A new trio EVIYAN featuring legendary Czech singer/violinist Iva Bittova, guitarist Gyan Riley and clarinetist Evan Ziporyn
EVIYAN is Iva Bittova, Gyan Riley & Evan Ziporyn - 3 unique composer/performers merging into a singular sound, an intimate, acoustic blend of world roots, post-minimalism, jazz, rock, and cabaret. These eclectic, genre-crossing musicians, join forces to create a soundtrack for the 21st century global village - simple, organic and direct, a music of intensity and lyricism, earthy impact and instrumental virtuosity.
EVIYAN's musical roots are the lifetime experiences of its three members, each having traveled the globe for decades, collaborating with master musicians on every continent, forging their own paths, finding kindred spirit and inspiration. Legendary vocalist/violinist Iva Bittova draws on the sounds of her native Moravia, and her lineage in the rich traditions of Slovakia and the Roma people. Her captivating and unforgettable vocal palette, ever expanding, merges these age-old practices with an urban, avant-garde sensibility. Clarinetist Evan Ziporyn has toured the globe for over 30 years in search of new musical possibilities, studying with Balinese gamelan masters and collaborating with astonishing musicians from around the world including India, China, and Senegal. His 25-year involvement with New York's Bang on a Can brought him into close collaboration with many of the world's most cutting edge musicians and composers. Guitarist Gyan Riley brings the virtuosity of two venerable traditions - western classical guitar and the rigors of Hindustani music - together with the harmonic deftness of jazz and the grit of rock-and-roll.
A voice and a violin, a clarinet and a guitar, yet EVIYAN is more than the sum of these simple parts. Over the years, these three musicians’ paths have crossed and re-crossed, each recognizing an energy in the others and a synergy in their shared work. Now they have come together, composing all new material for one another, creating a new but very natural sound. Three distinct paths, three composer/performers, yet with a shared ethos: the idea that music must reflect its roots but not be bound by them. All committed to making a music that engages the mind, moves the body, and frees the spirit.
IVA BITTOVA was born in 1958 to musical parents in the Moravian Province of what is now the Czech Republic. Her father was strongly influenced by the land of his birth – southern Slovakia - and he in turn was a major influence on his three daughters - Iva, Ida and Regina - all professional performers. While attending the Brno Music Conservatory, Iva took part-time engagements as an actress and musician in Brno’s Divadlo Husa na provázku (Goose On A String Theater) and was soon a featured actress in radio, TV and movie productions. While working full time in theater, she re-kindled her interest in playing violin. After her father’s early death, she decided to follow in his professional footsteps as an instrumentalist and by composing her own music. The violin become Iva's life’s passion and she developed a singular approach, in which violin and voice are two aspects of a single human instrument. She soon became a fixture in the Czech musical landscape, a national treasure, winning a plethora of awards from the Czech Musical Academy, including Record of the Year in 1988, being named 2006 Brno-Top 100 Chart Personality of the Year, and performing live State Ceremonies for Václav Havel, George W. Bush, Mikhail Gorbachev, Helmut Kohl and Margaret Thatcher. In turn she developed an international reputation, working with artists such as Bobby McFerrin, Fred Frith, David Krakauer, Nederlands Blazers Ensemble, the Calder String Quartet, and many others. In 2007, after 17 years in the countryside near Brno, she relocated to the US, amid the splendors of nature in the Hudson Valley of upstate New York.
GYAN RILEY grew up on the edge of California's Sierra Nevada mountains, winning his first guitar in a raffle when he was 12 years old. After learning all of the songs in his cassette collection by ear, he began his life-long adventure in music, becoming the first full-scholarship graduate guitar student at the San Francisco Conservatory. He spent the next 15 years in the Bay Area, touring as a classical guitar soloist and in various ensembles, including performances with Zakir Hussain, Dawn Upshaw, the San Francisco Symphony, and his father, the composer/pianist/vocalist Terry Riley. As a composer he was commissioned by Carnegie Hall, the American Composers Forum, and the New York Guitar Festival. Over the years, Riley has performed throughout Europe, Canada, Latin America and the US, at venues such as Carnegie Hall, London's Barbican Theatre, the All Tomorrow's Parties Festival, the Big Ears Festival, Moogfest, and soloing with the Philadelphia Chamber Orchestra at The Kimmel Center. In 2010 Gyan relocated to Brooklyn, where his diverse work now focuses on his own compositions and improvisations. In addition to his work with EVIYAN, Gyan's other projects include the duo Pluck with Wu Fei (guzheng and voice), the duoSuperBalls with David Cossin (percussion), the quintet Al-Madar, fronted by Bassam Saba (oud, ney, flutes), and a duo with Terry Riley (piano, synth, voice). In January 2011, Gyan's fourth recording of original compositions, entitled Stream of Gratitude, was released on Tzadik Records.
EVAN ZIPORYN was born in Chicago, studied composition at Eastman, Yale, and UC Berkeley, and spent much of the 1980s in Bali, studying traditional gamelan. In 1987 he performed a clarinet solo at the 1st Bang on a Can Marathon in New York. His involvement with BOAC continued for 25 years. In 1992 he co-founded the Bang on a Can All-stars (Musical America's 2005 Ensemble of the Year), with whom he toured the globe and premiered over 100 commissioned works, collaborating with Nik Bartsch, Don Byron, Ornette Coleman, Brian Eno, Philip Glass, Meredith Monk, Thurston Moore, Terry Riley and Tan Dun. He co-produced their seminal 1996 recording of Brian Eno's Music for Airports, as well as their most recent CD, Big Beautiful Dark & Scary (2012). In 1993 Evan founded his own 25-piece ensemble, Gamelan Galak Tika, and began a series of groundbreaking compositions for gamelan & western instruments. These culminated in his 2009 opera A House in Bali, which joins western singers with Balinese traditional performers, and the All-stars with a full gamelan. It received its world premiere in Bali that summer and its New York premiere at BAM Next Wave in October 2010. As a clarinetist, Ziporyn recorded the definitive version of Steve Reich's multi-clarinet NY Counterpoint in 1996, sharing in that ensemble's Grammy in 1998. In 2001 his solo clarinet CD, This is Not A Clarinet, made Top Ten lists across the US. His compositions have been commissioned by Yo-Yo Ma's Silk Road, Kronos Quartet, Brooklyn Rider, Sentieri Selveggi, American Composers Orchestra, Maya Beiser, So Percussion, Wu Man, and the Boston Modern Orchestra Project, with whom he recorded his most recent CD, Big Grenadilla/Mumbai(2012). Recordings of his works have been been released on Cantaloupe, Sony Classical, New Albion, New World, Koch, Naxos, Innova, and CRI. Ziporyn joined the MIT faculty in 1990; he currently heads the Music Department and is the Inaugural Director of MIT's newly founded Center for Art, Science and Technology (CAST).
When & Where
Czech Center New York
Since 1995, the Czech Center New York has been building dialogue among the Czech Republic and the American public particularly in the areas of culture, business and tourism. The Czech Center New York is primarily focused on presenting the latest and most innovative works of Czech Artists to the U.S. Currently there are 24 Czech Centres in 21 countries globally.