CAP UCLA Presents Douglas J. Cuomo's SEVEN LIMBS Featuring Nels Cline and the Aizuri Quartet
Streaming February 12 at 7 p.m.
This performance will be free to enjoy. This new composition by Cuomo is a ritual in seven movements, based on the Seven Limbs, which is a fundamental Tibetan Buddhist practice of purification. The limbs are Prostration; Offering; Confession; Rejoicing; Requesting the Turning of the Wheel of Dharma; Beseeching the Buddhas not to pass away; and Dedication.
Cline will be playing electric guitar with effects and acoustic guitar. His music will be partially notated, following specific direction and guidelines in the score, but largely improvised. The Aizuri's music will be entirely notated, utilizing their full range of techniques.
Juxtaposing Nels' wildly inventive guitar playing with the Aizuri's modern classical outlook, Seven Limbs will be a virtuosic tour de force. Seven Limbs sets these five expert musicians in a landscape that is slightly unfamiliar - where the ground under their feet is always shifting in unexpected ways. This requires musical alertness and philosophical openness to whatever the moment brings, an outlook that parallels the Buddhist practice.
Inspired by this thinking, the piece allows exploration of meditative tranquility, the battle with inner demons, karma, and sudden, profound insight. Both strings and the guitar will be shapeshifters in that the roles of soloist and accompanist will be fluid - at times the guitar will be in front, with the string quartet playing a more supportive role; at other times the guitar will conjure a multi-layered and evolving drone-like sonic environment and the strings will step to the fore. There will also be many instances of when both will be on equal footing, intertwining in a way that makes such distinctions moot.