“This is some Beautiful Cosmic Music created by two of the most inventive musicians on the scene today.”
“Brilliant. Love it; almost a Kraftwerk twist to it.”
–Rob Taylor nmblive.com
Sonic Twist™ is the free-improv duo of Judi Silvano and Bruce Arnold. They met in New York City, after being introduced by bassist Ratzo B. Harris. Remarkably, the two of them had been playing with many of the same musicians (Billy Drewes, Joe Lovano, George and Ed Schuller, Adam Kolker, Tim Hagans) but had never actually met. After their first musical meeting, an affinity was immediately recognized by both. A session of free-improv music cemented the project and led to a series of improvisations that yielded the duo’s first critically acclaimed release, “Listen to This.”
Sonic Twist’s™ music is characterized by the almost telepathic interactions of these two musicians. Arnold has been working with processed sound for many years, in particular, the object-oriented program SuperCollider. While Judi had a short period of exploration with basic electronics and loops, her curiosity about the potential of processing her vocal ideas even further was rewarded when Arnold created a custom foot-pedal setup for her, with patches that they chose together. This enhanced sonic palette allows them to embrace variants of expression that manifest during their improvisations.
Silvano came to New York City from Philadelphia in 1976 with a dance and music degree from Temple University. Her extensive choral experience included singing with Eugene Ormandy’s Philadelphia Orchestra and touring with the South Street Dance Co. and Group Motion Multi-Media Theatre in Europe. Having taught at Rutgers University, Silvano now teaches at Berklee College, leads her own bands and has released 14 albums to date. In the Sonic Twist™ ensemble, she draws upon modern compositional concepts and executes spatial choices that correlate with the movement of a dancer’s expression with fluidity and humor.
Bruce Arnold arrived in New York City in 1986 after he had attended and then taught at the Berklee School in Boston. It was while teaching at Princeton University that he started getting more and more interested in 20th Century classical music and the music of the 2nd Viennese school in particular. This led to an ongoing investigation into the application of twelve tone music to improvisation. During this time, much of his free improvisation was influenced by his work with the group “Act of Finding” with Tom Buckner, Ratzo B. Harris and most significantly, analog keyboardist Tom Hamilton.
Sonic Twist’s™ most current album is “Cloudwalking” a beautiful collection of the duo’s gentler, more atmospheric excursions. A CD with some of their more edgy pieces is planned soon. Along with these releases, a series of performance and experimental videos in collaboration with Michal Shapiro is also available, derived from the hours of footage she shot of the duo in the studio.
Creating Sonic Twist’s® body of work and continuing to explore their collective improvised approach to music-making, has been not only documented but also enhanced by the contributions and insights of visual artist Michal Shapiro. Her photography and videography have added further dimension and insight into the human spirit that Sonic Twists’ Judi Silvano and Bruce Arnold are communicating.