Dylan Ward Dylan Ward

Dylan Ward

Dylan Ward, Photo by Olga Kim

BOOM Performance:
Dylan Ward –
“Tourmaline:” Music

Tourmaline is a semi-precious gemstone that appears in a multitude of color schemes and is found throughout the world. It is known as “the stone of reconciliation” and is believed to foster positive energy, healing, and connections with the Earth. Tourmaline also serves as a symbolic representation of the philosopher’s stone, of the alchemical tradition, believed to be capable of transforming base metals into gold, attaining divine wisdom, perfecting the human body and spirit, and achieving immortality.

“Tourmaline” – Dylan Ward’s debut album of five works for saxophone and electronics – explores these ideas through a number of angles in order to produce a kaleidoscopic array of electroacoustic textures. The facets of the album resemble the alchemical process solve et coagula, whereby the saxophone undergoes a sonic transmutation from a solo acoustic instrument into a hybrid electroacoustic one that is fused with the electronic sound world. This merging of identities is achieved by the gradual deconstruction and reassembly of the instrument through dense electronic processing, delay effects, sampling, and extended techniques. This integration empowers the saxophone with new sonic capabilities within the context of a boundless electronic universe.

From crystal caves to the cosmogonic Ogdoad, from Paul Klee’s painting of the Angel of History to the structure of a Michael Jordan documentary, Tourmaline covers a wide range of creative concepts and saxophonic virtuosity. Five young composers (from Kansas to Ireland) with five distinct styles are essential elements in this epic transformation.


Praised for his “ethereal saxophone playing” and “distinctive experimental approach” (Vital Weekly), Dylan Ward is a saxophonist/musician/improviser/sound artist specializing in experimental electroacoustic music that explores ideas of existential intelligence and consciousness across natural, human, digital, and historical planes. Ward has released recordings on the Neuma and Mother Brain Records labels and has performed nationally at the Bang on a Can LOUD Weekend Festival, Eighth Blackbird Creative Lab, Mostly Modern Festival, Oh My Ears Festival, Kansas City Contemporary Music Festival, Kansas City Open Spaces, iHearIC Series, Charlotte Street Foundation Capsule Series, Kansas City Classical Revolution, and Kansas City Public Library Series. He has also appeared as soloist with the North Carolina Symphony, Georgia Philharmonic, Raleigh Symphony, and Jackson Heights Orchestra, and as a chamber musician in venues including Lincoln Center, Constellation Chicago, Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts, and Mesa Arts Center.

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Showing at: Hex Coffee
Show Times:
Saturday, 4/22 8:30 – 9:30pm
Sunday, 4/23 7 – 8pm

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