Aaron Novik

composer, clarinetist, bandleader

Link to home page : http://www.aaronnovik.com


I am a musician and an artist. By artist I mean I use music as my medium of expression. I use music to convey ideas beyond merely collecting a group of sounds together. I compose music that addresses thoughts and emotions and abstractions.

I enjoy playing with genre and have a hard time defining/confining myself. In the past few years I have written music for different projects that could be defined as pop songs, chamber classical, psychedelic jazz, gypsy folk, and even heavy metal. Within these obviously disparate stylistic choices are a unifying compositional esthetic that slowly reveals itself, the more projects you hear of mine. This esthetic relies heavily on rhythm, harmony, melody and order. All elements of good music that can be tossed away by many in the name of experimentation. Personally I find that it is more interesting to experiment within these confines to push each to new and exciting places. New rhythmic subdivisions and poly-rhythms, surprising melodic and harmonic choices.

I moved to San Francisco 10 years ago and began studying clarinet with the great Ben Goldberg. I began leading ensembles soon after and eventually went to UC Berkeley to study composition with Eitan Steinberg and Olly Wilson. I also studied new concepts of rhythm and improvisation with Steve Coleman at UC Berkeley, a boundary pushing alto sax player from New York.

The past few years have been highly productive ones, seeing the creation of two suites; the first, music inspired by my grandfather’s immigration and life in America as a Jew escaping war torn Europe; the second, a commission to write music for the Saint Joseph Ballet in Orange County in 2004. My most recent cd is a conceptual tone poem steeped in retro future psychedelic science fiction, that has received significant praise given it’s limited release.

Other ventures of note include performing with the bass clarinet Edmund Welles, which has received grants from Chamber Music America, and Yerba Buena’s new composers series, and performing with Patrick Cress’ Telepathy which has also received numerous grants in conjunction with Dandelion Dance Theatre and ODC.


New recordings coming up from Simulacra and Crafty Apples