Oceans of Vows

Oceans of Vows

Alex Cline's Flower Garland Orchestra

Label: Cryptogramophone
Format: CD
Barcode: 0671860014829
Catalog number: CG 148
Releasedate: 07-04-17
- 2 CD box set with two booklets of photos and text

- Featuring Nels Cline of Wilco & Yuka C. Honda of Cibo Matto

- Alex Cline is the twin brother of Nels Cline

Alex Cline’s Oceans of Vows is a deluxe box set of music drawing inspiration from four poems by Buddhist teacher Thich Nhat Hanh, as well as excerpts from the Buddhist text known as the Avatamsaka Sutra. It’s performed by composer/percussionist Alex Cline and his all-star 14-piece Flower Garland Orchestra, featuring his twin brother, guitarist Nels Cline (of Wilco) and many other stalwarts of the L.A. creative music community. The first performance was on Thich Nhat Hanh’s 89th birthday at the 2015 Angel City Jazz Festival and was offered as both a birthday gift and a benefit event to raise funds to help defray the cost of Nhat Hanh’s rehabilitation effort following a severe stroke suffered in 2014. The composition and recording was made possible by a grant from the Shifting Foundation.

A native of Los Angeles, drummer-percussionist-composer Alex Cline has been a mainstay on the creative music scene in that city for almost forty years. Known for his contributions to the music of such artists as Julius Hemphill, Vinny Golia, Richard Grossman, John Carter, Bobby Bradford, Henry Grimes, Don Preston, Joseph Jarman, Tim Berne, Arthur Blythe, Jeff Gauthier, Horace Tapscott, David Binney, Ross Hammond, Charlie Haden, and Hafez Modirzadeh, to name but a few, he has also worked for many years as a bandleader-composer, having released seven albums under his own name as well as many more collaborative projects (on the ECM, 9 Winds, and Cryptogramophone labels), the most recent being For People in Sorrow, a CD/DVD release of his arrangement of the classic Roscoe Mitchell composition presented in Mitchell’s honor and recorded live at the 2011 Angel City Jazz Festival with an all-star eleven-piece ensemble.   

In 2015 Cline received a grant to compose what turned out to be a full-concert-length original work, Oceans of Vows, with the fourteen-piece Flower Garland Orchestra, and presented it at that year’s Angel City Jazz Festival before recording the entire piece in the studio—the release date is set for March 10, 2017. Included among the members of the orchestra is his frequent collaborator over the years, his twin brother and renowned guitarist, Nels Cline. 

A few of Cline’s recent musical encounters have been with Satoko Fujii, Peter Kuhn, Areni Agbabian, Phillip Greenlief, Scot Ray, George McMullen, Dwight Trible, and Miguel Atwood-Ferguson. Among the many dance artists with whom Cline’s music has been heard are Oguri/Lightning Shadow, Margaret Schuette, and Cloud Gate Dance Theatre of Taiwan. He also curates the monthly Sunday evening concerts series of unusual music for Open Gate Theatre in the Eagle Rock neighborhood of Los Angeles.