Bassoonist Sara Schoenbeck and pianist Wayne Horvitz have been musical partners for almost 20 years, notably in Horvitz's Gravitas Quartet (formed 2004) and his Some Days are Forever Afternoon (2015), both on Songlines. They formed this duo in 2018 to play a program of their own music, and this is the first recording. There is something unexpected and quite special in how beautifully the two instruments blend (mostly acoustic, occasionally involving electronics on the piano). The music is composed, improvised, and everywhere in between. It is a study of the crossroads where texture and extended technique meet with and support the expression of melody and song.
Schoenbeck is regarded as one of the premiere bassoonists of her time in improvised music, jazz and new music. Frequent collaborators include Anthony Braxton, Butch Morris, Mark Dresser, Tomeka Reid, Pamela Z, Roscoe Mitchell, Nels Cline, Nicole Mitchell, Michael Leonhart, and Henry Threadgill. She maintains her commitment to micro-tonal music and contemporary music, including recent performance of works by Boulez and Xenakis. She has worked with numerous chamber groups including SEM and The Wet Ink Ensemble, and has appeared as a featured improvising soloist with the Mivos Quartet performing Horvitz' These Hills of Glory (String Quartet and Improviser). She appears on the soundtracks to The Matrix 2 and 3, Dahmer and Spanglish.
Horvitz, an integral member of the NY Downtown scene in the 80s, is known for his long-standing collaborations with John Zorn, Butch Morris, Bill Frisell, Robin Holcomb et al., as well as being a prolific composer for orchestra, string quartet, mixed chamber instrumentations, and electronics. Recent works include commissions for the Seattle Symphony, The North Corner Chamber Orchestra, and an installation for the Seattle Art Museum. He is the recipient of the 2015 Doris Duke Performers Award and the 2019 America Prize.