Aydin Esen

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Steve Smith, Anthony Jackson, David Liebman and Aydin Esen

Started at 2 as a student of his father and a few years later for piano and composition at the Conservatory of Istanbul. In those very early childhood years he started hearing, creating and writing music. His father was a musician and his first teacher and that pulled young Aydin Esen into infinitive worlds of sounds. Continiuously composing and playing new music while dealing with the academic attitudes of the time and how frustrating that was to make people understand and get used to new sounds. Esen even changed some of the rules of harmonic theories while he was at the conservatory which had been centuries ago. Lived with electronics which he believed was simply an inescapable extension of acoustical music that most of the 20th century composers did avoid. Dealing with the problems of the modern music of our times before he was 10 and that intense focus naturally would take him to different levels of sound galaxies.

Leaving Istanbul at the beginning of the 1980's he was invited to the Norwegian State Academy of Music in Oslo for advance studies in piano, composition and conducting. Toured europe with different ensembles and worked as a studio musician everywhere. His feel on keyboards and knowledge for contemporary music was known. In 1983, he left for the United States. Went to Boston with full scholarship to Berklee School of Music where he finished studies in 1 year instead of the standart 4 years with the most prestigious award, Artist's Diploma. Later he received his Master's Degree in piano and composition from the New England Conservatory of Music with honors. Continued touring around the different continents more often towards the end of 80's. In 1987 he moved to New York with his wife Randy K. who also is a musician, an exceptional voice.

Tours and recordings with Miroslav Vitous, Woody Shaw, Can Kozlu, Randy K., Vinnie Colaiuta, Pat Metheny, Roy Haynes, Anthony Jackson, Steve Smith, Baron Browne, Frank Gambale, Kai Eckhardt, Peter Herbert, Dave Liebman, Peter Erskine, Tiger Okoshi, Gary Burton, Daniel Humair, George Garzone, Mino Cinelu, Michel Portal, Trilok Gurtu and many others from the world of music scene. His record "Trio " with Eddie Gomez and Marcello Pellitteri made big noise in 1986. Same year he formed the group "Transfusion" with Tommy Campbell, Kai Eckhardt and Randy K. In 1986 Esen with Miroslav Vitous, drummer Marcello Pellitteri and Woody Shaw went on touring Europe. In 1987, along with Tiger Okoshi, Miroslav Vitous, Bob Mintzer and Bob Moses toured Japan for a month. Later , works and extensive tours with bass player Jonas Hellborg and drummer Kenwood Dennard. Early 90's saw, once again teaming up with Miroslav and going on tour with Trilok Gurtu, for about a year.

Esen has received numerous awards for composition, keyboards and electronic music and in 1989 he received the First Prize at the International Piano Competition in Paris, one of his most treasured and important awards. Last year he was invited as a member of the jury for the new piano competition. His very rare workshops are known for their intense progressivity. Works as a studio musician and a solo artist with a variety of recording labels including Columbia/Sony Records, Polygram, Arista, JMS, Gramavision, Label Bleu and Music City. In 1989 he recorded "So Many Lifetimes" with Randy K. , Francis Bourrec, Peter Herbert and Can Kozlu, received worldwide acclaim and was picked for the record of the year. Invited to play in"Timezones" with Austrian guitar player Wolfgang Mutspiel and Bob Berg. In 1990, the new record " Aydin Esen " , came out. He played in Paris, toured europe and japan, always received with great excitement. One of his recordings, "Pictures", in the early 90's, with Mick Goodrick, George Garzone, Can Kozlu and Peter Herbert, was picked as the album of the year 1990 in Japan. The record with Tommy Campbell, " Charnett Moffett, Kevin Eubanks, " My Heart" and works with Randy Esen and on-going composing for the Orchestras with electronics ever keeping him very busy. In 1991 Esen joined forces with Miroslav Vitous, Jerry Bergonzi and Daniel Humair on "Edges". Recorded "Anadolu" in 1992 for Columbia/Sony Records in New York. That session would include musicians like Anthony Jackson, Dave Holland, Peter Erskine, Dave Liebman, Mino Cinelu, Dave Bargeron, Jon Faddis and Randy Esen. All of these recordings have been greeted with critical applause in the international scene. During 1995 and 1996 Mr. Esen toured in Japan quite extensively with artists, including Tiger Okoshi, Miroslav Vitous, Bob Moses, Bob Mintzer, Chip Jackson, Gary Burton and major japanese musicians. Also continued giving lectures and clinic/workshops worldwide about the contemporary music. In 1995 Aydin Esen recorded a very special album with Brazilian composer and guitarist Sergio Brandao "Landscapes " and later on in 1996 a new record " x-Centrix " with a clarinet player and writer Andrew Anello came out in New York. Guitarist Emily Remler was studying with Esen at the time and asked him to write and play for her record, "This is Me". Went on the road with swiss drummer Daniel Humair and Peter Herbert later in 1997. For sometime Esen toured with drummer Steve Smith, bassist Anthony Jackson, guitarist Frank Gambale and vocalist Randy Esen. And that led to record "Timescape" in 2000. Tours with Bob Moses, Kai Eckhardt and with Michel Portal in an intense nine piece band. He's appeared in many different projects as a player, producer and arranger.

Aydin Esen name is constantly mentioned in the contemporary music scenes and in the academic enviroments that are truly involved with new music of our time. He plays and conducts series of concerts of his new music and always extending the spectrum of the musical art. He will soon be recording new works with the large symphonic ensemble and live electronics. Actually "Signal" from his latest record would give an idea of what's on the coming from one of new century's most serious composers. Another short but very intense piece "Scape" could be found in the "Timescape" of 1998-99.

Esen 's sense of writing for orchestra and natural feel of electronics - creating sounds from nothing with the use of his advanced sound synthesis techniques, very detailed thinking, understanding and extending the timbres of language of the modern era - is puzzling so many serious musicians and audiences of our times.

"Timescape" is released in Nov. 99 with Esen on Keyboards, Baron Browne on bass, Steve Smith on drums and Randy Esen. on vocals . It was picked as the record of the year in 2000. Completed another recording of his contemporary/electronics works " Enfas " (1999). Also in '99 recorded with long time friend and a very special bass player Kai Eckhardt on Eckhardt's debut album " Honor Simplicity, Respect the Flow with Kai Eckhardt on bass, Aydin Esen on keyboards, Sean Rickman on drums, Courtney Pine on saxes and Zakir Hussein on tablas. Released in 2000 .

Esen's CD "Living" with Miroslav Vitous and Vinnie Colaiuta came out in 2001. Clearly pointing again the path for new dimensions in sound and total unity.

His commitment to the new generation of modern music is boundless, genuine and unrivaled. And the journey goes on. . . . .

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