“Aventurine is a translucent mineral, a type of quartz with a shimmering effect, or adventurescence,” the bassist, composer, and bandleader Linda May Han Oh has written about the title of her newest album. “It has been known to symbolize creativity, opportunity and evolution.”
The title fits the project perfectly: Aventurine, Oh’s fifth album as a leader, shows an artist seizing new opportunities to express her evolving creativity. She cites as her starting points courses in orchestration and composition that she took at the Manhattan School of Music, as well as a studio-recording program at the Institute of Audio Research. Ideas conceived in both of those experiences came to further fruition as a result of Oh’s 2012 Jazz Gallery Commission.
The result is a 14-track collection including 11 Oh originals, performed by a quartet featuring saxophonist Greg Ward, pianist Matt Mitchell, and percussionist Ches Smith, plus a string quartet: violinists Fung Chern Hwei and Sarah Caswell, violist Bennie Von Gutzeit, and cellist Jeremy Harman. Four pieces on the album also feature Invenio, a vocal quartet.
Aventurine will be released this Friday, May 17, on the innovative label Biophilia, and can be pre-ordered now via Bandcamp in a variety of digital formats, or as a Biofolio, the label’s trademarked eco-friendly physical format. Oh and her ensemble will herald the album’s arrival with a performance at National Sawdust on Thursday, May 16 at 7pm—and, to set the stage for both events, National Sawdust Log is proud to present the exclusive premiere of the album’s first video, for the track “Kirigami.”
Via email, Oh offers a brief explanation of what inspired her piece:
“Kirigami” is a Japanese form of paper art which involves paper-folding (origami) but also incorporates cutting of the paper. This piece has gone through several incarnations, beginning from a simple sketch and progressing through an additive writing process. Though ultimately what made the piece feel complete, was the removal of material, getting to what I felt was the core or DNA of the piece—the space or the “paper-cuts” being essential to the meaning of the piece.
You can read more about the making of Aventurine on Oh’s Biophilia Bandcamp page, and pre-order the album while you’re there. Oh performs music from the album with her double quartet at National Sawdust on May 16 at 7pm; you’ll find ticket information here.
This week's tally of memorable things National Sawdust Log editor Steve Smith has stuck in his ears includes selections featuring Rew, Christian Wolff, Ellen Arkbro, and John Zorn.
https://nationalsawdust.org/thelog/wp-content/uploads/2019/05/Playlist-May-20-2019.jpg5002000Steve Smithhttps://nationalsawdust.org/thelog/wp-content/uploads/2017/10/national-sawdust-log.pngSteve Smith2019-05-20 18:00:232019-05-21 17:28:31Playlist (Something like a bird).
Ahead of Linda May Han Oh's National Sawdust show May 16, watch a video premiere from her new album, 'Aventurine,' which finds the bassist, composer, and bandleader celebrating creativity and evolution.
https://nationalsawdust.org/thelog/wp-content/uploads/2019/05/Oh-banner-3.jpg8001500Steve Smithhttps://nationalsawdust.org/thelog/wp-content/uploads/2017/10/national-sawdust-log.pngSteve Smith2019-05-15 12:00:282019-05-15 13:54:27Video Premiere: Linda May Han Oh