|Drum SketchesiTunes Artist's PageiTunes Album Page|
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|2.||Drum Sketch No. 2||01:49||$0.99|
|3.||Drum Sketch No. 3||07:19||$0.99|
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|10.||Drum Sketch No. 10||03:09||$0.99|
Susie Ibarra is a percussionist, but she doesn’t hit you over the head with the fact. Rather, her powerfully delicate, insistent sounds seem to emanate from the landscape of drums and tuned gongs by themselves. Drum Sketches, Ibarra’s first solo CD following several Tzadik ensemble releases, is inspired by various images and sounds of her native Philippines. Among her glowing array of percussion are tuned bronze Kulintang gongs and a Surunay xylophone that blend with field recordings of boat festivals, a baby’s heartbeat, and evening peeper frogs.
Drum Sketches on stage is a collaborative performance of live painting by visual artist Makoto Fujimura. It was commissioned by Neues Kabarett at the Brecht Forum NYC and premiered May 5, 2007.
Susie Ibarra, percussionist and composer lives in New York City and Kerhonksen. She received a music diploma from Mannes College of Music and B.A. from Goddard College. She studied Kulintang with Danongan Kalanduyan and drum set with Buster Smith, Vernel Fournier and Milford Graves. As a percussionist, she has performed southeast Asian gong music, jazz, avant-garde, improvised and solo concert works. She has performed with many great artists such as John Zorn, Dave Douglas Pauline Oliveros, Derek Bailey, Ikue Mori, Sylvie Courvoisier, William Parker, Dr. L Subramaniam, Kavita Krishnamurti, John Lindberg, Wadada Leo Smith, Mark Dresser, Thurston Moore, Savath and Savalas, Prefuse 73, Yo La Tengo, among others. She was nominated "Best Drummer" in the Village Voice, and has been featured in Downbeat, Jazziz, and The Wire. Susie Ibarra is a Yamaha, Paiste & Vic Firth Artist.
ALL ABOUT JAZZ
Percussionist Susie Ibarra is an artist whose compendium of work is defined by an exquisitely global essence. It includes a profound respect for indigenous people and their music, coupled with a cutting edge sense of the avant-garde. Her works are not a distillation or homogenization of various cultures but a celebration and appreciation of diversity. Ibarra has been refreshing both in her ability to integrate and groundbreaking in her use of ancient instrumentation and form within the most postmodern of platforms.
As a percussionist and composer, Ibarra is at the forefront of the young group of musicians that continue to nourish NYC's fertile creative music scene. She is much in demand by its leaders and has regularly lent her skill to sessions by saxophonists John Zorn, Assif Tsahar and David S. Ware, pianist Matthew Shipp, guitarist Derek Bailey and bassist William Parker. She is a jazz drummer but also a kulintang master, a musical style that is built around a series of eight differently pitched bowl-shaped gongs.
Born in California, raised in Texas and of Filipino ancestry, Ibarra reflected on her move to jazz and first meeting with Parker: “I have sort of been into Filipino music since I was a child. As a percussionist I was naturally drawn to a lot of percussive based music and as a teenager I started playing Javanese and Balinese gamelan (an Indonesian musical grouping that can consist of percussive, string and wind instruments). I had a friend in the gamelan and she invited me to play with a kulintang group. I almost went at that time to Java to study gamelan... I was doing that as a teenager and that kind of stayed with me even though I was going into jazz and free jazz and improvised music and more experimental music. I had come out of playing in punk bands but the gong music stayed with me... I was a student in Mannes and after school I came to one of his (Parker's) rehearsals over on Avenue A, a Little Huey rehearsal. My ex-husband (Assif Tsahar) was a saxophone player and he said to me why don't you come to this rehearsal and I came in and I then began rehearsing with him on Mondays after school.” On the solo work Drum Sketches (Innova, 2007), natural sounds such as crowd and animal noises are wonderfully integrated into the soundscape. Ibarra reflected on her use of the environment: “I have an affinity for it. They are real sounds. I have peepers on there, those are frogs. I love them, they blend in. I like to create cinematic content; sonically I like to have that kind of element in the music as in a way it is a sonic narrative. They are not all narratives, I like abstract form too, but I like that cinematic element in music so often I bring that in because I heard it and I needed it.” Ibarra's work crosses musical, artistic and diverse cultural boundaries; this coupled with her high degree of comfort in the international arena, augers that her impact on the direction of jazz and art in general will continue to increase in the coming years. As international artistic boundaries continue to blur, artists like Susie Ibarra will begin to occupy more of a position in defining the mainstream. If one believes that we are in an age of globalization and technology, then Ibarra is an artist for this new millennium. Her vision is one of egalitarianism, but an egalitarianism that preserves heritage and culture. As such, in a world that is plagued by violence and political unrest, she and her contemporaries are bright spots for the future.
