TAO G. Vrhovec Sambolec - ZVO.ČI.TI (So.und.ing) 2010
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TAO G. Vrhovec Sambolec, (text by: Luka Zagoričnik) A composer of contemporary music, clarinettist and electronica musician, sound artist and maker of multimedia environments Tao G. Vrhovec Sambolec creates in all of the mentioned areas, while retaining his individuality and recognisability in each of the fields. This does not only unveil his acute sonic sensibility and a careful consideration of its traits but also an ear for a sound environment through which meanings are disclosed on different levels – social, artistic, architectural, and political. These elements are intertwined in a clear and distilled but never rigid concept. Tao first graduated at the Trondeheim Conservatory of Music in Norway as an instrumentalist, clarinettist, and then continued his studies at the Royal Conservatory in The Hague, the Netherlands, where he received another BA from music composition and an MA from ArtScience programme at the Interfaculty Image and Sound. As a composer, he has produced a series of works for smaller chamber, percussion, and other ensembles, which were performed at home and abroad. In his early period, he collaborated a lot with Marko Peljhan; later his works were performed in renowned international contemporary music festivals, such as Contemporanea in Italy, Gaudeamus Music Week, the Netherlands, and Forum Nueur Music in Germany. Tao G. Vrhovec Sambolec is active also in the field of free improvised music. In 2003, Vrhovec and the contrabassist Tomaž Grom established the duo Tilt, although a project with this name had been detected already in 1999 with the album ‘The Double’ in collaboration with the poet Primož Čučnik. Even prior to this, the project was called Muskafiber and featured the composer and accordionist Drago Ivanuša. The music of this period relied heavily on structural elements through the form of poem, poetry, singing, and speech, and often drifted into spontaneous, improvised soundscapes. Today, Tilt touches upon contemporary sonority in a digital milieu, drawing its expressivity from a liminal space between acoustic and electronically processed sounds. This space in-between is also the locus of spontaneous communication. But even though it is grounded in free improvisation, the improvising nevertheless suggests a composing sensibility that addresses through a wide spectrum of sounds, timbres, and real-time digitally processed sounds. Tilt released an album under the Slovene L’innomable label and received many good reviews in the national and international press, among other also in the British music monthly The Wire. The duo was successfully performing in different European capitals, as well as collaborated with numerous internationally acclaimed musicians. In the field of mixed media art practices, Tao gained further recognition with, for example, a series of installations, space interventions titled ‘Virtual Hole’ and ‘Virtual Mirror’. Recently, he is enjoying a growing international reputation also in the field of sound art, especially through his collaborations with the American musician and theoretician Brandon LaBell, author of ‘Background Noise – Perspectives on Sound Art’, one of the more influential discussions of sound art. Their last collaboration was the book and a CD ‘Manual for the Construction of a Sound as a Device to Elaborate Social Connection’ for the project ‘Virtual Mirror – Sound’. In this context, Tao this year received a ‘Hybrid Arts Honourable Mention’ at Ars Electronica in Linz for the work ‘Virtual Mirror – Rain’. A fusion of music, improvisation, and his interactive installation research can be seen in his work ‘Inside Out’, which he co-created with the acclaimed Austrian composer and trombonist Radu Malfatti. Tao has presented his works in Mexico, the Netherlands, Germany, Great Britain, Spain, Turkey, and elsewhere. Tao G.
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