Saxophonist Nick Zoulek creates enigmatic sounds on single release, "Silhouette Of A Storm-Bent Tree"

'Rushing Past Willow,' Nick Zoulek

The title to Nick Zoulek’s solo on the bass saxophone on the single, “Silhouette Of A Storm-Bent Tree” is derived by the quote, “why is it that the silhouette of a storm-bent leafless tree against an evening sky in winter is perceived as beautiful.  The answer seems to me…to follow from new insights into dynamical systems.  Our feeling for beauty is inspired by the harmonious arrangement of order and disorder as it occurs in natural objects.”

The single is from his 2016 album, Rushing Past Willow, but due to plans to expand the project, Zoulek after a burst of inspiration produced the music video to “Silhouette Of A Storm-Bent Tree,” where he fuses his roles as performer (bass saxophone), composer, producer, director, cinematographer, and engineer to create a rich tapestry in which to represent his enigmatic music.

Accompanying the music video to “Silhouette Of A Storm-Bent Tree,” Zoulek envisions his creative endeavor to encompass numerous collaborations in dance, animation, and film, along with the 2016 album release.  Figuring in the raw and meditative work of dance soloist and choreographer, Nicole Spence, “Silhouette Of A Storm-Bent Tree” tells the narrative of a torn world, embodying the order and disorder relied in the above quote.  Spence’s up key and on point performance distinctly paints a poignant picture of the overarching narrative to the cinematic nature of the film.

“Silhouette Of A Storm-Bent Tree” illustrates stark apparitions, shadowy, and ghostly figures in the music video.  The video at first shows a candle-lit room where we have Spence in a sitting position with her knees drawn to her face.  She suddenly wakes up as steady sounds coming from the bass saxophone follows her movements on the bed.  Spence dances in a ballet-like form throughout the room.  Others show up and join in with her in the performance.  The ominous and daunting sounds coming from the saxophone is haunting and evoke a sensational sound, filling the room with mysterious and riveting music coming from the lone instrument.  The resonating sounds contrasts to the tumultuous setting.  The next scene takes us to a stormy front at the beach where Spence continues with her dance.

Spence and Zoulek both show their chops in expertly weaving dance, choreography, film, and enticing music to evoke many a memorable moment with their multiple talents.

On the recording of “Silhouette Of A Storm-Bent Tree,” Zoulek as a saxophonist exhibits his control of the bass saxophone, using circular breathing, harmonic manipulation, vocalizations with no overdubs to create a canvas of work that is dosed with stark-like features and fantastic renderings.

“Silhouette Of A Storm-Bent Tree” is a virtuosic work that covers many mediums and is an artistic impulse that is the most involved so far on the Rushing Past Willow album.

Hitting the dramatic pulse directly, “Silhouette Of A Storm-Bent Tree” is also a multimedia piece that widely showcases Zoulek’s artistry.

A haunting and soaring instrumental-based track, be sure you have a listen today!

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