© 2019 Erik Griswold.

The Wide Alley (2007)

Chinese - Western jazz ensemble.

A collaboration with Vanessa Tomlinson and Sichuan composer Zou Xiangping.  The rich musical traditions of China's Sichuan Province meet the Australian avant-garde creations of Clocked Out in an innovative fusion of Chinese and western sounds. Featuring street songs and jazz along with opera and folk, this cross-cultural collaboration draws focus from Chengdu's oldest neighbourhood, the Wide Alley. Pulsating gongs blend with jazz harmonies, clouds of delicate bells envelop soulful melodies, and brash fragments of Sichuan percussion collide with wild free improvisations. The multicultural ensemble (five Sichuan and five Australian musicians) creates unexpected new worlds of sound, bringing disappearing traditions back to life.

A "mesmerizing performance...Tuned gongs and ethnic hand percussion blended with erhu, flutes, piano, brass and bass for a sound that was both reverential and forward thinking, true world music without the baggage of commercial labeling...one of the 2010 Ottawa International Jazz Festival's most unique and thoroughly compelling performances." - John Kelman, All About Jazz, 7 July 2010

"Clocked Out's approach displays a meeting of forms across cultures and musical languages but also allows the musics of Sichuan enough time-space to stand on their own...and the music sounds so very good." - Keith Gallasch, Realtime 90.

"The course of the performance...is an incredible pastiche of genres, and the breadth of dynamics is astonishing." - Scott Spark, www.abc.net.au, 23 July 2007

Commissioned by Paul Grabowsky for the Queensland Music Festival 2007.