Nick Zoulek | Leafless Against the Gray Sky | (bass saxophone)

Track available on Rushing Past Willow (INNOVA Records)
Physical album available at:
Stream on Spotify:

Winner, Best Experimental Film, The ModCon London Film Festival
Winner, Best Experimental Film, Largo Film Awards
Nominated, Best Experimental Film, International Monthly Film Festival

Film: Nick Zoulek
Composer/performer (solo bass saxophone): Nick Zoulek
Recording Engineer: Nick Zoulek
Mix Engineer: Jason Charney
Mastering: Mark Bunce

As the fourth installment of the Rushing Past Willow film series, Leafless Against the Gray Sky finds beauty within the navigation of order and disorder, utilizing chaotic, natural patterns in both the film (ink in water) and in the score (multiphonic and overtone manipulation on bass saxophone via circular breathing). This raw and meditative tapestry was composed, filmed, recorded, and performed by Nick Zoulek.

Leafless Against the Gray Sky derives its title from a quote by Gert Eilenberger, a German physicist, who pursued research in nonlinear science. The quote reads: “Why is it that the silhouette of a storm-bent leafless tree against an evening sky in winter is perceived as beautiful…The answer seems to me, even if somewhat speculative, to follow from the new insights into dynamical systems. Our feeling for beauty is inspired by the harmonious arrangement of order and disorder as it occurs in natural objects…”

Leafless Against the Gray Sky can be heard on Nick Zoulek’s debut album, Rushing Past Willow (Innova 953).

Good Things/Small Packages-Little Rock, Arkansas
Experimental Superstars-Novi Sad, Serbia
ClaZel Theater, Bowling Green, Ohio
London Golden Scout International Film Festival-London, UK
YES Gallery-Ypsilanti, Michigan

“The beginning of ‘Leafless Against the Sky’ is beautiful in its simplicity: the chemical interjects nature. The sound design warns of a plague. The chemical stains, and then grows. The tension builds and I am on the edge of my seat. There is so much frightening beauty in decay. Death by colour – the ending is visual poetry. The film is focused and measured and delivers exactly when it should. There is a superb sense of awareness towards rhythm. Hands down one of the best projects I’ve reviewed for this festival. The film is simple but kicks a punch – well done to the maker!”
-Break Big Film Festival

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