The largest portion of composer David Ocker's music is for groups of acoustic instruments, ranging from solos to orchestral works. In these pieces he draws heavily on his experience as a clarinetist. Ocker's music, as described by the Los Angeles Times "can intrigue, fascinate and entertain even the jaded listener. Eclectic in the most positive sense, Ocker reveals his influences - Brahms, Ives, Copland and jazz - sometimes eloquently, always without self-conciousness."
For example, Ocker's works include a solo bass clarinet piece derived from a Brahms symphony, a solo bass piece in which the performer both sings and plays, a set of musical limericks, a five-hour tape environment and a computer program to generate music from fractals. His chamber work Pride and Foolishness has been performed on the Los Angeles Festival, the Pacific Contemporary Music Festival in Seoul, South Korea, and on the Monday Evening Concerts. When the California EAR Unit played Pride and Foolishness at the Cal Arts Contemporary Music Festival in 1988, John Henken described it as having "the dark grace of some jazz arrangements of Bach, compounded in equal measure of minor mode moodiness and insistent rhythmic swing." Ocker has completed two works for chamber orchestra: Waiting for the Messiah and Melodic Symphony.
A graduate of Carleton College and the California Institute of the
Ocker was a founding member and later president of the Independent
Association. He was also a founding member of XTET, a chamber ensemble
with a special interest in the music of the twentieth century. Called a
"super-clarinetist" by the L.A. Herald Examiner, Ocker has performed
music of Frank Zappa with the London Symphony Orchestra, and one of his
solo recitals, given at New Music America, was broadcast nationally.
interest in improvisation has led him to create entire, spontaneous
with multi-instrumentalist Vinnie Golia. One such event was described
music critic Alan Rich as "a splendidly communicative encounter by two
of this region's most valued progressive musicians." Ocker has also
very active preparing music by others for first performance or
Composers with whom he has worked closely on major projects include
Adams, William Kraft and Frank Zappa.
New from David Ocker: David
is now blogging. His blog is called Mixed
Meters, and on it he shares humrous anecdotes, insightful
commentary on a variety of subjects, good photos of cats and other
things, and best of all, recent music from a fascinating series called 30 Second Spots.
Leisure Planet Music