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Exploding Star Orchestra

released November 20, 2020

Marfa TX-based multidisciplinary abstractivist Rob Mazurek has made an indelible impact on creative music over the past 30 years. Emerging from the musical nexus of the 1990s Chicago scene, he’s written more than 400 compositions and is featured on more than 70 recordings (including International Anthem’s very first, IARC0001, “Alternate Moon Cycles”). He’s led or co-led many ensembles – including the Chicago Underground (Duo, Trio, Quartet & Orchestra), Isotope 217 (alongside members of Tortoise), Pharoah and the Underground (feat. Pharoah Sanders), Alien Flower Sutra (with Emmett Kelly), São Paulo Underground (his primary working group across his time in Brazil), and a duo with Jeff Parker – each of which possesses its own distinct musical personality.

While Mazurek’s solo work as a musician expands from cornet, piano, and piccolo trumpet studies to embody musique concrete and electronic experimentation, his composition for large ensemble reveals an intuitive sense of scale. Commissioned by the Chicago Cultural Center and the Jazz Institute of Chicago in 2005 to assemble a group representing the diversity of the city’s contemporary avant-garde, Mazurek amassed a 14-piece ensemble and began composing music for what became his Exploding Star Orchestra (ESO)… more

Rob Mazurek – director, composer, piccolo trumpet, electronic renderings, modular synth
Damon Locks – voice, electronics, texts
Nicole Mitchell – flutes
Macie Stewart – violins
Tomeka Reid – cellos
Joel Ross – vibraphone
Jeff Parker – guitar
Jaimie Branch – trumpet
Angelica Sanchez – acoustic piano, electric piano
Ingebrigt Håker Flaten – bass
Chad Taylor – drums, percussion
Mikel Patrick Avery – drums, percussion
John Herndon – drum machines

All Music and Titles by Rob Mazurek (OLHO, ASCAP).
Words by Damon Locks.

Engineered, Recorded & Mixed by David Allen & Dave Vettraino.
Additional Recording by Nicole Mitchell, Mikel Patrick Avery, John Herndon & Rob Mazurek.
Edited by Dave Vettraino.
Mastered by Dave Cooley.

Cover Painting by Rob Mazurek (“Some Other Time” 2020).
Prints by Rob Mazurek with technical assistance by Mathieu Constans.
Package Design by Craig Hansen.

Produced by Scott McNiece, David Allen, Dave Vettraino & Rob Mazurek.



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