Nick Zoulek – “Silhouette of a Storm-Bent Tree”


Saxophonist and multimedia artist Nick Zoulek takes a multi-faceted approach to fulfill his riveting artistic vision, taking hold of composer, producer, director, cinematographer, and engineer roles for his track “Silhouette of a Storm-Bent Tree” and its accompanying video. His bass saxophone lingers throughout the track, whose name derives from the following quote: “why is it that the silhouette of a storm-bent leafless tree against an evening sky in winter is perceived as beautiful… the answer seems to me…to follow from new insights into dynamical systems. Our feeling for beauty is inspired by the harmonious arrangement of order and disorder as it occurs in natural objects.”

His impressive bass saxophone approach utilizes circular breathing, harmonic manipulation, and vocalizations, all without overdubs. The result is a moving, idiosyncratic sound that sounds like it’s emanating from more than just a solo instrument. The track comes via Zoulek’s debut solo album Rushing Past Willow, an “intermedia project that encompasses film, dance, animation, and recorded mediums.” The track, video, and stylistic approach all prove to be a success here, with a creeping feeling of uneasiness that’s captured effectively.

Mike Mineo

I'm the founder/editor of Obscure Sound, which was formed in 2006. Previously, I wrote for PopMatters and Stylus Magazine.

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