Sidney Bailin studied piano and composition at Juilliard. Otto Luening taught him how to trust his ear. Bailin says "... whenever I would ask him how I can know if what I wrote was right, he wouldn’t say anything but would just point to his ear."
Becoming more and more fascinated with mathematics, Bailin moved to Columbia University to pursue a double major in Music and Mathematics, then took graduate degrees in maths from Oxford. But unlike many composers who have flirted with mathematics, Bailin insists on the primacy of emotion and intuition.
An experimental method demonstrated in this release is the insertion of screws between the strings of a piano. The resulting sounds are reminiscent of Indonesian gamelan music. They are the "wedges" (hence the title of that work) that pierce the ordinary notes.
Jazz has always influenced Bailin's composing. The imitative counterpoint of improvisational jazz shows up in Reeds by the Shore as multiple sax-like voices reinforcing, celebrating, and contradicting each other.
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