Conductor, arranger, composer, alto saxophonist, Jorge Sylvester, and vocal artist, composer, poet, Nora McCarthy, co-lead this creative orchestra of 20 stellar musicians from New York City and around the world. This eclectic group masterfully interprets the original compositions and arrangements of Sylvester and McCarthy. Conducted by Jorge Sylvester, the music challenges traditional formulas that are often subscribed to by other large ensembles. The music and arrangements take an open and harmonically unpredictable approach to composition, layering various textures across a network of rhythmic lines. The innovative and daring concepts that drive the music utilize a full spectrum of colors (sounds), textures (instruments) and movement (rhythms) to create a tangible image. They perform a mixture of obtuse compositional structures, open form blues and Afro-Caribbean-charged rhythmic pieces within a free collective expression that includes poetry.
For years, Nora and Jorge had evolved a collaborative relationship whose strength owed as much to their near telepathic level of communication as to their forbearance in the face of discouragement, limited opportunity to perform, and periods of extreme financial crisis. They continued undeterred to work on a musical language consciously intended to be beyond the reach of either musician individually. Like the magnetic field generated by the molten iron core of a planet, the dynamic engine at the center of the ConceptualMotion Orchestra is the synergy of Nora McCarthy’s voice and Jorge Sylvester’s alto saxophone.
The ConceptualMotion Orchestra debuted at the University of the Streets, located on 7th Street and Avenue A on the Lower East Side of New York in November, 2001 in response to the horrific tragedy of September 11th. This creative and loving venue spearheaded by the beloved Brother Muhammad has kept its heart and doors open for over two decades to local musicians, singers and poets sponsoring educational projects, jazz forums and conducting a weekly jam session for all to participate and share in. Among the first to come out and support this creative orchestra was master musician and conceptualist Henry Threadgill. Since that time, the orchestra has found its home at the Baha’i Center, located on University Place and 11th Street in the Village whose jazz curator is the incredible pianist and former member of the Dizzy Gillespie orchestra, Mike Longo. Other performances of note took place in the newly established artist community in Williamsburg, Brooklyn at Office Ops Performance Space, at The Nuyorican Poetry Club on 3rd Street , NYC, The Knitting Factory, NYC and in 2005, CMO was proud to open the highly regarded, annual international avant-garde Vision Festival X, held at the Angel Orensanz Center also on the LES, New York, NY
Jorge Sylvester - conductor
Michael C. Lewis