Symmetry: In Memories is the result of a collaboration formed at New Music Gathering 2017 between Zoulek and dancer/musician Claire Cuny (Reliant Tom, Obelus Movement). The piece recalls vulnerability and symmetry in motion, contrasting Claireʼs movement between a pristine surface and frayed recollections.
Here’s what Zoulek had to say about the video:
For Symmetry: In Memories, there are these themes and gestures reflected throughout the work. When you’re performing these gestures on the saxophone, all kinds of little incongruities surface naturally through the instrument’s physicality, and I feel like there’s an intimacy created by reflecting upon those incongruities and allowing them to exist in the sound.
For the video, the ideas of symmetry and memory were at the forefront. Detroit’s Michigan Theater is an awe-inspiring location. Walking into the space, you can’t help but feel small, both physically and by reflecting upon its history. It was the perfect location for half of Symmetry: In Memories, as the building holds so many of its own memories. The challenge, then, was to keep an intimate focus on Claire while still showcasing this huge space. All of this was juxtaposed against the pristine, clean surface of the dance studio.”
About Nick Zoulek
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.