Jordan Glenn, drums

Bookstore Residency & Work-in-Progress Salons
Thursdays at 7:30pm at Bird and Beckett Books
April 19
May 24
July 5
Sept 13

Premiere Performances
Fri Nov 2, 8pm // California Jazz Conservatory, Berkeley
Sat Nov 3, 7:30pm // Bird and Beckett Books, San Francisco
Fri Nov 9, 6pm // Copperfield's Books, San Rafael (presented by Jazz in the Neighborhood)


Photo: Shannon Roulet