Five Tales Foretold
Exotic yet never wholly unfamiliar, Aleph Null's original compositions and arrangements are strongly evocative of the Middle East, with recognizable Balkan and Asian elements. Performed on a panoply of Western and "ethnic" instruments and anchored by the Farsi and Kurdish vocals of Iranian-born Hossein Massoudi, the music wanders through varied acoustic soundscapes at an oft-changing pace: from a dreamy meander to a full-out gallop. An underlying jazz sensibility periodically comes to the fore by way of collective improvisations and extended instrumental solos. --Aharon Wheels Bolsta: tabla, dumbek, misc, percussion. The rhythms of India combine with jazz and funk, West African poly-rhythm, Balkan meters, and Middle Eastern grooves in the drumming of Aharon Wheels Bolsta. For over eight years Aharon has been honored to study with renowned tabla master Pandit Swapan Chaudhuri and periodically continues to augment his understanding of Raga by studying under Maestro Ustad Ali Akbar Khan. Aharon recently toured in Indonesia with hybrid gamelan orchestra One People Voice and performs locally with Za'atar and klezmer phenomenon Kugleplex! Whatever the genre, Aharon contributes spice and melody to the conventional role of time-keeper. --Sheldon Brown: clarinet, bass clarinet. Composer and woodwind multi-instrumentalist Sheldon Brown has been active in the Bay Area creative music scene for over twenty years. In addition to leading and composing for his own ensemble, Sheldon Brown Group, Brown has recorded and toured internationally with Cuban pianist Omar Sosa and collaborates with such Bay Area creative musicians as Ben Goldberg, Beth Custer and Paul McCandless. He is currently performing with Mitch Marcus Quintet + 13, Hemispheres, Clarinet Thing, Graham Connah and Oakland Opera Theatre. He has also performed with Fred Frith and Anthony Braxton. His compositions and playing have been featured in Clubfoot Orchestra's scores to numerous silent o lms and the cartoon series "The Twisted Tales of Felix the Cat", which aired on CBS. Brown is currently on the faculty of Berkeley's JazzSchool. --David Hauer: saz, guitar. David has been playing the guitar for all of his adult life, as well as a considerable portion of his previous ones. Primarily self-taught, he has taken private lessons in classical and o amenco instrumental technique, and studied Javanese and Balinese gamelan and West African drumming as well as Electronic Music. He has toured and performed extensively in the US and Europe both solo and as a leader/member of assorted world-music and jazz ensembles. David has written scores of compositions for guitar and ensemble, accompanied a variety of dance and theater performances, and contributed to several o lm soundtracks. He is currently studying Arabic music with renowned Lebanese musician Elias Lammam. --Gari Hegedus: oud, violin, saz, pennywhistle. Gari began devoting his life to music with the study of Celtic and Bretagne musical traditions. From there he was led eastward to the practice and performance of Turkish classical and Mevlevi ceremonial music. He toured with the Mevlevi Dervish Order of America for several years, and continues to participate in Turkish ceremonial and devotional gatherings around the country. With a repertoire and playing styles that now reach outward from Turkey and Greece into the Arab lands, Iran and India, Gari has a remarkable talent for capturing the delicate essence of traditional music, and has developed the art of taksim (improvisation) to a deeply soulful level for which he has become highly recognized and sought-after. Gari has performed with Ross Daly, Stellamara, Latif Bolat, Rumen Shopov and Kaila Flexer, among others. --Hossein Massoudi: vocals, percussion. Steeped in the folkloric Kurdish vocal tradition of his native Iran, Hossein also developed a passion for Persian classical music before moving to the U.S.A in 1977. He was member of the San Francisco City Chorus for four seasons, and attended San Francisco State University vocal Jazz Combo under jazz singer Molly Holm for over a year. Hossein's style reo ects a union of these diverse traditions with his original interpretations and an improvisatory approach that moves effortlessly from the soulful to the whimsical. One of his contributions to Aleph Null is the creative utilization of his voice in imitation of string and wind instruments. --Mark Wieder: double bass. Mark Wieder has been playing the double bass since 1985. He studied with Robert Ashley, Vince Delgado and Anthony Braxton and has played with more people than he can remember. Among them are Dick Oxtot, Barbara Dane, Phil Thompson, John Wiitala, Ami Kronfeld, Left Turn, and the Shotgun Players. His tunes have been performed by the Golden Age Jazz Band, Henry Kaiser, and the La Pena Latin Jazz Experimental Ensemble. He also plays the electric bass with the Blues Daddies.