New Work: Nick Dunston

From bassist and composer Nick Dunston:

Somehow, I am fortunate enough to be currently on a plane to another country for a mini vacation with my partner. To be honest, the end/start of the calendar year has never felt particularly conclusive nor refreshing for me, but any opportunity to sit down with my thoughts, reflect, and really be in a position of witnessing myself, is something that I could stand to do a lot more of.

Since moving to Berlin in late 2020, my musical relationships have been fruitful despite the ongoing pandemic. My electro-acoustic quartet “Skultura” with Liz Kosack, Cansu Tanrikulu, and Eldar Tsalikov was formed, and played a few festivals throughout Germany in late 2021. In late Spring of 2022, we will continue to workshop music, followed by making our first recording in that year. Other new Berlin-based bands that will emerge in 2022 are a multi-instrumental collaborative duo with Cansu Tanrikulu, as well as a new trio of mine with Anil Eraslan on cello and Sofia Borges on percussion. In addition to playing bass and composing, in more and more contexts I am expanding my medium by incorporating my work with banjo, DIY instruments, and electronics.

On the New York side of things, I recently had a vinyl-release concert with my quintet, Atlantic Extraction, concluding that music. The vinyl is still available for purchase from Out of Your Head Records. I am especially excited to announce my next recording as a leader with a new NYC-based band will be released in 2022: Spider Season, a trio with myself on bass and fx, Kalia Vandever on trombone and fx, and DoYeon Kim on gayageum and voice. A handful of NYC-based ensembles have also afforded me many opportunities as a composer coming up in 2022. Since 2020, I have been working with Bang on a Can in multiple contexts, and will be a part of their Long Play festival in April/May 2022. Later in the Summer, as I am currently Artist-In-Residence with Wet Ink Ensemble, we will be premiering a piece in June 2022 (we already workshopped some music in November, which can be heard/viewed here).

Further down the road, I’ll be working on a new string quartet to be recorded by JACK Quartet as part of their Studio program, to take place in late 2022/early 2023. Finally, this year I got to work on quite a few solo/duo/chamber commissions, working with artists such as Lina Allemano/Nick Fraser duo, Joanna Mattrey, Joy Guidry, Maggie Cox, Robert Black, TROMPO, and Johnny Gandelsman.

I’d be remiss if I did not shout out some of the projects and artists whose music I have the honor of contributing to in 2022, as a sideperson, both in the U.S. and in Europe, such as Ches Smith “We All Break”, Mary Halvorson Sextet, Camila Battaglia “Calor”, Raf Vertessen Quartet, Anna Webber, Kalia Vandever, Joy Guidry, Allison Miller, and Ignaz Schick “Circuit Training”.

Needless to say, especially upon reflection, I’m pretty floored when I think of all the artists that I have been able to call collaborators and friends. It’s given me so much energy and joy as I strive to create balance in my life, more explorations, more traveling, more peace, and to further nurture new and old relationships with others and with myself.

Photo credit: Cristina Marx.

Cisco BradleyNew Work: Nick Dunston