rituals (2005)

Track Listing


Rituals (A Monodrama For Voice And Ten Instruments)(26:35) 

I  4:48 
II  7:45 
III  4:21 
IV  5:22 
V  4:19



Jennifer Choi: Violin  
Stephen Drury: Piano, Harpsichord, Celeste, Organ  
Brad Lubman: Conductor  
Tara O'Connor: Flute, Alto Flute, Piccolo  
Jim Pugliese: Percussion, Wind Machines, Water, Bull Roarers, Gravedigging, Fishing Reels, Paper, Bowls Of BBs, Bird Calls  
Fred Sherry: Violincello  
William Winant: Percussion, Etc.  
Heather Gardner: Voice  
Peter Kolkay: Bassoon, Contrabassoon  
Mike Lowenstern: Clarinet, Bass Clarinet, Eb Clarinet  
Kurt Muroki: Bass  
Jim Pugh: Trombone


Composed by John Zorn
Producer - John Zorn
Associate Producer - Kazunori Sugiyama 
Recorded by Silas Brown at Hit Factory, NYC
Mixed and Edited by Silas Brown October 2004
Mastered by Scott Hull at Hit Factory
K2 Technology by JVC Disc America
Illustration The Ascension of the Ego from Ecstasy to Ecstasy 1910 by AUSTIN OSMAN SPARE
Design - Heung-Heung Chin


Owls, Windmachines, Gravedigging and Ritual Magick, Zorn’s strange and mystical monodrama for mezzo soprano and ten instruments is presented here in a beautiful new studio recording. Composed for the Bayreuth Opera Festival in 1998, the Rituals premiere was a bit of a scandal, with the audience split down the middle…half outraged detractors, stomping out, whistling and jeering and half cheering supporters. Performed here by a stellar group of Zorn regulars and some very special guests, Rituals is opera at its virtuosic and intimate best. Five movements of magic and alchemy from the crucible of an uncompromising and unpredictable musical maverick.

Series:  Composer Series

Catalogue Number:  TZ8011

Release Date:  February 2005

Booklet Essay

Rituals is best staged with each of the five movements exploring the drama of Ritual through various set designs, costumes, lighting, ritual implements, actions and the like.  The singer and/or musicians may be on or off stage.  If off stage, certain actions may be nevertheless be performed onstage, e.g. water, digging, bullroarers etc.

As a concert piece, the lighting should be atmospheric and dramatic (possibly using candles), with smoke rising from behind the stage.  Images of esoteric symbols or texts in mystical languages may also be projected against a screen behind the rising smoke, or onto the smoke itself.  These images should be subtle, not to distract from the action on the stage or the music itself, few in number, and should, if changed within movements, crossfade from one to the next.

A live owl may somehow play a part in the proceedings.