by Elliott Simon
ALL ABOUT JAZZ
The history of jazz is a study in extended technique. In the case of the drums, a gradual ascent from the earliest oom-pah bass drum to the syncopated snare of Krupa, the driving ride of Roach and Haynes, to the white wash of Susie Ibarra's brushes and Andrew Drury's breath on a puckered snare. As otherworldly as these additions to the canon sound, they are vital contributions to the jazz spirit of pure innovation. Drum Sketches begins with “Binalig,” a traditional Philippine piece for kulintang—a mallet instrument comprised of a series of non-tempered gongs—that introduces a lilting vibe that permeates the album's 10 tracks. On drum set, kulintang and various percussion instruments, Susie Ibarra's mostly improvised performances evoke vast landscapes and bustling city streets, moments of reflection and jubilant celebration. “Drum Sketch 2” begins with what sounds like muffled eighth notes on the strings of an electric guitar. The rhythm persists under the metallic swish of cymbals rubbing together and a series of slippery, jaunty rhythms on snare. Somehow, this ethereal improv leads perfectly into the middle of a Philippine street, bustling with cheering crowds, traffic and the insistent marching time of Ibarra's snare and a chorus of bells and percussion. Field recordings in New York and the Philippines compliment Ibarra throughout the album and add to the sonic vastness that the listener senses while seemingly floating above it.
by Matthew Miller
Former drummer for William Parker and David Ware, Ibarra later shifted over to John Zorn's tent, Zorn being a man of certain proclivities. But this does not take anything away from Ibarra, who was the strongest young drummer of the 1990s. She does seem to have drifted away from the scene, and this record- ing of her 2007 solo concert at the Brecht Forum suggests that she's possibly found a way to mix all her subcultural leanings into a package in which she can financially sustain herself without an audience. This is, after all, what all jazz performers of an experimental nature must do: The descendents of Albert Ayler need their own Richard Mellon Scaife. Ibarra is subtle as usual - she's a virtuoso with a bird-like touch that didn't always suit the Ware Quartet - though she atypically cranks it up a bit on a few tracks. But what moved me most was the way crowd noise would fade in and out like a low rumble, a rhythmic loop in itself, implying the fading of history and allow- ing Ibarra to become a docu- ment of our shared, mislaid past.
LE SO DU GRISILI
Premier enregistrement solo d’une percussionniste entendue, entre autres, aux côtés de David S. Ware ou Derek Bailey, Drum Sketches promène Susie Ibarra le long de dix pièces électroacoustiques convaincantes. Au rythme irrégulier d’interventions sur percussions creuses appliquées à répondre à quelques sifflements électroniques, d’une inspection aux balais de son set de batterie sur un décorum de field recordings mis en boucles, ou de l’usage d’un gong et d’un xylophone adeptes de résonances longues. Deux fois, histoire peut être de se sentir moins seule, Ibarra investit dans son coin des enregistrements de musiques populaires extraites de quelles processions festives. Prenant le dessus sur la foule ou gardant ses distances, elle démontre partout la sûreté de son élégance, comme elle prouve ailleurs l’acuité de sa pratique.
by Guillaume Belhomme