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Adam Rudolph: Momentary Music

Adam Rudolph

For percussionist Adam Rudolph, it’s all about the moment: moments of silence, moments of sound, moments of assonance and moments of dissonance, but most important, moments of rhythm-complex rhythms, piled high and pulled from a diverse array of ethnic traditions and global inspirations. Just don’t expect ol’ faithful 4/4. “I don’t play traditional rhythms,” Rudolph explains. “I play what I guess you could call cosmological rhythms. I play what comes to me from the cosmos at the moment of creation. That’s what the tradition of improvisation is all about; that’s the philosophy. It’s about being in the moment, creating in the moment, being responsive to what’s happening in the moment. That’s why you can’t rehearse. None of us know what’s going to happen; all that exists is in the moment and the music we play is a celebration of that: being conscious in the moment, being empty in the moment and creating form from nothingness. So we prepare ourselves for that.”

A former pupil of Don Cherry and longtime collaborator with Yusef Lateef, Rudolph’s preparation is apparent on Dream Garden (Justin Time), the latest release by his Moving Pictures octet. Originally formed in 1992, Moving Pictures now consists of Ned Rothenberg and Steve Gorn on winds; Graham Haynes on brass; Ken Wessel on guitars; Shanir Blumenkrantz on bass; Brahim Fribgane on the Moroccan oud; and Hamid Drake on drums and additional percussion. All are very familiar with Rudolph’s strong embrace of the here and now. “I was looking for musicians who weren’t just journeymen,” says Rudolph, “but were interested in reaching into new areas because the whole concept of the group is to create a forum for everybody to reach, develop, experiment and form their own voice.”

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