Today, we bring you a video premiere featuring the multi-faceted talents of saxophonist and multimedia artist Nick Zoulek.
In Silhouette of a Storm-Bent Tree, Zoulek fuses all of his creative endeavors, serving as performer (bass saxophone), composer, producer, director, cinematographer, and engineer, in order to fulfill his artistic vision.
Silhouette of a Storm-Bent Tree derives its title from the quote, “why is it that the silhouette of a storm-bent leafless tree against an evening sky in winter is perceived as beautiful… the answer seems to me…to follow from new insights into dynamical systems. Our feeling for beauty is inspired by the harmonious arrangement of order and disorder as it occurs in natural objects.”
Dancer and choreographer Nicole Spence navigates this order and disorder as she embodies the raw, meditative nature of the work.
Silhouette of a Storm-Bent Tree is part of Rushing Past Willow, an intermedia project that encompasses film, dance, animation, and recorded mediums. The piece can be heard on Zoulekʼs debut solo album, Rushing Past Willow, available on Innova Records.
About Nick Zoulek
“…Mr. Zoulek’s performance, on saxophones in every range, is stunningly virtuosic, whatever the genre..” -The Wall Street Journal
Nick Zoulek is a modern saxophonist and artist of “pure mindfulness and talent” (PopMatters). His focus on performance, collaboration, improvisation, and commissioning new works has led to a diverse portfolio of distinctive artistic ventures, performing across France, the United Kingdom, Canada, and the United States. As a soloist and composer, Nick’s craft has been lauded as “a no-holds-barred engine of avant-garde exploration,” (Portland Press Herald) with the capacity to “[take] you to other worlds” (Milwaukee Magazine). The versatility Nick displays on the saxophone has been praised as “[b]eautiful harmonies [singing] in contrast to mysterious knockings and hums, and finally to ungodly, soul-shattering blasts” (Shepherd Express). As an interdisciplinary artist, Nick has served as music director for Wild Space Dance Company, and has scored and performed dance works with the Madison Ballet, HYPERlocal, and with members of Zenon and Like You Mean It dance companies. Experimenting with the expressive potential of media, Nick’s films intertwine with his compositions, and have been screened at festivals in England, Serbia, Africa, and around the United States. His media works have garnered numerous awards, including Best Experimental Film from the London Modcon International Film Festival and Largo Film Festival. Nick’s music can be heard on Rushing Past Willow (INNOVA Records), which fuses all of facets of his work through self-composed pieces for alto, tenor, and bass saxophone.
Nick maintains an active profile researching the saxophone’s role in contemporary classical music, presenting on contemporary aesthetics and saxophone performance. He has served on faculty at the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater (sabbatical replacement), teaching saxophone and jazz studies courses. He is currently pursuing his Doctor of Musical Arts degree in Contemporary Music Performance at Bowling Green State University with the guidance of Distinguished Artist Professor Dr. John Sampen. Nick holds a Master of Music Performance from BGSU, a Certificat des Études Musicales from the Conservatoire à Rayonnement Régionale de Boulogne-Billancourt, and a Bachelor of Music Performance with Magna Cum Laude honors from the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater. He has previously learned with Jean-Michel Goury, Dr. Matthew Sintchak, and Dr. Jon Amon.