Duo with Steve Lehman, “Silver Lake Studies” @ Festival Improtech Paris-Athina 2019, cultural center Onassis, Athens, Greece, September 28, 2019.
Silver Lake Studies is the first presentation of a project that Steve Lehman and Jérôme Nika have been conducting together for more than a year. Centered around the DYCI2 program, this collaboration focuses on the integration of scenarios in music generation processes, and on the dialectic between reactivity and planning in interactive human-computer music improvisation. During their experiments, they explored the creation of generative processes that can adapt to constantly evolving metrics, the development of real-time spectral enrichments of saxophone improvisation, and “spectral chord changes” as the basis for melodic improvisations. In this work, the orchestral masses from the contemporary classical repertoire meet voices from experimental rap and hip-hop.
Described as “a state-of-the-art musical thinker” and a “dazzling saxophonist,” by The New York Times, Steve Lehman (b. New York City, 1978) is a composer, performer, educator, and scholar who works across a broad spectrum of experimental musical idioms. Lehman’s pieces for large orchestra and chamber ensembles have been performed by the International Contemporary Ensemble (ICE), So Percussion, Kammerensemble Neue Musik Berlin, the JACK Quartet, the PRISM Saxophone Quartet, and the Talea Ensemble. His recent recording, Mise en Abîme (Pi, 2014) was called the #1 Jazz Album of the year by NPR Music and The Los Angeles Times. And his previous recording, Travail, Transformation & Flow (Pi, 2009), was chosen as the #1 Jazz Album of the year by The New York Times.
The recipient of a 2015 Guggenheim Fellowship and a 2014 Doris Duke Artist Award, Lehman is an alto saxophonist who has performed and recorded nationally and internationally with his own ensembles and with those led by Anthony Braxton, Vijay Iyer, Jason Moran, Georgia-Anne Muldrow, George Lewis, Meshell Ndegeocello, and High Priest of Anti-Pop Consortium, among many others.
Lehman received his B.A. (2000) and M.A. in Composition (2002) from Wesleyan University where he studied under Anthony Braxton, Jay Hoggard, and Alvin Lucier, while concurrently working with Jackie McLean at the Hartt School of Music. He received his doctorate with distinction in Music Composition from Columbia University (2012), where his principal teachers included Tristan Murail and George Lewis.
He is currently a Professor of Music at The California Institute of the Arts, and lives in Los Angeles.