30 Zorn

John Zorn (1953-) or Dekoboko Hajime, is a composer and saxophonist player from New York. Zorn is known for his referencing and genre-crossing music, zigzagging through free jazz, punk rock, cartoon music, klezmer, heavy metal and avant-garde. In many compositions, Zorn uses "open" techniques of Cage, Earle Brown, Stockhausen, Cornelius Cardew and others. These open techniques are used for creating music with groups of improvisers through "game pieces".

Zorn sometimes spends up to a year developing game pieces for a particular work and uses these rules to give the improvisers some direction. These pieces did not define sounds and notes but define relationships between the other musicians and the desired forms. Such an example would be for the bass player to look at any other player and play a duo with them through cues given by any of the musicians. He choses not to write them down, but explain them orally. It is developed with a close group of performers from East/Lower Manhattan that Zorn works with closely but the oral tradition allows others to create pieces based on his "game pieces".

When Cage and Brown wrote open compositions, they were working with classical musicians who often felt averse to "improv" or live shaping of the piece. Zorn works with Improvisers and used these ideas to allow them to communicate with each other and have direction while not restricting them with notes and scales.

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