Web site: http://www.richardhorowitz.com/
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Richard Horowitz is internationally known for creating a unique sonic language that fuses together his roots in classical, jazz and electronic music with the intensity of the trance music he first experienced in Morocco at the age of nineteen. He plays keyboards, percussion and the ney an obliquely blown reed flute - one of the oldest and most human sounding wind instruments. Since the late sixties his compositions have been inspired by the ritual drama of ancient music and by the shadings, motifs and overtones of instruments and voices from the oldest cultures. He has worked with tribal, classical and popular musicians from North Africa to Indonesia and has collaborated with Sussan Deyhim since the early eighties. His tracks are translations that morph ancient sources into the resonance of full spectrum surround-sound.
RH has scored many feature films, receiving Golden Globe and Los Angeles Film Critics awards for his work on The Sheltering Sky directed by Bernardo Bertolucci. Other scores include Oliver Stone's Any Given Sunday (BMI Award), Sundance Grand Jury Prize winner, Three Seasons directed by Tony Bui and produced by Harvey Keitel, Jason Kliot and Joana Vincente, and Lakota Woman directed by Frank Pierson produced by Jane Fonda.
From 1968 to 1979 Horowitz lived in Paris and Morocco where he studied Arabic, French, music and eastern philosophy. He performed throughout Europe and composed for various ensembles. He played with Alan Silva's Celestial Communications Orchestra in 1971 performing on keyboards with Steve Lacey and Anthony Braxton.
In 1974 he met Brion Gysin and Paul Bowles, both of whom became friends and mentors. In 1982 Bowles recommended Horowitz to the American Academy of Arts and Letters for the Goddard Lieberson Composition Award. In the mid seventies RH studied ney with Kassim Naccishabundi and Louis Soret in Morocco and recorded Oblique Sequences at Pierre Boulezıs computer music lab, IRCAM, in Paris released on Shandar Records. He also wrote and directed the film The Fourth Person Singular. Richardıs daughter Tamara Alexa was born in Marrakech in 1977.
In 1980 he returned to the US and was invited to work with Jan Mattox and Lauren Rush at Stanford University's computer music research lab, CCRMA, where he became involved with resonant loop programs. While in San Francisco, he composed Memoire and Out of Thin Air for San Francisco Symphony principal violinist, Daniel Kobialka. He also recorded Eros in Arabia and Never Tech No Foreign Answer on his own label, Ethnotech, in 1982. During this time he met Jaron Lanier with whom he has collaborated on projects since the early eighties. Horowitz worked with SFX designer Frank Serafine on the disc sound for Tron and on Serafine's reel for Star Trek The Motion Picture.
From 1982 to 1987 RH performed and recorded with Jon Hassell playing mostly Prophet 5 synthesizer. He played on three of Hassell's albums including Powerspot and Surgeon of the Night Sky, both produced by Brian Eno and Daniel Lanois. RH also performed on the David Byrne / Eno piece Blue Flame for Twyla Tharp's The Catherine Wheel.
RH's main collaborator has been Sussan Deyhim. Deyhim and Horowitz began recording in 1981 in New York. Their first release was Azax Attra: Desert Equations. It has since become a cult classic and was one of the pioneering efforts to create what would later be called world music, drum and bass and triphop. Azax/Attra: Desert Equations was originally written as a performance opera; the first in a series of Horowitz-Deyhim stage-based collaborations. It opened in New York and went on to tour internationally. It was followed by The Ghost of Ibn Sabba the ballet X-isle Isle-X and Logic of the Birds.
Horowitz and Deyhim also performed as a duo and with their band (original members Steve Shehan, Jamie Haddad, Eric Sanko, Peter Freeman and Hassan Hakmoun) in the U.S., Europe, Japan and North Africa, appearing at Town Hall, BAM, The Kitchen, The Knitting Factory, Central Park Summer Stage, La Mama, and Carnegie Hall, the Ravinia Festival, New Music America and Ars Electronica. In 1988 the duo was invited to perform with the Grateful Dead at a special event for Joseph Campbell at The Palace of Fine Arts in San Francisco. Horowitz and Deyhim also worked with Grateful Dead percussionist Mickey Hart ghost writing the music for Max Headroom.
After the success of The Sheltering Sky, Horowitz frequently traveled to Los Angeles to work on film scores, but eventually moved to London with Deyhim in 1993 to work on a CD for Sony Classical. The result, Majoun, was recorded in New York, London, Paris, Los Angeles, Morocco and Indonesia. The album featured the Moroccan National Radio and Television Orchestra with violin solos by Abdellah El Miry and the great Indian violinist, Chandru. High performance Magazine described it as "Imbued with a sense of ritual and the unknown".
Horowitz was commissioned by the Moroccan Royal Cabinet to produce, direct and perform in Ritmose del Futturo Maroc/Seville, the music for the Moroccan National Day at Seville Expo 92. He invited ten "western" musicians, including Jon Hassell, Loy Erlich, Steve Shehan; and three hundred tribal musicians from ten different tribes of Morocco.
In 1997 Horowitz founded The Gnaoua (Gnawa) Festival in Mogador (Essaouira), Morocco with Neila Tazi and André Azoulay. He also served as artistic director. The festival now attracts over four hundred thousand people every year and has helped raise the appreciation for Gnaoua music both inside and outside Morocco.
In the 90s, RH co-produced Night Spirit Masters/Gnawa Music of Marrakech for Axiom Records with Bill Laswell with liner notes by Paul Bowles. Horowitz was also instrumental in the career of Gnawa musician Hassan Hakmoun during Hakmoun's first ten years in New York and performed and recorded with Hakmoun on many records, including Gift of the Gnawa with Don Cherry and Adam Rudolph. He also arranged and produced Hakmoun's music recorded by The Kronos Quartet on Pieces of Africa.
Returning to New York in the late 90s, Horowitz and Deyhim were asked to compose the CD The Gift of Love for Deepak Chopra, a charity project for Mother Teresa which featured an unusual combination of movie stars, poets and activists reading Rumi.
2001 marked a collaboration with Deyhim, Shirin Neshat and filmmaker Ghasem Ebrahimian on a multimedia opera, Logic of the Birds (co-produced by Lincoln Center, Art Angel, The Kitchen, The Walker Art Center and Change in Europe). It was based on Attar's 12th Century text about a female mystical heroine and starred Deyhim. RH performed and mixed the music live in surround.
He has recently completed the scores for the film Les Amants de Mogador starring Max von Sydow and David and Layla starring David Moscow and Shiva Rose. He is currently producing Tcheky Karyo's first CD for Universal Music France, scoring and co-starring in Beautiful Child directed by Fabritzio Cheisa and working with Sussan Deyhim on various projects including a new opera Zarathustra's Mother and a new album with The Mad Man Band.
Horowitz has collaborated with Jaron Lanier on Chromataphoria a Virtual Motion to Music visual performance, performed at MIDEM in Cannes and at the Cyber Theater in Belgium. Their new duo CD Shasta In Time with Jaron on various bass woodwinds and RH on piano and ney was recorded in February 2005 at Jaron's studio in the Berkely Hills. He has also recorded and collaborated with Jon Hassell, David Byrne, Jaron Lanier, Duncan Sheik, Ryuichi Sakamoto, Michael Brook, Hassan Hakmoun, Branford Marsalis, Hector Zazu, Doug Wimbish, Will Calhoun, Gram Haynes, Suzanne Vega, Steve Shehan, Marius Devries, Rufus Wainwright, Mickey Hart, Adrian Sherwood and Bill Laswell.