Biophilia Records
Awakening Orchestra
Composer and Arranger Kyle Saulnier
With a debut hailed as “a superbly performed and unremittingly emotionally charged statement” by Bill Donaldson (Cadence Magazine), and “tour-de-force and one of the best albums of the year” by Karl Ackermann (All About Jazz), the Awakening Orchestra fuses sociopolitical awareness and a deep mixture of musical traditions into an explosive package of modern music. Drawing favorable comparisons to the Liberation Music Orchestra and Charles Mingus for its message-driven emphasis, and to the orchestras of Gil Evans and Maria Schneider for its lush sonic palette, live performances are incendiary events, as unpredictable as the music itself and featuring a virtuosic collection of musicians truly capable of any mood in any moment – Alan Young of the New York Music Daily called the group’s July 2016 performance “one of the year’s best concerts,” full of “epic sweep and textural lustre.”

Not quite an orchestra and not quite a big band, the Awakening Orchestra is the brainchild of fiery composer Kyle Saulnier, a dynamic American writer focused on what he refers to as post-modern third stream music. His music for the Awakening Orchestra features the most concentrated versions of his influences, from the classic big band heritage and 20th Century classical music to the alt-rock, industrial, hip-hop and electronic music of the modern era. Donaldson writes that “Saulnier is a composer and arranger certainly deserving of considerable attention… While it’s tempting to compare [his]… broad sonic spectrums to Gil Evans’s, [he] has developed his own approach.”

Atticus Live! – the music of Jesse Lewis. is Saulnier’s adaptation of Jesse Lewis’s 2008 recording Atticus, a collection of powerful, layered compositions simple in structure but intricate in execution. Arranged for the Awakening Orchestra and featuring Jesse nested in the center of the ensemble, it is a worthy showcase for the dynamic and emotional range of the band, featuring shifting orchestral textures alongside imaginative solos and blistering ensemble work. Releasing on Biophilia Records in late 2016.

Rob Mosher, Vito Chiavuzzo, Samuel Ryder, Andrew Gutauskas, Nicholas Biello - reeds

Daniel Urness, Seneca Black, Nadje Noordhuis, Jonathan Powell - trumpets

Michael Boscarino, Sam Burtis, James Rogers, Max Seigel - trombones

James Shipp, Michael MacAllister, Aaron Kotler, Joshua Paris, Will Clark, Rich Stein - rhythm


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